From May 22 to May 31, I traveled across country, from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, California. Here's a snippet from that week.

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About five miles from "downtown" Savannah, Sweet Potatoes is an unpretentious gas station neighbor with "endearing food," as the restaurant likes to call it. They serve Southern fare with an eclectic, sometimes fruity Caribbean twist, and in honor of the namesake, a different sweet potato dish each day. As someone who loves the sweet orange spud, I was already giddy in the parking lot.

20080611-sweetpotatoes-kitchen.jpgDuring our late lunch (thankfully, they never close between lunch and dinner), the sweet potato du jour was baked in a foil jacket, topped with melted pecan butter and apple mash. Other days, the mash is made of banana or pineapple. As with most country cooking, the sides here are just as important as the entree itself. Choices include roasted Brussels sprouts, lemon collards, black-eyed peas, cheese grits, okra and tomatoes, corn pudding, and dilled lima beans. Thankfully, each entrée came with two sides, so all three of us divided and conquered to cover most options.

What to Order

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Pecan-crusted trout and peach-glazed barbecue chicken.

Entrées: Pecan-crusted trout, peach-glazed barbecue chicken, Jamaican jerk chicken salad (or substitute chicken for tilapia), meatloaf sandwich, or blackened catfish with tomato relish.

Sides: Okra and tomatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, or any of the sweet potatoes du jour.

Desserts: Peach cobbler and pecan bread pudding were tempting, but we were too ridiculously full to try them.

A Sweet Potato-Filled Home Away from Home

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Though none of us had family connections to Georgia, we all felt overwhelmingly at home here, hence some prolonged lingering and staring. The d├ęcor had a lived-in kindergarten classroom feel with painted flowers all over, and one wall listing "home" in every thinkable word and phrase, like "Home Run" and "Home is Where the Heart is" and "Homing Pigeon." The last one, you don't hear everyday, but it was still endearing. Just like everything else here.

Sweet Potatoes

6825 Waters Avenue, Savannah GA 31406 (map)
912-352-3434
toucancafe.com

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