Road Food

No, I said Road Food, not Road Kill!

So, if you’ve read any of our travel blogs before, you know that our eating MO is to seek out interesting local places, rather than go with national chains or fast food places.  Our two exceptions are Cracker Barrel and Arbys, which are our two travel dining guilty pleasures.  So, let me give you an idea of our last two meals on the road!

Last night was our second and last night in Savannah, and like we often do in bigger areas, we turned to Open Table for help choosing a place to eat.  After going through the listings, and checking out menus, I presented Susie with 4 places I thought sounded like we’d enjoy.  We both picked the same restaurant as our #1 choice, and so we went ahead and made a reservation at Tondee’s Tavern over by the river.

Now, how to get there?  We could have taken the car out of the garage, but then there would be the hassle of finding the place and parking and being concerned about drinking, so for the second night in a row, we used Lyft to get us from our hotel to the restaurant.  We could have used Uber too, but for some reason I have a Lyft deal for the next couple of weeks, where rides are 50% off if the original fare is under $10, so Lyft it was.  Miss Shirley picked us up at the hotel, and took us to dinner.  Along the way we had some delightful conversation about both of our daughters getting married, and before we knew it, we were there.  The fare was $6.10 minus 50% so $3.05 and I added a $3 tip.

img_1267

It was a casual place, just the kind we were looking for, with a great menu.  We each had a beer (Susie Blue Moon, me a Miller Light) and ordered a couple of great dishes.  Susie had fall off the bone ribs and I had a pan grilled flounder stuffed with crab.  You’ll notice, no starch on either of our plates, and they had some great choices!  We continue to be semi-good.

We Lyfted (is that a word) with Timothy back to the Courtyard Hotel (same fare deal) and had a lovely night’s sleep!

This morning we got up after 8:00 and had a leisurely morning, then both showered, and were downstairs waiting at the valet for the car a little before 11 AM.  Our first destination of the day was just an hour away, Darien, Georgia.  We’ve stopped in Darien for at least the last 3 years for one reason and one reason only, a visit to B&J’s Steak and Seafood for a plate of their delectable fried shrimp!!!

Two firsts this year at B&J’s.  #1..this would be our first lunch visit, because we usually stay in Darien and have dinner at B&J’s.  #2…in 5 visits to B&J’s, this is the first time we got to park the car in front of the restaurant and not in some far corner of their lot out back!

As is usual for us, we both started out with a visit to the salad bar, and then each got a shrimp basket.  B&J’s Shrimp Baskets contain 1/2 a pound of the freshest, most delicious fried shrimp we have ever in our lives eaten.  Makes it kind of hard to order fried shrimp anywhere else! Again, we passed on fries, and had cole slaw instead! 

As usual, they were out of this world, and again as usual, we will also be stopping in 5 weeks or so, on our way back north, for another helping!  Tipped by a former work colleague years ago (thanks Abe), we have stopped every year since, and I’ve also got my Cousins Jeanne and Walt stopping there too.  If you head south or north on I-95, I suggest you make it a stop!

So tonight we are in Gainesville, Florida and tomorrow we will check into our condo on the beach for the next 3 weeks.  We only hope it’s as nice as the pictures and descriptions made it out to be.  Stay tuned!

Darien, Georgia = Shrimp!

78C46EAC-F927-4B7C-8782-C952E3DE43ABWelcome to Darien, Georgia! We traveled through North Carolina, South Carolina, into Georgia today. The day started cloudy and then the rains came, and that was with us for the first half of our journey. By the time we finished today’s 425 miles, and pulled into tonight’s Quality Inn, we’d made a stop at Georgia Peach World to buy some Peach products, the sun was shining and the temperature was in the high 70s! As I said yesterday, we’ll follow the sun. While Darien is like so many other towns along I-95, this is not our first visit here. Let me tell you about the first time we stopped in Darien.

Shortly after I retired from WABC at the end of January, 2016, we came up with the idea to head down and see a couple of the Met’s SpringTraining games in Florida. We figured it would be a good way to get away from the cold for a couple of weeks, and along the way, I could use my Disney Retiree Benefits (there will definitely be more about those in future posts). So without any particular plan, we left Long Island, and ended up stopping after dark, somewhere in Virginia. When we woke with snow blowing under the door, into the room the next morning, we decided that we’d stop earlier the next day.

A Comfort Inn in Darien, Georgia, stopping long before dark, was our destination for day two of our journey. As we usually did, we made a couple of drinks, and sat down to try and figure out where to have dinner. We’d passed a Ruby Tuesday as we got off I-95, plus there were a lot of fast food choices between the highway and our hotel, so it looked like we had lots to pick from.

We were in the middle of our research, when I got a Facebook message with a recommendation for us. I’d worked with WABC Account Executive Abe Goren for years, till he retired a couple of years before I did. We’d had hours of conversations over the years, and how could I not love a friend who in my 60s, still called me “kid”. Abe said he’d seen on Facebook that we were in Darien, and if we wanted a great fried shrimp dinner, we needed to go to B & J’s Steaks and Seafood. We found it on the map, and took Abe’s advice.

25190297-A53A-4DB5-8C08-0DCF9B42117C

We followed the directions and found ourselves in an industrial area, where everything was closed for the day. Then, up ahead, we saw a low building surrounded by cars. Yep, this was the place. It was small, the parking lot was crowded, and we had a substantial wait for a table. Turned out, it was well worth it. We had the most incredible fried shrimp dinner we have ever had. Fresh, perfectly cooked, incredible portions, at a great price! It was a real down home place, and one we promised ourselves we’d be back at again!

So, last year, when we again headed to Florida, guess where we spent night two? Yep, in Darien, Georgia, so we could once again eat at B&J’s Steak and Seafood, and have the most memorable plate full of shrimp!! I thanked Abe once again for the recommendation, and he told me that their fried chicken was as good as their shrimp. So guess what…day two of this year’s trip to Florida, and we’re once again staying in Darien! We decided to go early tonight as it’s a Saturday. There were people all over the place, we put our name in at 4:45 and they called us at 6:26. They were busy!

The parking lot was full, as were the benches!

Was it worth it? Oh yea! Take a look, and see what you think!

8D51F0B3-E97A-4D49-8ADA-F65B4F7DCE1D

Oh, and by the way…guess where we’re stopping in early March on the way back north. Perhaps we’ll be able to order the fried chicken this time!

Thanks again, Abe!!!