It would be easy for someone who doesn't live in the Savannah area to assume that the spring is our busiest time of the year in the city. After all, St. Patrick's Day festivities get all of the headlines, the flowers are in bloom and the city comes alive after a couple of months of pseudo-slumber. You and I both know better than that, though, don't we? Fall is where it's at around here.
There are plenty of goings-on that have nothing to do with food, the largest of which is the SCAD Savannah Film Festival, of course, but in this little corner of our world, we eat it and like it, right? The annual Savannah Greek Festival is this weekend, Shalom Y'all is coming up at the end of the month in Monterey Square and then of course, our city's main event in November, the Savannah Food & Wine Festival.
Raise your hand if your social calendar resembles 10 pounds of sausage in a 5-pound bag. So much fun, isn't it?
When it comes to properly participating in the Savannah Food & Wine Festival, there really isn't a right answer. By now, in year six, those of us who have attended one event or another have a pretty good feel for what we like and don't like.
Everyone is liking something, though, because every single event sold out last year. It will very likely happen again this year as well. Consider this week's column your "cheat sheet" to what you might want to attend the week of Nov. 5-11. Keep in mind that every event is unique in its own way and ticket prices will be going up for the last time in a couple of weeks. Find the full list at savannahfoodandwinefest.com.
If you are still having trouble deciding where you want to ruin your diet, allow me to suggest a few spots that are of particularly good value.
Secret Savannah Speakeasy (Thursday, Nov. 8): Yes, it's easy to start with this event, because it is the best party of the week. How so? Start with a beautiful scene tucked away deep inside of the Georgia State Railroad Museum at night and then add live music, cocktails and a fabulous selection of local restaurants, with a majority of guests in period attire. This year the list includes La Scala, Husk and many, many more. It's truly one of the great evenings of the festival.
Q Masters event (Friday, Nov. 9): Year three for the festival's barbecue party. They lined up early and got to grubbin' in a hurry last year. And with very good reason. Some of the best barbecue in the south was on display at this event. Every single bite was some of the best 'cue you will ever have. Add in live music and a selection of cold beers and you've got an excellent value on a Friday night.
East + West BBQ (Sunday, Nov. 11): The Alida Hotel is a brand-new, and quite beautiful, hotel on the west end of River Street at MLK Jr. Boulevard. It's a perfect way to see this new property and enjoy an afternoon "whole hog" showcase on the pool deck. Two pit masters, two different styles of whole hog. A steal at $59 (early bird price).
The week fills in with some fantastic classes at various spots around town, including a Big Green Egg demo on the roof of the all-new Perry Lane Hotel on Friday afternoon.
Of course, Taste of Savannah really needs no true curtain call. It's the biggest event of the week at the railroad museum. Thousands of people from all over the South will converge on our city for that one. Quick word of advice, I was told on Friday night of festival week last year that Taste was sold out. Don't wait. And don't say we didn't warn you.
Truth be told, that advice should extend to the entire week. If you live here, you have the inside track on choosing what you want to attend. First dibs on all of that eating and liking.
See you on TV,