Wandering through beautiful Savannah Becky and I worked up a thirst. It was early afternoon, and we decided to pay a visit to the Crystal Beer Parlor. As we passed through Chatham Square and up a side street she asked if I had any idea where we were headed. I confidently pointed to a weather brick building and pointed. The look she gave me as we walked through the parking lot said “this better be good or else,” and I prayed the Crystal Beer Parlor would not be a bust.
Walking down a small corridor we approached the hostess who told us to sit wherever we liked. It was early afternoon and there was a decent crowd inside sipping drinks, chatting and eating a late lunch. We took a seat on two matching bar chairs at the bar that runs the length of the left side of the restaurant. A bartender cheerfully greeted us and we placed our drink order, Becky went with a coke while I ordered a Son of Peach by RJ Rockers Brewing Co. The beer had a good peach flavor without being overly sweet.
The Crystal Beer Parlor opened during the Great Depression in 1933, and bills itself as Savannah’s second oldest restaurant. Local history is plastered on the walls in various old paper clippings and boxing cards. Tongue and groove ceilings, dark wood, frosted glass and lazily spinning ceiling feels ooze an old time feel and make you want to spend a few hours relaxing and drinking beers your grandfather used to sip. This atmosphere made me fall in love with the Crystal Beer Parlor.
The menu is classic American with a few twists. The place started as a burger spot, and there were a variety to choose from along with salads, house specials, and various appetizers. With dinner mere hours away, and not wanting to spoil our appetites, we ordered the Gawgia Cracka Nachos. The bartender said they were great, and consisted of barbecued smoked pulled pork piled on tortilla chips and topped with cheddar cheese, diced onions, jalapenos and chopped dill pickles.
The nachos arrived on a simple white plate and were stacked high with pulled pork and all of the fixings. The pork was tender with a nice smoked flavor. It had been lightly slathered in a sweet barbeque sauce and worked well with the heat from the jalapenos. The dill pickles added a bit of lip puckering sourness and coolness opposite of the spicy peppers. It was a combination I would not have thought to put together, but was delicious.
As our appetizer slowly disappeared I had sipped on two beers that just felt right to have in a place with so much history, a Genesee Cream Ale and a Ballentine XXX Ale. I liked the Genesee better than the Ballentine and was sad to leave as Becky slowly prodded me towards the front door and back to our hotel. This is one place I will revisit the next time I am in my favorite city in the South.
The Crystal Beer Parlor is located at 301 W. Jones Street in downtown Savannah. They are open Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. The restaurant is online at crystalbeerparlor.com, on Facebook and can be contacted by telephone at (912) 349-1000.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating:
will most definitely patronize this place in November before the 1/2 Marathon! Thanks for the info!
Thanks for your kind words about my lovely home town. Crystal Beer Parlor is a real go-to place for me and my wife. It’s an especially great place to meet up with old Savannah folks who live out of town and want to try an old favorite once again. The BBQ sammich is good, my wife reports, but I can never seem to get past the Crystal burgers, Reuben sammich, or shrimp salad sammich on toasted whole wheat. Their fries are good and their homemade potato chips are as well. Ocilla slaw is an interesting, lighter, and flavorful take on your standard mayonnaise-based cole slaw. A side order of the onion rings is a must add-on to any order. Another app we enjoy is the hot crab dip (hot = heat, not spicy). Finally, if there’s a better dessert than the Crystal’s peach cobler with vanilla ice cream, please let me know. Hope this helps on your next trip to Savannah, ST&B.
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