The 5 Spot
4430 Habersham St.
Savannah, GA 31405
– Neighborhood kitchen & bar
– Inexpensive (Entrees $5-$16)
– 3.5 out of 4 Bills
– Highly Recommended
The 5 Spot held its grand opening last Thursday and is already a great addition to Habersham Village. It occupies the space that Clary’s Café vacated. The 5 Spot is restaurant number five for the Gaslight Group adding to its existing establishments – Abe’s on Lincoln, B. Matthew’s Eatery, Blowin’ Smoke BBQ and Blue Turtle Bistro.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in this family-friendly, neighborhood establishment. It’s comfortable and the kind of place that satisfies whether you are taking your kids for lunch, having dinner with friends or going for drinks at the bar during a game. The space has undergone a huge transformation and now feels warm, industrial-chic and welcoming. The 5 Spot’s selection of breakfast options, snacks/appetizers, sandwiches, salads and “plates” is varied, reasonably priced ($5-$16) and will satisfy just about everyone. The 5 Spot has 29 beers on draft and in bottles and a well-composed selection of 27 reasonable-priced wines.
The 5 Spot’s grand opening was January 10th, but we first dined there three days after the soft opening in early December. Upon arrival, we were met and immediately seated by the hostess. Five minutes later there was a twenty-five minute wait to be seated. The word was already out in Savannah and anticipation was high. It was evident that the front of house had its act together, as our order was quickly taken and we were served our Domaine Houchard Rose ($30). The manager, hostess and servers performed as if the place had been opened for months. However, the kitchen did not have its act together at this point. I ordered the Pan-Fried Crab Cakes ($16) accompanied with steamed vegetables and roasted Bay potatoes with caper remoulade, and my dining partner, Kathy, ordered the Grilled Pork Chop ($14) over mac ‘n cheese with stewed tomatoes and okra. The food was just not good. I’ll spare you the details and give the kitchen a mulligan given this was day three.
What happened next is the real story of our first experience at 5 Spot and illustrates how a restaurant should be run. I mentioned to our server the reasons why we were unsatisfied with both dishes. She immediately offered to replace the dishes and apologized. Within a minute the manager came to our table, introduced himself and asked what he could do to satisfy us. He also mentioned that the restaurant had just opened and asked us to come back to give it a second chance. The manager and server bent over backwards to satisfy. They comped our dishes, gave us dessert and apologized again before we left, while asking us to return again. I have never been treated better in any restaurant when unsatisfied with a dish. As a result, I have returned to The 5 Spot repeatedly to enjoy great food and service.
Multiple return visits revealed the kitchen has its act together and is producing really good food. The first trip back was for lunch on a Saturday with the kids. My son had the Kids Chicken Tenders with fries ($5). The chicken and fries were well seasoned including a hint of blackening seasoning which added a nice twist to traditional chicken tenders. Kathy ordered the Burger and 5 Toppings ($7.50) made from grass-fed Angus beef and served with pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and bacon on a Kaiser roll. It too was tasty and satisfying. I ordered the 5 Spot Reuben ($6.50) comprised of grilled pastrami, sauerkraut, cole slaw, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing on rye served with fries. It was a traditional Reuben, grilled and very tasty, and the fries were seasoned with salt and pepper. It was so good that I ordered it again on my next trip to The 5 Spot for lunch.
We visited last Friday evening for dinner. The place was packed…yet again. We waited 15 minutes, and it was well worth it. We started with the Bodini Malbec ($26). Kathy ordered a cup of the Steak Tip Chili with Cheese ($4) served with spiced corn chips. The chili had a bit of a kick to it and was hearty – traditional chili with beans. I ordered the special of the day – Herb Encrusted Rack of Lamb ($15) with roasted fennel, onions and peppers, and heirloom tomatoes and dandelion greens. This dish was excellent, more than should be expected from a reasonably priced, neighborhood restaurant. The lamb was medium rare surrounded by a thin herb crust. The dish was harmonious in terms of flavors and balance. We both enjoyed our meals. The quality of the food one month after our first visit to The 5 Spot is like night and day. Both front of house and the kitchen have their acts together.
The 5 Spot is “spot on” as a neighborhood restaurant and bar. It has become one of my favorites because of food, atmosphere, service and price. The 5 Spot satisfies whether you desire a casual dinner, a place to have a beer and watch a game or a spot for breakfast or lunch with the kids.
Written by Todd Williams
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