Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dining Family-Style at Mrs. Wilkes' Boarding House

I'm visiting my friend Joy on Tybee Island and today we headed over to Savannah to have lunch at Mrs. Wilkes' Boarding House.  Dining at Mrs. Wilkes is one of the top 10 things you must do when visiting Savannah!  Mrs. Wilkes operated the old time family-style dining establishment from 1943 until her death in 2002 at the age of 95.
Mrs. Wilkes

Crowds gather early to line up for the 11:00 a.m. opening of the boarding house dining.  Reservations are never accepted.  No ma'am!

Tables set for 12 are loaded with the most favorite of Southern dishes...fried chicken, cornbread dressing, sweet potato souffle, black-eyed peas, okra gumbo, corn muffins, and biscuits.

Family-Style Dining Etiquette Tip:  Of course, family-style dining is only appropriate in an informal setting.  The food is placed on the table in serving dishes and is passed around by each guest.  The table is usually very crowded and it's up to each guest to make sure all the dishes are the right. {If the guest to your left request a dish, you may pass that dish to them directly instead of going all the way around the table}.  It's considered proper etiquette to pass a serving dish with the serving utensil facing the receiver.  Always use the serving utensils provided, not your personal utensils!  Remember to pass the salt and pepper together...they are married.  Oh, and one more tip...don't try to grab food before it's passed to you!

If a blessing is said at your table, regardless of your beliefs, you should bow your head.

At the end of the meal at Mrs. Wilkes', the waitstaff announces that "it's a tradition in boarding house dining rooms to take your own plate, glass, and utensils out to the busboy waiting at the kitchen door."

There are Mrs. Wilkes' cookbooks containing the recipes for all that down-home Southern cooking available for purchase.

"Here's What I Wore"  The shorts are by Lilly Pulitzer in the 'Coralina' pattern and the cardi is also by Lilly P. 


The staff at Mrs. Wilkes could not have been friendlier and this young lady provided our table excellent customer service. 
Mrs. Wilkes' Boarding House is located at 107 West Jones Street in Savannah.  Be there early to get a place in the line.  The doors open at 11:00 a.m. and the meals are served until 2:00 p.m.  Call 912.232.5997 for more information. *Only cash is accepted*

I would have been very shocked if the food at Mrs. Wilkes wasn't the best Southern cooking ever.  I'm happy to say that it was every bit as good as I expected.  Mrs. Wilkes definitely receives my "FIVE SILVER SPOONS" award for keeping it homecooked and Southern!


Alison said...

Well how about that! I can just imagine the food and style of service indoors when the old fashioned boarding houses were everywhere.


Donna said...

That looks like a whole lot of fun! The last time we ate at a family style restaurant was in the Amish country in northern Indiana. If you gave it five spoons, it must be good indeed.

Miss Janice said...

THE best Southern comfort food and great Southern hospitality too!

Miss Janice said...

It was a Southern smorgasbord!

Natalie said...

Mrs. Wilkes is the best place for Southern food in Savannah!