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A nearly full moon illuminated the parking lot of North Beach Grill, and an unmistakable driving bluegrass beat flowed effortlessly from the Spec Hosti Band.

The music scene at this little Tybee Island outpost is as eclectic as the menu — a mouthwatering range that stretches from comfort–casual food to gourmet dishes.

I knew co–owner Big George Spriggs would be in the house. And he was, riding herd on the expo station while Chef Mir Ali deftly turned out everything from burgers to an exquisite appetizer of seared tuna, marinated calamari and seaweed.

I went for a hearty plate of ropa vieja —  a colorful, slow–cooked pot roast laced with strip of peppers and onions. The spice was fiery enough to command attention without overwhelming the seasoning and natural flavors of this Caribbean comfort meal.

Fried plantains and cubes of chilled pineapple added sweetness and another layer of texture to the meat and rice dish.
Ms. TJ chose escovitch, a Jamaican interpretation of the classic marinated Mediterranean fish dish known in that part of the world as escabeche. This night’s fish was a nice–sized local flounder that had bathed in a variety of spices, vinegar and citrus — and then fried whole. Flaky bits of flounder were tender and loaded with flavors.

She polished off her dish and I took about half of mine home for a great lunch the next day.

North Beach Bar & Grill has attained what I refer to as legendary destination status. Whether you want a cold beer in front of the TV outside — or are attracted by the live music –– the real reason to go to North Beach is for the food.

Count on a wait nearly every time; sip a record–cold beer and relax.

Our pair of world–class entrees and three beers (for me) set us back less than $50. I couldn’t help but notice the food is twice as good and half the price of similar meals I’ve had in the heart of Savannah.

That kind of sticker shock makes me smile.

33 Meddin Dr., Tybee Island (Across from the lighthouse)/786–4442, northbeachbarandgrill.net

Just Desserts

I was lured in by the giant cupcake cut–out sitting near Skidaway Road. Inside, I found a cupcake lover’s paradise — all carefully concocted by owner Dolores Montoya.

The trio I chose included Triple Chocolate, Vanilla/Caramel Cream Cheese and Red Velvet. Each was distinctly flavored and a careful balance of cupcake and frosting.

I see too many cupcakes that are more about frosting than cake — Dolores strikes equality!
Custom orders are available and flavors vary from day to day.

5224–B Skidaway Road (just north of Derenne Ave.)/ 655/3844, www.justdessertsofsavannah.com

 

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About The Author

Tim Rutherford

Tim Rutherford

Bio:
Tim Rutherford grew up in rural Kentucky – then left home to pursue more than three decades as a photojournalist and newsman. A ground-breaking meal in New Orleans in 1979 set him on a path exploring food and wine. Six years ago he changed career paths – now spending his time writing about the people and places... more

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