Clary’s Cafe (Facebook)
404 Abercorn St. (map it!)
Savannah, GA 31401
Open Mon-Fri, 7a-4p; Sat & Sun, 8a-4p
Accepts cash & debit/credit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Visited: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 8:30 a.m.
When you’re searching for breakfast in Savannah, Clary’s Cafe pops up on the radar frequently. I think it’s an old favorite – the classic diner/cafe that’s an easy win for locals and visitors alike. It also shares, like much of Savannah, a proud connection to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It’s the cafe in the movie where John Cusack sees the crazy guy with flies tied to him, the one who threatens he’s going to poison the whole city.
Aside from its famed appearance in the quintessential Savannah movie, Clary’s seems to draw a steady crowd for its simple and filling diner fare. (Although Adam Sandler is currently down there filming a movie.)
Clary’s has everything it needs to be the classic diner: checkerboard flooring, a counter, a case with beautiful baked goods, big ceramic mugs for hot coffee, servers with just the right amount of sass.
And of course, a roster of comfort food: omelets, corned beef hash, country fried steak, something called Hoppel Poppel. We dug in eagerly.
Our server recommended a sticky bun for the table (there’s no way an individual could finish one of these). Officially this is called Our Own Special Jumbo Caramel Pecan Sticky Bun. We devoured all of it, even those of us who normally object to nuts in our baked goods.
For the kiddos, something simple. Soft chocolate chip hotcakes and bacon. Thumbs up.
For the adults: house-made corned beef hash with the requisite eggs, biscuit, and grits. We had the option of toast or a biscuit, and when I started to ask our server which I should choose, she cut me off with “Biscuit.” So biscuit it was. A good meal all around, although the hash, while chopped fine and brown and crispy just the way I like it, was marked by a floral seasoning that slightly over-powered the proceedings.
The benedicts were hard to ignore, especially when servers strolled through the dining room carrying plates of them. The crabcake benedict was simple but likable. Expertly poached eggs (although those whites are all over the place), a compact little crabcake, a slice of tomato, and dense but flavorful hollandaise.
Same for the eggs benedict florentine. Colorful, flavorful. Makes for a heck of a photo.
Side note: florentine (on a bed of spinach) seems to be a favorite preparation in the area. Is this more of a southern thing? We don’t see it much in Ohio.
Even though we were stuffed from our meal, we could almost hear the pastry case beckoning us near the check-out counter.
We heeded its call and ended up with a jumbo eclair in tow.
In short: Clary’s is the right place for a bit of Savannah history and big plates of comfort food. All good reasons to stop.