Gourmet Everyday Visits Savannah Restaurant Treylor Park
It’s no secret that we spend A LOT of time in Savannah. It’s one of our favorite cities to visit. True…I love a city that allows “walking drinks,” but there’s so much more. From walking the city squares and shopping the quaint downtown shops to eating our way from MLK to Abercorn, Savannah is always a guaranteed great weekend getaway.
Over the years, I’ve written about my love of Savannah, tips for things to do while in town, and most recently, our non-traditional Thanksgiving picnic in Forsyth Park. However, I’ve never devoted an entire blog to one restaurant…until now. And, it’s not so much one restaurant, as it is one restaurant group and one executive chef.
A few years ago (three to be exact), we were wandering down Bay Street looking for nothing in particular, when we came across a small travel trailer sign advertising the “Treylor Park…Live Sensibly”. Obviously curious, we checked out the posted menu. Immediately, we knew that we had to go in…and I’m sooooo glad we did.
That first visit to the Treylor Park was a sensory overload. From the hip, chic, trailer park decor to the beer & shot combos served in tiny red Solo cups to the homemade potato chips that the chef sent out to the charcuterie and chicken & pancake tacos with strawberry salsa, we knew we’d found a gold mine. However, as fabulous as it was, it was practically empty. We were one of only three tables of guests. So like many amazing start up restaurants, we feared it would fizzle in the uncertain economy. Thankfully, we were wrong.
On our next trip back to Savannah, the Treylor Park was still there, so, again, we pulled up a chair, brought the kids along, and reveled in the menu changes and the crowds of people who now took up every table, chair, and beer garden seat. Although our kids weren’t as impressed as we were a year earlier, we were still in culinary heaven ordering our beer & shot combos, biscuit Benedict and fried bologna.
Fast forward another year, and the Treylor Park is no longer a secret, no longer a small find on Bay Street, no longer alone. No, now the Treylor Park was a chain! Now, the Treylor Park had TWO locations! Now, the Treylor Park had TWO menus! O-M-G! (I think I peed a little from the excitement)
Sometime in the past year, the Treylor Park’s success bore a second location–Hitch on Drayton & Liberty. For a foodie like me, this was icing on the cake. Having dinner at the Treylor Park while we were in town was a guarantee, but to now be able to visit a second location and feast on a new Treylor Park-style menu was the greatest surprise imaginable. And that early afternoon supper proved to be all that I expected and more.
In true Treylor Park form, Hitch has taken American classics and made them contemporary; they’ve taken comfort food and made it sexy. Seriously, who makes pork belly that’s so tender and buttery that it’s too rich to finish & clean your plate!?!?! Yep…Hitch did. I’ve never seen my husband not finish a piece of pork belly, but on that afternoon, he couldn’t, and took it home for an evening snack. And it doesn’t stop at pork belly. Everything on the menu is either a version of a Treylor Park plate or a new take on a favorite…Chili Hummus with kidney beans…Shrimp Po Boy EGG ROLLS…Collard Green Kimchi.
So why has my love of the Treylor Park turned into a stalker-like, groupie obsession? Simple. It inspires me. It inspires my own cooking. It inspires my creativity. It inspires the way I think about recipes and plating. When I need to write recipes for competitions, I look to other chefs, the menus they’ve created, their choice of ingredients, their platings, their flavors, and while I never duplicate them, I use them as inspiration. Simply put…Executive Marvin Sterling III’s food & menu inspire me.