Every once in a blue moon - say, three times a year - I'll be approached by a foodie, tried and true.
They talk to me about the TV show (7:30 a.m. on WSAV, thanks.) They talk to me about this column.They talk to me about the lack of true ethnic food in the area. They talk to me about their favorites. Then the quizzing starts: Well, where do you go for barbecue? Where do you go for shrimp? Where do you go for brunch? And on and on and on it goes.
Certainly, I am always glad to answer. Fact is, I rarely have just one answer. Like anyone else, my favorites depend on what I am in the mood for. Wanting a pretty view may take me somewhere different than wanting great potato salad. Make sense? Good.
Well, about a year ago, we decided to play with some lists at Eat It and Like It.
Where do people really like to go for the best food in Savannah? Is there a difference between the best in town and where locals really like to go? Are there places that deserve some recognition for doing something spectacularly well but can't get on anyone's radar? Maybe, maybe not.
With all of that as a backdrop, we set out to eat and like our way around Savannah, keeping tabs for the better part of a year on not only who is best in a variety of categories, but who is most consistent and who deserves some love for doing things the right way.
The results will be revealed the morning of May 8 in this section of the Savannah Morning News. The winners are going to be invited to a fantastic celebration at The Mansion on Forsyth Park.
It's the 2014 Eat It and Like It Foodie Awards, brought to you by Urgent Care 24/7, and it's going to be a great evening!
This will not be an awards show where everyone sits around waiting on their category, then comes on stage to grab an award.
No, this is more "after party."
We are rolling out the red carpet (literally) to recognize Savannah's best of the best. The best part for the winners? They don't have to provide any food.
We are throwing this party for them, and the entire community is invited to The Mansion to celebrate with us. Have a drink or two, try some great food and be a part of our "2014 Best of" episode of "Eat It and Like It" that will air later in May.
So, who gets to decide who is Savannah's best? You read this column in the paper every week and we spend some time together Sunday mornings on television. Mine is the primary voice you know. You should also know that I don't do any of this alone.
We have my business partner, Senea Crystal; we have our members of the Eat Squad; our writers; Heather Henley, editor of DO Savannah; and a sponsor. A group of us that spend a lot of time eating out around town. Each of us is getting a vote.
Then there is your input. Beginning now through the end of the month, we are asking you to nominate a restaurant and a dish you think merits a spot among Savannah's best.
It could be the apple pie you enjoy every weekend, or your favorite place to burn a Sunday afternoon. We also are awarding the "Best Fried Chicken you don't have to wait in line for."
Have a suggestion? We want to hear it. Nominations can be made on my website, www.eatitandlikeit.com, www.savannahnow.com or www.dosavannah.com. Either way, they will all go to the same place and will be considered before final votes are tallied later this month.
Once you are done with all of that, I want to invite you to join us for a great time at The Mansion on May 8. Tickets are also on sale at www.eatitandlikeit.com. $30 gets you some drinks, fabulous food and an opportunity to congratulate the best culinary talent in town. Not to mention we'll be shooting my show that night and we are looking for people to be a part of that, as well.
You can't beat that with a stick.
Need a little more convincing?
The 2014 Savannah Food and Wine Festival will also be unveiling its poster for next year's event, and you'll also have your first chance to purchase tickets to Taste of Savannah 2014 at a discounted price. No, you don't want to miss this party.
We want to hear from you! Nominate as many places as you'd like online, then join us at 7 p.m. May 8. It's a party for Savannah's best. It's our way of saying thank you, and we'd love to see you there.
For more information, rules and to buy your tickets, go to my website, www.eatitandlikeit.com. Don't delay. There are a limited number of tickets available, and believe me, it will sell out.
Once you make it there, we can gladly talk about the list. I'll read it to you if you like.
See you on TV, Jesse