OK, raise your hand if you have your eye on resolutions for the new year.
Of course, we do. I made two last year and failed miserably. What were they? I'll tell you later. For now, I wanted to make sure I got my list out to you of things you need to make a point of eating and liking in 2015.
Yeah, I get around all year long, trying this dish, tasting that dish.
Some I like, others I wouldn't give to my worst enemy.
Yes, believe it or not, I do eat a good many things that are horrible. It's not all champagne wishes and caviar dreams around here. Sometimes eating for a living is hard work.
But hey, don't feel sorry for me; it's so much fun, it should be considered illegal.
With that as a backdrop, I am going to share with you my 12 wishes for 12 dishes that you should make a point of getting to in 2015. One per month is a good pace - nothing overindulgent here. Just save this column as a guide to my top 12 things to eat and like in our area. Not a ranking at all. Just a guide.
As proof, I will offer something healthy to start out with.
Mexican Chicken Salad at Kayak KafÃ©. This salad is fantastic. Chicken, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, black beans, avocado and a lime cilantro dressing. It's incredibly light and wonderfully flavorful. Truth be told, I wish the chicken were served warm with it, but that's just being nitpicky. It's a fabulous salad and a must try. A quick honorable mention goes to the Kitchen Sink Salad at Starland CafÃ©.
Pork Wontons at Fire Wok Chinese Restaurant. Fire Wok is Savannah's newest Chinese restaurant. It's owned by the same folks that operate Asian River on Waters Avenue. There are a ton of good dishes at Fire Wok. Make that, there are a ton of excellent dishes at Fire Wok and it's on its way to being named Savannah's best Chinese food. But only time and consistency will determine that. They've only been open a short time. For now? Eat it and like it.
Triple Decker Turkey Club at Crystal Beer Parlor. This is Savannah's best club sandwich by a country mile. Toasted rye bread and cheddar cheese is the way I go, but they can do any kind of cheese you'd like. Fresh turkey, thick cut bacon. It's a winner all the way around. Honorable mention would be the Ultimate Chicken Sub at Betty Bombers, once they re-open soon.
Better than Sex BBQ Sauce at Wiley's Championship BBQ. Is it? Um, no. But it is probably my favorite sauce in town. Love it. Chances are you've had it already. If you haven't, you should.
Espresso Martini at Public Kitchen and Bar. Truthfully, my wife is the connoisseur here. I don't order them, but I've tasted them from one end of town to the other. OK, I have been known to order them at Public. The only place I have done so. Not that I don't like others around town, but this one is very, very good.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Parfait at The Grey. Yes, The Grey has been open only a few weeks and yes, I have tried a number of different dishes there. This one was a show-stopper. Lightly whipped cream, chocolate and housemade spicy peanuts. So, so good.
Piggy Burrito at Tequila's Town. Truthfully, there are a number of great dishes at Savannah's best Mexican restaurant. I happen to think the tableside guacamole that gets all the press is overrated. Not bad, mind you. Just not slap yo' mama good like so many people claim. Now, the Piggy Burrito? Tell mama to sit more than arm's length away.
Pasta Bolognese at Ombra Cucina Rustica, Hilton Head Island. Look at it this way: You've got a year to enjoy a little road trip over the bridge. A fantastic Italian restaurant in the Shoppes at Wexford is well worth the drive. If chef happens to be making Black Truffle Ravioli? You need to try that, as well.
Burger at Collins Quarter. Owner Anthony Debreceny worked on what went into these burger patties until well after they opened. They were better one month in. Brisket is the primary player here. What else? Not sure, but it's phenomenal.
Australian Iced Coffee at Collins Quarter. The only spot in town with two items on this list, but it is oh so worth it. Vanilla ice cream, two shots of espresso and milk. If you saw my reaction when I tried it on TV during our show, then you know. Try one of these and the burger. Then go straight to the gym.
La Carne Pizza at The Florence. Really, all of executive chef Kyle Jacovino's pizzas are fantastic. La Carne? Meat lovers, just don't look for sausage, pepperoni and meatballs. While you are there, try a Cortado over in the coffee shop. I'm addicted.
Pulled Pork Sandwich at Bluffton BBQ. Yes, another road trip. If you look at this kind of stuff that way. Bluffton BBQ is in Old Town Bluffton. Just as easy to get to from downtown Savannah as Tybee Island. Their pulled pork sandwich is served on Texas toast with a cold slice of tomato. Winner, winner pulled pork dinner! Or lunch.
That's a mouthful, sure. But you've got a year to get to them all. Some here, some there, some sweet, some savory. None too expensive.
Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, and my 2015 resolutions? I am hoping to own my own tuxedo and dunk a basketball. Not at the same time, of course.
Happy and safe new year to you!