Some time back, one of our readers, Tony Hicks, recommended that we visit this bizarre and wonderful place for some killer seafood and amazing hospitality. Now, lots of places will get the attachment of the term “middle of nowhere,” but Old School Diner takes it seriously. The exit off I-95 is located about halfway between Savannah and Brunswick, the same one you take to visit the Smallest Church in America, and then guests will drive way the heck down a county highway, past gravel roads and partially paved and completed coulda-been developments.
The servers at Old School Diner like to tell guests about the celebrities who dine there, and who are usually told about the place when they’re visiting friends, playing golf, or shooting films in Savannah. Ben Affleck is a semi-regular here, and Val Kilmer recently visited in the company of some of his golf buddies, making this perhaps the only confirmed restaurant outside of California to have hosted two separate actors who’ve played Batman.
Marie and I visited with the three year-old, and Marie’s brother and father. We shared what Chef Jerome calls “The Wheelchair Platter.” The contents of this smorgasbord will change depending on his whim. Guests may request that something not be included on the platter – sadly, I’m allergic to oysters – but servers will not tell guests what’s on it. So we were pleasantly surprised by a heaping tray of pork ribs, shrimp, and whiting, along with fries, potato salad, and cole slaw.
Everything was very, very good. These were among the best shrimp that we’ve had, and while I realize that we say that a lot when we’re visiting Georgia’s coast, these really are in the upper tier. I was not as wild about the ribs, though I have certainly had far worse, but the shrimp and the fish were just terrific. It was certainly worth the drive to come visit this oddball little place and eat so well.
We got to meet Chef Jerome and tell him how much we enjoyed the meal, but one thing I forgot to ask is how in the world this amazing, eccentric restaurant evolved in this most unlikely of places. They do a small amount of lunch business, but it’s the evenings when this place gets a little wild, with dozens of people driving down from Savannah to fill their truly hilarious parking lot. It’s carpeted! The restaurant has space for 200 guests, but not nearly so many cars as that. Make reservations and then cram everybody in and enjoy the road trip out here. It’s a must.
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