I spent that evening with friends in Effingham County, a rapidly-developing area approx. 20 miles or so outside of Savannah: once farmland, now part bedroom community and part farm field. I’d told them that I wanted to take them out to dinner at a good local place, something with some local flavor.
Boy, did they pick a good one!
I’d seen Sandra’s Seafood Restaurant before I moved away from Savannah, so I knew the name instantly when my friends suggested it. In fact, it sits between where I used to live back in the day … and where my best friend lived. I’d ridden past this place hundreds of times … just never stopped. And it’s not really waaaaaayyyyy off the beaten path … but you can see it from there
Sandra’s Seafood sits near the caution light on Highway 80, not far from the Ogeechee River. For you GPSers, it’s:
Sandra’s Seafood Restaurant
4644 US Highway 80
Ellabell, GA 31308
Of course, no website. That’s because Sandra’s gets plenty of word-of-mouth advertising.
As you can see on their front window, Sandra’s serves primarily seafood. That was perfect for me. I can’t seem to get enough of it on this trip
My friends both opted for the same fried plate: fried flounder and shrimp. It looked positively yummy! And I’m pleased to note that they gave me a couple of tastes … and it tasted every bit as good as it looked
While I love the fried stuff–as you well know by now–I’d eaten fried seafood several times recently. However, that wasn’t a problem for your fearless blogger. Instead of the fried stuff, I opted for the steamed shellfish platter instead!
Wow! My steamed platter was amazing! I lived in this area and ate this sort of food for the better part of 35 years, on and off … so I’m a real efficienato of steamed/boiled seafood. I’m picky about it, and I’m real aware that different seafoods require different types/durations when you’re cooking them … but I’m not exaggerating when I say this was easily one of the top ten plates of non-fried seafood I’ve ever eaten. Granted, I know my tremendous enjoyment could be because I haven’t eaten anything like this in quite a while (i.e.: I’ve been craving it) … and my friends did say Sandra’s used to be better than it is now (yet, note: they are the fried stuff, not the steamed/boiled stuff) … but it was absolutely rockin in my book! The shrimp were perfectly cooked. The crab legs were perfectly cooked. The sausage was absolutely amazing! I’ve been missing that taste forever, the flavor of what we always used to call Lumberjack Sausage (thanks to Roger Wood’s Lumberjack sausage, another local food favorite of mine) … so having both of them on my plate at the same time sorely tested my need to not eat too fast. I just wanted to gobble them both down together, only using a little cocktail sauce to grease the way! ‘-)
Subtract the crab legs and the crayfish from that plate … and replace them with a couple of boiled potatoes to go along with those boiled shrimp, sausages, and corn on the cob … and you’d be eating a Low Country (i.e.: the coastal region of Georgia and South Carolina) specialty called, appropriately, a Low Country Boil. They serve the classic version at Sandra’s Seafood, too … and this combo is a little non-traditional in this area … but it was awesome nonetheless! I love snow crab legs–especially with drawn butter–and the crayfish were a pleasant surprise. I haven’t had a chance to pinch tail or suck head in a while (crayfish slang for breaking the tail from the crayfish body by pinching and pulling … and for crushing the head/chest of the crayfish, then sucking the salty, juicy goodness out of it) … so I thoroughly enjoyed them both, in addition to my shrimp and sausage.
Final grade? Needless to say, I give Sandra’s Seafood an A! They deserve every single bit of it!