I am almost ashamed to say that in the four years I’ve been back in Savannah and the four years I lived here the first time around, I had never set foot on Byrd Cookie Company property.
Have you ever noticed their tins (like a good Claxton Fruitcake) always seem to pop up organically around the holidays? Why go to them when they always seem to find their way to me?
I can be accused of having a sweet tooth, but I’m more of an ice cream guy rather than cookies. Just never found myself with a reason to go.
Now, not only do I have one, but you’ve got plenty as well. Byrd opened the doors on their brand new “Cookie Shop” last week with a sip of champagne and a few memorable bites to eat. Safe to say — I’m in love.
Waters Avenue treasure
To be fair, I had been told I needed to try the new lunch menu at Byrd’s Cookie Bar for a few months now.
Everyone I’d heard from said it was delicious — not only the food, but the milkshakes. All of it I was told was top shelf. Not the kind of food, frankly, we expect from a new Savannah eatery.
How many ways can we do a chicken sandwich or shrimp and grits?
Not often does someone step out of the box with a menu outside of the historic district. But Byrd has certainly done that.
“The menu reflects a well-edited selection of soups, salads, sandwiches and grilled bistro-style items that our customers are coming back for time and time again,” says Stephanie Lindley, CEO at Byrd Cookie Company. “And the décor blends that same contemporary, modern aesthetic with the cozy feeling and history of our 88-year-old company.”
I think that is the perfect way to describe it. Trendy, modern, but comfortable. Frankly, it reminded me (on a much much smaller scale, of course) of a place I enjoy visiting and walking through in New York City called Eataly — celebrity chef Mario Batali’s homage to everything Italian.
Byrd’s Cookie Shop has wine by the bottle, gifts you won’t find anywhere else and, of course, the cookies.
Oh, those cookies.
All of them on display to be sampled.
Come to think of it, it’s a good thing I hadn’t been out there before because now I am always going to look for a reason.
But can they cook?
The food we had at the grand opening? OUTSTANDING.
Cheese Beniegts perfectly fried and fluffy, as well as porschetta sandwiches on homemade focaccia with an herbed aioli. I am ashamed to say I ate too many.
A lot of places will tell you “we bake our own bread, we make everything fresh” and then it winds up tasting like everything else. Not this place.
“Our intention wasn’t to be exclusive or exclusively geared towards foodies,” Stephanie says. “It was more about offering something relevant to the way our friends and customers are eating these days — great food that is made fresh and sourced regionally matters.
“The reaction to what we’ve created reassures us daily that we’ve hit a home run.”
That they have. Their most popular dishes being their “Thai Chicken Salad,” their “Black Angus Burger” (which I am told are made in part with short ribs) and their “Grown up Grilled Cheese” — I haven’t tried any of these, but I will be honest … I cannot wait to.
They are open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for lunch, 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner. Grab a bite and allow yourself some time to walk through the new cookie shop. It won’t take you very long, but you’ll like to spend a little more time there.
Till next time … see you on TV.
• Don’t forget our “Eat It and Like It” Labor Day Marathon coming this Sunday and Monday on SGTV. City of Savannah’s Government TV Channel, Comcast channel 8. It’s 20 hours of “Eat It and Like It,” including some old favorites like “Burgers and Chocolate” and some new ones including “Wings,” “BBQ,” “Man Caves” and our “Ten Best Bites for under $10.” Set that DVR now.
• I’m told tickets are going very quickly for any food-related fun tied to the Savannah Craft Brew Fest. Don’t wait until the day of, you may be left out.
• Football season is here. I have to recommend World of Beer on Broughton Street for your TV watching on weekends. They don’t do food, but they do let you bring your own. You can even call Vinnie’s and have them deliver you a pie. Sounds like the best of both worlds to me. Wall-to-wall-to-wall TVs and beer? And Vinnie’s delivers? Touchdown.