Is Paula Deen’s restaurant really that trashy?

Paula Deen with Cheese

Food Republic’s Joshua Stein recently took a trip to Savannah to visit Paul Deen’s iconic restaurant, The Lady and Sons, and reported in full in A Voice From Within the Paula Deen Wilderness. His report has created a bit of a storm on the internet, given its portrayal of a massive, volume-driven operation that seeks to drive people into the gift shop rather than feed them well. Among other things, he was refused to be seated (despite a relatively empty restaurant) until he had gone to the gift shop and was strongly encouraged to use the buffet and not order from the menu.

The buffet was, as would be expected, heavy on fat-laden foods, which is what Deen’s fans expect, and not too expensive. As Stein writes, “The buffet and a beer cost only $24. Of course the food isn’t where Mrs. Deen’s interest lies, either practically or financially. For that, one must look at a message written at the bottom of the check. “Y’all Make Sure to Visit the Paula Deen Store!” it read, for there isn’t a part of this woman that wasn’t for sale.

The internet has picked the review up. The Braiser’s  reaction to the review is typical:

“You know all those times Food Network features Paula Deen’s Savannah, Georgia restaurant on TV? Whether it be a special occasion on Paula’s show, or on a Triple D segment, The Lady and Sons always strikes us as a warm, cozy, country lodge diner. The kind us Yankees might stumble into on a road trip through Rhode Island or some nonsense. Yes, it’s almost exclusively filled with morbidly obese patrons, but it’s also got like, kitschy Cracker Barrel charm, right?

Wrong. How very wrong we were to ever, ever think that.”

If any of our members have ever gone to the restaurant, we’d love to know your impressions – is this an accurate representation of your experience?

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  •  on  October 18, 2012

    The review is pretty accurate. The Lady and Sons makes really good mint iced tea, but the food at the buffet is incredibly salty and it's odd to hear people who are clearly not from the south drop "y'all" all the time, as if their paychecks depend on it. I would recommend anyone visiting Savannah to go to the Pirate's House a few blocks over.

  •  on  October 19, 2012

    I agree with SEG. I am a salt LOVER! And the food on that buffet was way too salty for me. I don't recall being directed to the gift shop but that was about 4 years ago that we went. We loved Elizabeth on 37th. The service is amazing, the food and drinks are incredible. Alas, there is no buffet for all the buffet lovers out there!

  • nadiam1000  on  November 20, 2012

    We went to her restaurant years ago(probably 10) when we were living in Atlanta. I do not recall a gift shop, but the buffet was only OK. I was not impressed and I agree that Savannah has many, much better restaurants.

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