Archive for Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Getaway fulfills dream for restaurateur

November 10, 2004

Pam Phillips knew an extravagant vacation wasn't in order.

She and her husband had just purchased a new vehicle, so financially, Phillips thought it would be wise to opt for a trip a short drive away for their annual autumn trip destination.

She suggested going to Branson, Mo., to see the turning leaves. But her husband, Ron, said no.

"Then three days later he said I know where we're going to go," Phillips said. "He said it's not Branson and we're not driving -- we're flying. And I said where are we going to go and he said Savannah -- I said, as in Georgia?"

The couple had just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. The trip was Ron's gift. And, it was Pam's dream come true.

Pam likes to watch the Food Network on television, and had told her husband -- many times, she said -- she wished Paula Deen's Savannah restaurant, "The Lady and Sons," were nearby so she could go there.

"It's all home cooking, southern, and she (Paula Deen) is one of those country girls with a fun sense of humor," Phillips said. "So you get a little bit of personality, beside cooking. It's not a stuffed shirt show. I find myself laughing at her while she's cooking."

In fact, Phillips liked the show so much she wound up with one of Deen's cookbooks. A couple of her recipes, such as stuffed peppers, are used in Pam's Tonganoxie restaurant, Pammy Sue's.

So on Oct. 22, Ron and Pam flew to Savannah and that evening dined at "The Lady and Sons."

The three-story restaurant in Savannah's historic district doesn't take reservations, except for large groups. Everyone else stands in line. For the Phillips, their nearly hourlong wait was worth every bite.

"Collared greens, my husband said were the best he'd ever had," Phillips said. "Sweet potatoes which were out of this world, lima beans, jambalaya, fried chicken, country steak with brown gravy sauce."

And a staple at The Lady and Sons -- hoecakes and cheese biscuits -- were of course part of the meal.

And, sweet tea to drink.

"It was very country," Phillips said. "I expected a more formal atmosphere. There was old hardwood flooring, hardwood mismatched chairs and linen napkins.

Rather than order from the menu, the couple chose the buffet.

And then came dessert -- a choice among peach cobbler, pecan pie or bread pudding.

Although Ron doesn't eat sweets, Pam didn't even think about eating his dessert.

"Trust me, you're quite full," she said, smiling.

Before leaving the restaurant, Ron took a picture of Pam posing with one of Paula's sons, Jamie Deen.

Before coming back to Kansas two days later, the couple ate once more at The Lady and Sons.

While in Savannah, they toured the city's historic district, and even took a ghost tour.

Although Phillips denies believing in ghosts, she did have one hair-raising moment.

She and her husband were at the end of the tour group in a supposedly haunted house.

"We were standing there and the doorknob behind us turned by itself," Phillips said. "I grabbed the knob, I threw open the door and there was nothing but a broom closet -- there was no one there. ... I have to admit that the doorknob made the hair on my arms raise."

Now that they've had a taste of Savannah, Phillips said she and her husband are ready to go back.

"I have to say, Savannah is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen," Phillips said. "We both said the weekend wasn't long enough -- there's so much history."

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