It goes without saying that The Lady and Sons is one of Paula Deen’s favorite places here. It’s the restaurant that propelled her to her first cookbook and to Food Network stardom. It’s also the place where the careers of her sons, Jamie and Bobby, were launched.
The Deens don’t work out of the restaurant any more — well-trained managers and staff take care of that — but you’ll find their food sensibility and Southern hospitality throughout the three-floor facility (http://ladyandsons.com) that serves 8,000 people a week in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District.
You can order off the menu or hit the buffet and try a little bit of everything. A server wanders the restaurant to deliver hoe cakes and cheddar biscuits that are worth the carbs. For a break from the usual comfort food, try the asparagus sandwich ($9.99). If you’d rather take a lesson from the healthier side, try the Salmon en Papillote ($19.99) under the “Not My Mama’s Meals” heading. People with other dietary issues will be happy with the gluten-free flourless chocolate torte or sugar-free cheesecake ($5.99 each).
But her own restaurant isn’t the only thing in Savannah promoted by the queen of the Food Network. Deen is the first to tell you that she loves her adopted hometown, and shopkeepers all over town will rave over their good-hearted favorite customer.
In fact, Visit Savannah officials say they’re not sure how many of the city’s 12 million visitors in the past year came just to be in the city where Deen lives and works, but she’s definitely a popular draw.
“No matter what time of year or day of the week, there’s a line out the door of her restaurant, The Lady and Sons,” said Calli Arnold, public relations assistant at Visit Savannah. “They had a book signing there, and people were lined up around the block.”
Three separate tour groups offer Paula Deen tours that will take visitors to her restaurant and the one she operates with her brother on Tybee Island as well as some other Deen-related stops.
We decided to forget the tour guides and Internet bragging. We went straight to Deen herself for her 10 favorite places in the city where she lives, works and shops. The next time you’re in need of a laid-back East Coast get-away, try this beautiful coastal Georgia city and do it Paula style.Globe Shoe Co.
Find it: 17 E. Broughton St., Savannah; 912-232-8161
Find it: 36 W. Broughton St., Savannah; 912-232-1500; www.theparismarket.com.Toucan Cafe.
Find it: 531 Stephenson Ave., Savannah; 912-352-2233.One Fish Two Fish.
Find it: 401 Whitaker St., Savannah; 912-447-4600; www.onefishstore.com.Habersham Antiques and Collectibles Market.
Find it: 2502 Habersham St., Savannah; 912-238-5908; habershamantiquesmarket.com.Green Truck Pub.
Find it: 2430 Habersham St., Savannah; 912-234-5885; www.greentruckpub.com; closed Sundays and Mondays.Seventh Heaven Antiques.
Find it: 3104 Skidaway Rd., Savannah; 912-355-0835; www.antiquesinsavannah.com.Ele Restaurant.
Find it: 7815 U.S. Highway 80 E., Savannah; 912-898-2221; www.elesavannah.com.Sundae Cafe.
Find it: 304 First St., Tybee Island; 912-786-7694; www.sundaecafe.com.Davis Produce.
Find it: 7755 U.S. Highway 80 E., Savannah; 912-897-0802; www.facebook.com/Davis-Produce.