Green (unripe) tomatoes are considered an end-of-summer or early fall crop in most of the Northern hemisphere. Late season tomatoes are picked while green because otherwise the changing weather conditions would spoil them. In the American South, however, they are so popular they are harvested while green all through the summer.
During our trip, we found green tomatoes right when we arrived into Saint Augustine. While many restaurants feature Spanish cuisine as a nod to the town’s heritage, Southern food is also well represented in the historic district. One evening we dined at The Floridian, a restaurant that (rightly) claims to serve ‘innovative Southern fare for omnivores, herbivores, and locavores”. We ordered fried house-made pickles with a side of pimento cheese and a fried green tomato bruschetta. The fried green tomatoes were served on rustic bread and topped with goat feta, basil, and a chili-cumin aioli. This will definitely be the least traditional of all the fried green tomatoes we would enjoy in our trip.
** At this point, I apologize for the quality of most of the pictures. I did my best to edit them but most restaurants we visited were dark and I really did not want to over-do it with the flash and annoy adjacent tables.
The following day, we drove to Savannah after a few hours touring the World Golf Hall of Fame . By the time we had arrived, checked into the hotel, and set off to explore, we were famished. Our first choice, B. Matthew’s Eatery, was closed for renovations, so we headed to the Riverfront and into the Cotton Exchange Tavern & Restaurant. Deciding to keep lunch on the “lighter” side, I ordered the fried green tomato BLT. The tomato slices were HUGE! Bacon is definitely the best counterpart for the tomatoes tart flavor.
At the risk of sounding like a trite guidebook, no visit to Savannah is complete without a stop at the Olde Pink House. This was one of the meals I was looking forward the most while planning our trip. We were even staying at the owners’ hotel next door, and room service menu is the Olde Pink House menu. One of the three appetizers we ordered was the BLT fried green tomatoes and sweet bacon salad, doused with a black pepper/thyme buttermilk dressing. Even though it was delicious and fantastic, it was not the Best Thing We Ever Ate with green tomatoes at the Olde Pink House (yep, the salad was an Aaron Sánchez pick at the aforementioned show). That honor goes to the blackened oysters on the half shell, two which came dressed with a tangy, spicy green tomato chow chow (relish). I’ve never had anything like those oysters before.
(Our server at the Olde Pink House was wonderful and had all the appetizers split for each of us to enjoy without having to pass around plates around our cozy two-top table)
Last but not least, fried green tomatoes make it to breakfast in Charleston. This is the piece de resistance. Toast of Charleston remains unforgettable for Eggs Market Street.
Fried green tomato.
Remoulade/homemade mayo sauce.
Next stop – seafood! If you want more backstory as to how this trip came together, click here.
This blog post contains information about restaurants visited during our recent road trip through Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. All opinions are my own, my husband and I paid for all our meals, and were not compensated for these reviews/features.