Day two in Savannah Georgia opened with breakfast at the Foley House and then a tour of Bonaventure Cemetery. As lunch time approached I paged through a list of restaurants I had selected and attempted to steer ourselves towards one before my plans were laid to ruins. Becky asserted her authority and insisted we go to the Pirates’ House Restaurant. The Pirates’ House, seriously? That cheesy tourist trap that more than likely dished up schlock to unwitting Yankee tourist? I was less than thrilled.
We pulled into the parking lot and passed a bus load of white headed octogenarians leaving from what appeared to be a 10:30 a.m. lunch date. Several were carrying pirates paraphernalia. We walked around to the side of the building. It was covered in weathered wood and had the skull and cross bones waving in the light wind. Light blue painted shutters covered several windows. It had a old time New England feel and I was interested to see what the inside of this landmark had to offer.
Entering the Pirates’ House we were greeted by loads of dark wood and a friendly smiling hostess who took us to a small dining room. From what I could gather the Pirates’ House is cut up into a variety of small dining areas, some of which date to when the house was originally erected. I have no idea if the one we sat in dated to this period, but the dim lighting, rustic furniture, and rum bottles surrounding the room gave it a certain charm.
Sitting down we were immediately attended to by a waitress who took our drink order and brought us two menus. Looking over the menu, the Pirates’ House proudly boast that since 1756 is has:
“… been welcoming visitors to Savannah with a bounty of delicious food and drink and rousing good times. Situated a scant block from the Savannah River, The Pirate’s House first opened as an inn for seafarers, and fast became a rendezvous for blood-thirsty pirates and sailors from the Seven Seas. Here seamen drank their grog and discoursed, sailor fashion, on their exotic high seas adventures from Singapore to Bombay and from London to Port Said.”
Aside from peddling its pirate history the restaurant offers up fairly standard American cuisine for lunch including a buffet. Our enthusiastic waitress directed us towards an experimental menu the restaurant was trying. Instead of burgers, fried chicken and other pedestrian choices this menu included more interesting fare. I decided to order from this list of choices and requested the stuffed portabella mushroom caps and crab bisque.
The portabella mushroom cap was served on a simple white plate with some lettuce and a few pieces of grated cheese. The cap itself was stuffed with chorizo and vegetables. It was a nice balance of heat and savoriness. Becky and I split it and both were happy we gave it a whirl. As for the crab bisque, I was setting the Pirates’ House up for failure as I usually cannot stand creamy soups. In the interest of full disclosure, it was delicious. It was creamy with a good crab flavor and I cleaned my bowl.
Rather than lunch being an unmitigated tourist trap disaster it turned out to be pretty good. Sure the Pirates’ House serves up a drink called the Skullsplitter in a skull mug, and sure it has a gift shop full of ridiculous pirate themed merchandise. But you know what? Sometimes its okay to be a tourist and have a little fun. The Pirates house dished that up in a heaping serving, and I would go back, especially with our kids.
The Pirates’ House is located at 20 East Broad Street in Savannah, Georgia. The restaurant is open for lunch seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.. They are open for dinner Sunday – Thursday from 4:00 p.m – 9:30 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. The Pirates’ House is online at thepirateshouse.com, on Facebook, and can be contacted by telephone at (912) 233-5757.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating:
The cheese factor of pirates and their paraphernalia aside, the Pirate’s House really has been there for longer than I can remember, so something is working. As a local, it’s really never been my first choice, or even my tenth choice, but out-of-town guests want to go there, like they want to go to Paula Dean’s Lady and Sons, so you say, graciously, sure, let’s go. The buffet is decent as far as those things go, with your standard well-prepared and delicious fried chicken, meats, and vegetables. Their traditional she-crab soup is very good. Sounds like I’ll have to think about giving the new experimental menu a look over.
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