When any Savannah establishment gets written up in the New York Times, it’s big news. When said establishment is a restaurant that’s housed in a tiny shack in the middle of an up-and-coming neighborhood, it’s even bigger news.
Cafe Florie's chicken chop salad. — Photo courtesy of Cafe Florie
Café Florie, a Southern- and soul food-inspired restaurant that opened in late 2011, enjoyed a healthy increase in its patronage following its appearance in the New York Times. Those new patrons have become repeat customers thanks to the café’s outstanding menu items that utilize organic and locally sourced ingredients.
The brainchild of first cousins Latoya Rivers and Theo Smith, Café Florie puts an interesting spin on Southern classics. Among the standout dishes on the lunch menu is the chicken chop salad, which features a selection of in-season, organic vegetables straight from the farmer’s market, roasted chicken, dried fruit, mixed nuts and crumbled blue cheese. The dinner menu boasts a rotating selection of classic dishes like Tillie’s meatloaf, a homemade taste sensation topped with a roasted onion gravy. But the real star of Café Florie’s lunch and dinner menu is Verna’s Fried Chicken, two cooked-to-order, exquisitely seasoned pieces of crispy fried chicken.
The restaurant also receives rave reviews for its homemade desserts, especially the sweet potato pound cake and the pecan pie, which New York Times journalist Rose Maura Lorre called “as fork-licking fine a representative of the dessert as any.”