bloody Mary

The Smoked Brisket Hash from Public House in Ferndale, MI includes red skinned potatoes, crispy, fried, shishito peppers, tender brisket, all topped with Sriracha aioli, and two fried eggs.

Ferndale: Public House

Located on 9 Mile Rd in Downtown, Ferndale, MI is Public House, part of the same restaurant group as taco and hot dog spot, Imperial. Chef Brandon Zarb and the Public House team are cranking out New American style cuisine offering a diverse menu including gourmet sliders, small plates, dessert, and brunch.

Dottie: Hot mustard, horseradish, soy sauce, Sriracha, lemon. Not the best Bloody I’ve had, but OK. Considering this had hot mustard and Sriracha  I expected it to be a lot spicier than it was. I didn’t care for the lemon, but I really liked the onion in the garnish stick. This was a refreshing change from the same old celery stick I am used to. The smoky seasoning on the glass rim was my favorite. It paired well with the spice from the mix. The Dottie cocktail is a Bloody Mary with hot mustard, soy sauce, Sriracha, and horseradish. It is slightly spicy and comes with a smoky seasoned rim. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.comHushpuppies: Proscuitto and maple butter. Savory and sweet, which I didn’t care. I am used to hushpuppies being savory and served with cocktail sauce or some sort of vibrant condiment. I can get down with sweet hushpuppies, but I didn’t really understand how the prosciutto played in. Was I supposed to eat it with the hushpuppy and maple butter? Or did it act like a palate cleanser in between bites the way pickled ginger does (Kidding)? Because this was exactly what it looked like. Regardless, these puppies were bland. The outside was crispy, but the inside was dry. The maple butter was good, without being overly rich, but the hushpuppies needed something more as a dipping sauce. The Hushpuppies from Public House in Ferndale, MI are served with thinly sliced Proscuitto and maple butter. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.comSmoked Brisket Hash: Smoked brisket, red skinned potatoes, shishoto peppers, Sriracha aioli, two fried eggs. The brisket was tender, but there wasn’t a whole lot in the hash itself and some pieces were all fat. The red skinned potatoes were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. I really liked the Sriracha aioli. It added a nice spice and richness to the hash. The shishoto peppers were good, but charred and too crispy. I didn’t like that grease collected in the bottom of the plate.

The Smoked Brisket Hash from Public House in Ferndale, MI includes red skinned potatoes, crispy, fried, shishito peppers, tender brisket, all topped with Sriracha aioli, and two fried eggs.Nashville Hot Chicken slider: Dill pickle, buttermilk dill sauce, toasted brioche. I was excited to order this, but was disappointed when it came out. There was little sauce on the slider and absolutely no heat. I asked our server for a side of hot sauce which made the sandwich better. The pickles added a nice crunch and paired well against the fried chicken. The chicken was dark meat (which tends to be juicier than white meat), but still dry.The Nashville Hot Chicken & Smoked Brisket & Egg sliders from Public House in Ferndale, MI are mini versions of the classic favorites. These sliders allow you to try different options without stuffing yourself. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.comSmoked Brisket & Egg sliders: Brownwood mustard, Swiss cheese sauce, cucumber pickle. fried egg on toasted brioche. I really enjoyed the bold mustard with the tangy Swiss cheese sauce. The brisket was a tender, thick slab of meat on a soft, yet toasty brioche bun. The sliders come with sweet potato chips (or so says the menu), but when they came out the chips were missing so I had to ask our server to bring them. I liked that they were thinly cut and crispy, like an actual chip. Lightly finished with salt which added a nice balance to the sweetness of the chip. The sliders were tasty, but I still prefer Green Dot Stable’s. Smoked Brisket & Egg slider from Public House in Ferndale, MI comes with Swiss cheese sauce, brownwood mustard, and cucumber pickles. The yolk of the fried egg adds a richness to the tender, smoky brisket. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.comService was meh and our server lacked in the knowledge department. She didn’t know if the pickles were made in house or if they were sweet versus dill. She wasn’t very attentive to detail, either. For example, I ordered a side of hot sauce for my Nashville Hot Chicken. This would normally prompt most to ask if there was something unsatisfactory about my dish, since this is normally an already spicy sandwich, but nothing.

Public House also doesn’t allow substitutions. I understand not allowing ridiculous substitutions, you have to draw the line somewhere. When it’s substituting sweet potatoes for red skinned potatoes (because sweet potatoes make Emily queasy), I don’t see the big deal. Especially when some brunch hashes come with red skinned and some come with sweet potatoes. What happened to enhancing the diner’s experience?

Public House offers happy hour specials, menu takeovers (tossing out the old menu for seasonal items every couple months),  craft beers, a full bar, and adult shakes (oh yeah). You can also catch movies on the patio with Street Side Cinema which is pretty neat. Kudos for playing No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom album during brunch, which was somewhat nostalgic for me. Visit their Facebook page for the menu and event details (yep, no website).

The Public House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Detroit: Union Street

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Located on Woodward Ave in Detroit’s Midtown, Union Street has been serving guests since the 1970’s. You can find a heavily Southern influenced menu with unique twists on comfort food like Jumbo Lump Crab Au Gratin and Lobster Grilled Cheese. Expect Louisiana favorites as well as the classics like appetizers, sandwiches, and burgers. Aside from a killer menu, Union Street is packing a mean Bloody Mary Bar fully equipped with a plethora of hot sauce, pickles, olives, seasonings, garlic, horseradish, cheese, salami, you name it. What better way to start the new year?! Don’t forget about the star of the show, the spicy honey bacon! Incredible! See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3 out 0f 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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Bloody Mary: With all the fixins. Like a meal in a glass with a spicy kick. The spicy honey bacon was thick, tacky, and sweet with some heat. Delicious!

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BBQ Brisket Egg Rolls: Four smoked beef brisket rolls filled with sharp Cheddar and shredded cabbage. It’s a no brainer that tender brisket goes well with melty Cheddar, but then you throw in a crispy eggroll and cabbage and it changes the whole game. Brilliant! The homemade BBQ sauce was sweet, but had a nice acidity from the vinegar.

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Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich: Pickled Mustard Seed Drizzle, Bread and Butter Pickle, Creamy Slaw on a Soft Potato Roll. The pickled mustard seed was more on the sweet side, but it went well with the crispy fried chicken. I really liked that it was a thin chicken breast, lightly breaded and perfectly golden. The slaw was delicious! It was lightly dressed and not oozy with heavy mayo (ugh, the worst). It was crunchy and added texture. And the pickles, you can’t go wrong with pickles! Highly recommend this sandwich!

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Jambalaya: Chicken breast, andouille sausage, bell peppers, Cajun shrimp & rice. The shrimp was huge, perfectly seasoned with spices, and succulent. I really liked the rich, sauce with huge chunks of juicy chicken breast, andouille sausage, and bell peppers.

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Service was a little slow at first, but our server Ray did a great job at recommending some delicious menu items. The atmosphere is pretty relaxed at Union Street. There are a lot of regulars and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and having a good time. The food is what I like to call grown up comfort food. Think childhood favorites like mac and cheese, but add Lobster.Next time, I am checking out the brunch menu!

Union Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gold Cash Gold

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Located in Detroit’s Corktown, Gold Cash Gold is getting ready to celebrate it’s two year anniversary. Once the home to pawnshop owner, Sam Rubin (grandfather of Les Gold, owner of American Jewelry and Loan), the space now houses the farm to fork restaurant, which is serving up American food with a Southern twist. Gold Cash Gold offers classics such as Fried Chicken and the signature GCG Burger and also unique items such as Chicken Liver Mouse and fries with a pimento cheese sauce and a fried egg. See how they ranked.

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The front door. How cool!

Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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Bloody Mary: Pickle juice bloody Mary mix. Those that read my blog or follow me on Instagram (@thebitetonight) know that I am obsessed with Bloody Mary’s. This one was really good! Fresh, spicy, and the pickle juice was the perfect amount of sour. The rim was seasoned with a killer spice blend. The only thing I could put my finger on was cumin and chili powder, but our server mentioned a few other flavors that he wouldn’t reveal. Kudos to the pickles, olive, and pickled asparagus garnish.

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Biscuits & Gravy: Mushroom gravy, buttermilk biscuits, and poached eggs. That gravy though! I loved the mushroom gravy, it was delicious! Rich and hearty with big chunks of fungus. The gravy was thick and acted as the perfect sauce for the dense biscuit. Once the yolk broke and mixed with the gravy, it added a light yet silkiness that took this dish over the top.

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Chicken Biscuit Sandwich: Pickle brined fried chicken, homemade ranch, spicy slaw, mixed greens. Disappointing. Brining chicken is supposed to add moisture, but this fried chicken was dry even for being dark meat. It also didn’t help that the homemade ranch was missing. I asked for a side of it and it made the sandwiches a little better, but not much. I did like the spicy slaw. It had a subtle kick, nice crunch, and pickled punch.

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My favorite part of Gold Cash Gold (besides the Bloody Mary, of course) was the décor and design. I would describe it as art deco meets antique with a touch of history with the original loan sign. I love the stained glass and the chandelier. Service was good and our food came out quick (there also weren’t many tables @ 1 PM on a Saturday). Our server did a good job of describing the menu and answering our questions. Don’t expect to get lunch here, GCG skips it altogether, only offering brunch (Saturday & Sunday) and dinner service. They also offer dining via the Chef’s Table where guests are sat next to the kitchen with a distinct view into Chef Brandon’s technique and skill.

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After brunch, Jacki and I stopped by Motor City Wine for a drink where I received a full consultation from the bartender on sour beers. It was great. Take note.

Petrus Aged Ale (sour beer): A little bite with a touch of sour. Not as sour as I’m used to, but still really good.

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Gold Cash Gold Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Motor City Wine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Four Friends Kitchen

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The first stop on my Colorado trip was one of my favorites. Located in Stapleton, CO (a Denver neighborhood), Four Friends is doing American comfort food with a Southern spin. Seeking to take their families out to a good brunch, four neighbors or “friends” (hence the name) opened up the place when they soon discovered the local restaurant options were limited. See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites (unique menu and décor)

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Bloody Mary time (It is brunch after all): Supreme Bloody with Tito’s Vodka, pork belly & house made pickle garnish, and an Old Bay seasoning rim. This drink was the right concoction of spicy. Although, I am not crazy about pork belly, I had to order this amped up Bloody. I am a sucker for garnishes and the more obnoxious the better (think a meal in a glass). There’s something rather theatric about a Bloody Mary that comes served with a mini slider or bacon grilled cheese hanging off the side of a glass. The pork belly wasn’t the best and it was a little too fatty for my liking. However, the Old Bay seasoning carried the team, pairing really well with the spicy, salty, brunch cocktail.

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Fried Green Tomatoes: Pan-fried breaded green tomatoes, jalapeno buttermilk aioli and pickled vegetables. Holy Cow! This dish was probably one of the best things I’ve ever ate. The pickled veggies were so good and were the perfect compliment to the crispy, panko breading of the tomatoes. The jalapeno aioli was subtle, but delicious-I just wish there was more of it. This was the first time I have ever had fried green tomatoes and I could not get enough.

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Michelle’s pick (and my second favorite)!

Four Friends Grits: Buttermilk battered Southern fried chicken, two poached eggs, four cheese grits, collard greens and red chili sauce. The fried chicken was juicy on the inside and so incredibly crispy on the outside. The grits were creamy and cheesy with the perfect hint of salt. Tip: Salt Your Grits! The yolk from the egg was silky and dripped all over the other ingredients creating this melody of flavor. The red chili sauce added just enough heat to this dish.

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My Pick:

Smoked Brisket Hash & Eggs: Hickory smoked beef brisket, BBQ house potatoes, grilled onions, green chilies, peppers, blended cheese and red chili ranchero sauce with cornbread and two eggs. I was a little disappointed with the brisket. It was a little tough, but at the same time fatty. The potatoes were delicious, though. They had this smoky, sweet BBQ seasoning with every bite. The cornbread was also a little dry, but A for effort.

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Service was decent and the dining room offered enough eye candy to keep us busy while we waited for our food. Four Friends has a laundry list of savory and sweet options to keep you coming back for more. Keep it simple with Rosalyn’s Breakfast Sandwich or get adventurous with the Smoky Mountain BLT topped with cheddar pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes or the Green Chili Mac & Cheese.

When is the last time you played with an Etch A Sketch??

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The backs of the booths were upholstered in jokes!

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Four Friends Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

The Meddlesome Moth

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My favorite stop on my Texas tour was Meddlesome Moth. Located in Dallas’s Trinity Design District, Meddlesome Moth is an interesting upscale, yet down to earth spot serving some damn good food. The dishes are packed with the finest ingredients, layers of flavor, and a farm to table feel. My brother, Jay raved about how on point their brunch menu was. See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 bites

Price: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4.5 out of 5 bites (amazing food, menu, atmosphere)

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We started with a couple carafes of Blood Orange Mimosa’s: Sweet, yet tart. I really enjoy this compared to the classic Mimosa. They went down too easy! 20160821_104819.jpgMy mom indulged in a Bloody Mary: Nice and spicy, with a lot of flavor!

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For the table:

Morning Buns: Drizzled with Texas Field honey glaze. Seriously? I’m usually not a sweet morning person, but these were delicious without being overly sweet. They were served still warm in a cast iron skillet and I couldn’t get enough.

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My pick:

French Toast Sandwich: Smoked pit ham, Maple Bacon, Tillamook Cheddar, runny egg, battered brioche, and sorghum cream. OMG! Our server said this was his favorite dish on the menu so I had to order it. It did not disappoint. It was a flavor bomb of sweet, salty, Cheesy, and smoky. The yolk from the egg added enough silky richness to balance the French toast. This was a fork and knife kind of sandwich. The fresh fruit was perfectly ripened and sweet.

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My brother’s pick:

Maple Whiskey Donuts: Two freshly baked donuts topped with a homemade Whiskey maple glaze, bacon, fried egg, candied bits of goodness, and a raspberry for good measure all dusted with powdered sugar. This was the special for the day and I can see why. It was on point. It wasn’t overwhelming sweet like I’d thought it would be. The donuts were delicious and light-despite being a well  known heavy dessert. The bacon was crispy, salty, and tasted best when the egg yolk dripped all over it.

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Mom’s pick:

Smoked Chicken Salad Croissant: Smoked chicken breast salad with cranberries and celery, piled onto a flaky, buttery croissant served with a mixed greens lightly tossed with a sherry vinaigrette, croutons, shaved Parmesan, and grapes. The chicken salad was creamy and light with the perfect blend of ingredients. That croissant though! So flaky and delicious. This was not your ordinary chicken salad sandwich. It was amped up and done right. A “gourmet” chicken salad sandwich, if you will.

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Our server was awesome, stayed on top of our drinks and did his best to make sure we had a great experience. He gave us his recommendations and called me “Dear” which I loved. We got lucky and didn’t have to wait for a table at the busy brunch hour. The décor was that of an upscale, modern restaurant with crisp, white linens on every table, yet it had a casual feel. There were three huge stained glass windows showcasing three music legends (Chuck Berry, Elvis, and one of my favorites, Jerry Lee Lewis). Badass, right?! Hall & Oats was playing the whole time we were there which also made me very happy. If you get a chance to stop in, do it! You won’t be disappointed. Meddlesome Moth is just a cool place to be at.

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My brother, Chuck Berry, Elvis, and Jerry Lee.

Thanks for a great vacation, Jason! See you soon.
Meddlesome Moth Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Brewt’s Bloody Mary

If you know me, you know that I love Bloody Mary’s. It’s safe to say that I haven’t met a Bloody Mary I didn’t like. So when I got the opportunity to try out Brewt’s Bloody Mary Mix, I was excited. Emily Griffen and her partner, Luke started the biz in 2015. Emily sent me a 32 oz. bottle of the delicious stuff from Grand Rapids, MI and it was like Christmas when I got the package in the mail. You guys know how I love MI made products, too! Check it.

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I made my mom and I a Bloody Mary (because face it, who likes drinking alone) with Tito’s Vodka.

Brewt’s Bloody Mary Mix : Hand crafted with pickled  jalapenos, fresh grated horseradish, hand squeezed  lemons and limes, and fresh cracked black peppercorn. This mix was different from others I have tasted, it’s 100 % all natural, gluten free, with no added sugar. It was fresh, bold, and had a nice balance of acidity and heat. It was slightly spicy without needing to be doctored up with tabasco or hot sauce (of course, you could if you’d like). My favorite part is that it wasn’t super heavy or filling. You could really taste the quality in Emily’s and Luke’s concoction.

If you want to experience Brewt’s Bloody Mary Mix for yourself, you can purchase it on the website: http://www.brewtsmix.com/

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A big thank you goes out to Emily & Luke! You really have a great product. I look forward to hearing more if you expand your product line. Cheers!

 

Savannah’s

The last time my brother, Jason was in town, we decided to have dinner at Savannah’s. Located on W. Jefferson in Trenton, MI, Savannah’s is a fine dining restaurant with a Southern charm. The building  is gorgeous-an old Victorian style house with a beautiful big porch that just invites you in. Savannah’s offers seafood, pasta, steaks and chops, a full bar, dinner specials, and more. Next time, I am definitely trying the Gator Bites and Prime Rib (offered on the weekend, while supplies last). See how they ranked!

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Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 5 out of 5 bites (1st perfect score)!

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

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My mom started off with a Bloody Mary: Perfect balance of tomato and spice with a hint of sweet. I love that it was served with huge olives,  a pickle spear, and a delicious flavored salt rim.

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Chicken Pot Pie Soup: Golden chicken stock, root vegetable, topped with puff pastry. The puff pastry topping was flaky and buttery. The soup was creamy, rich, and warmed your whole body. It was delicious!

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French Onion Soup: Rich beef stock, caramelized onion, fresh herbs, topped with provolone cheese. One of the best French onion soup’s I’ve had. The broth was rich with a nice onion flavor without being too salty. The croutons still had some texture and weren’t super soggy. A nice slice of provolone cheese topped off this decadent soup.

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Bourbon Beef Tips: Seared beef tenderloin, mushrooms, bourbon glaze, parmesan crostini. The beef was tender and moist. The crostini was slightly toasted and topped with nutty Parmesan cheese. The bourbon glaze was sweet with a rich, thick, smooth finish. I definitely recommend this appetizer!

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Spinach Dip: Whipped cheese, fresh spinach, artichokes, garlic, grilled pita. The spinach dip was definitely homemade with a whipped, thick texture. I really liked the huge pieces of artichoke and garlic. The grilled pita was dusted with parmesan cheese and acted as a substantial tool for dipping.

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My Pick

Whiskey Cherry Chicken: Sautéed chicken medallions, tart dried cherries, Kentucky whiskey, garlic cream. Yum! The combo of the tart and sweet from the cherry and smokiness from the whiskey went well together. The garlic cream sauce was light and added a nice creaminess to the dish. The side was a potato gratin which was delicious! It was slightly salty with a velvety sauce that made these potatoes unbelievably moist and creamy.

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Mom’s Pick

Chicken Savannah: Chicken breast medallions, spiced bread crumbs, fried golden, southern style bacon, onion cream reduction. Just when I thought my dish was the best, this one took the cake. The breaded chicken breast was moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. The onion cream reduction was delicious. The bacon added a little something extra to take this dish over the top.

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Jason’s Pick

Cajun Citrus Salmon: Fresh Atlantic salmon, Cajun brown sugar rub, tangy citrus reduction. The salmon was cooked perfectly with a nice sweet and spicy flavor. The citrus reduction added a nice touch to balance out the sweet and spicy. Really fresh! The baked sweet potato was super soft that they could be mistaken for mashed potatoes. Delicious!

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Not only was the food spectacular, but the service was amazing. Our server took the time to explain all the specials and didn’t seem rushed. It’s hard to find good service these days. I’ve had good service, but I mean good service where the server actually appears to be enjoying waiting on you. It didn’t seemed forced and the server seemed natural. Our server even gave us two desserts when we only ordered one and an appetizer “punch card” good for one free appetizer in just two more visits. The dining room was super cute with a fireplace and ornate and elaborate accents and decorations. The prices were a little higher than average ($20 per dish) but we didn’t mind paying considering the pleasant experience and portion size. I fell in love with Savannah’s and it is my new “go to” spot. If you haven’t had the pleasure of dining at Savannah’s, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible.

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Savannah's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato