Byrd Cookie Bar & Grill
by Kipper Milsap
I’ve loved the tasty treats of Byrd Cookie Company for years, the Scotch oatmeal cookie being my secret weakness. So it didn’t take much arm twisting when a friend suggested that we have lunch at their popular new restaurant, a place I’d heard was the current favorite among local foodies.
Now, I’m no savvy food critic. As an avowed "non-cooker", the majority of
my meals are enjoyed while dining out.
I have experienced many of the local eateries during my ten years living in Savannah, touring every sushi bar, taco stand, bar-b-q joint, and fine dining establishment in the greater Chatham county area. What I lack in culinary
skill, I make up for in appetite and dining enthusiasm. Now that I’ve qualified myself, let’s get back to lunch.
The parking lot was filled with cars, proving the rumor mill was right (I highly recommend calling ahead for reservations). Once inside, we were greeted with warm hospitality, an attribute for which Byrd Cookie Company is famous. The slick, updated interior, complete with bar, sang a different tune: this is not the same old cookie shop. Byrd has been a Savannah tradition since 1924, providing over 150,000 cookies to their fanson a daily basis. If you think there’s only one side to this family establishment, you’ve got another thing coming… and it’s served with a side of deviled eggs.
We started our meals with drinks and “small plates.” Small plates are served nightly on Byrd's evening menu from 5
to 9pm. My Arnold Palmer was made with fresh squeezed lemonade, my favorite
on a Savannah summer day. We sampled the Southern deviled eggs smoothly piped with chives and espellete. We followed them up with pork and beef meatballs dressed in an excellent san marzano tomato sauce with pecorino - that ancient cheese so revered by the Romans. The meatballs were incredibly satisfying and could have easily been an entrée between two slices of Byrd’s toasted, freshly baked bread.
We quickly moved on to our entrees.
My friend had the chargrilled burger on brioche with gruyere cheese (cheddar was also available) complete with hand-cut fries and roasted garlic dijonnaise. Ordered medium-rare and cooked to pink perfection, this patty
was locally sourced from Savannah River Farms. The brioche, baked fresh on location, had a noticeably rich flavor
that paired well with the beef. We were informed that because of its popularity the burger has been added to their dinner menu of small plates. On my side of the table was the thin-sliced roast beef sandwich on house-made, grilled country bread. It was thoughtfully topped with shaved gruyere, peppernata, and horseradish cream, creating an updated, flavorful Philly cheesesteak
with a hearty crunch. It was easily
my favorite item on the menu.
As a final note, we ended our meal with an assortment of cookies (red velvet, sugar, chocolate chip, and triple chocolate) and pot de crème of chocolate custard, espresso whipped cream, and a black and white cookie as its crowning glory. The cookies held up to my high expectation of the Byrd Cookie brand, and I kept the pot de crème all to myself as I indulged in the rich layers of chocolate and espresso. Just in case I hadn’t had enough, I took some Scotch oatmeal cookies to go as added sugary insurance
against a late night cookie craving...
"Kipper (Kyle Patrick) Millsap is a Southern transplant from the good ol’ Midwest. He moved to Savannah to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design, and after graduating began working for the college full-time. He is currently the Sales and Marketing Manager for Working Class Studio, a product development venture of SCAD. In his off hours he works as a freelance writer, stylist, and artist. You can follow his woodsy and artsy adventures on his blog at www.kippermillsap.blogspot.com, a dandy man’s guide to duds, décor, and the great outdoors."
Kipper Millsap – kippermillsap.blogspot.com - @kippermillsap