Ravenous Fig

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24 hours in Savannah (day 1)

[caption id="attachment_433" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="The only style of graffiti that makes me smile. (Photo: Vance Kite)"][/caption]

Wherever you are in America, there are terrific places near enough for a short road trip to a weekend away. And it's so healthy to occasionally push yourself out of the normal routine, to remind yourself what's truly important in life: God, family, food. (You had to see that one coming).

As much as I know it's important to get away, it's good to have someone here to actually force the issue. I'm going around life's merry-go-round at a dizzying speed; Vance pushes the big red button and says, "Get OFF — we're going to Georgia."

[caption id="attachment_429" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="The most adorable baby slippers from Paris Market. I'll have to ask Vance's grandmother to make us these some day."][/caption]

So to Georgia we went — Savannah specifically — leaving our neurotic but lovable "puppy" in the care of some dear friends (who also could use a weekend away). We arrived five hours later at an artsy cafe somewhere in Downtown, although I can't say exactly where it was since the only concern I had was downing a chocolate cookie the second I walked through the door.

Soho South Cafe

Based on some Yelp recommendations, we had chosen Soho South Cafe as the first stop on our whirlwind tour of the "hostess city." I might have mistaken the place for a quirky art gallery gift shop, but it didn't take long for the chocolate chip cookies piled high in glass jars to start singing the Call of the Sirens. We sat on a creaky bench happily munching one of the dense cookies until the waitress seated us. It was nearly 2 o'clock in the afternoon and there was still a wait at this place. Albeit a happy wait; there were plenty of cookbooks and art pieces to keep us occupied.

The wait turned out to be worth it in the end. I downed their signature Crab Cake Sandwich in the span of a very lady-like two minutes; Vance took down a grilled cheese and tomato soup (amazing, smoky, delicious cheese combination BTW) in about the same amount of time. My crab cake was outstanding on its own, but paired with a toasty challah roll and some Russian dressing it was over the top.

[caption id="attachment_436" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="The quirky atmosphere and food at Soho South Cafe"][/caption]

After a short walk, it was time to head over to the historic district, to the Savannah Bed & Breakfast Inn. The Inn does a "manager's special" deal, where you take whatever room is left over at a reduced rate, and they really put us up in a nice one. At about $129 a night, the price is right.

Cha Bella

After a brief respite in our lovely room, we walked in the general direction of dinner. We stopped by

Finding Harmony and Harmoni

Nearly every day Jamie calls me on the way home from work. Most evenings there are general frustrations or minor excitements, but no huge emotional outbursts or Earth shattering details. Work is work. Occasionally, however, I can hear it in her voice the minute I pick up the phone. It is the voice of someone who has just lost their puppy or just found out that Santa Claus is not real. It is the voice of defeat and frustration. It is the voice of someone who has had a very bad, no good, very awful day. Over the course of our two-plus years together I have learned that there is really only one remedy for that voice, food. You see, there is really nothing that can set Jamie's mind and spirit at ease quite as quickly as food. So on those "special" evenings, the only question that I can really ask is, "Would you like to eat out or shall I cook us something?"

We have this odd game that we play where one of us will provide several options then we trade back and forth, eliminating one of the options. It's our form of compromise, and typically proves quite effective. Tonight our negotiations landed us at Harmoni Market on Edgewater Drive … Jamie altered the rules of the game to bring it in as our selection.

Harmoni Logo

Harmoni market has seen more than its fair share of "decompression diners" over the last couple of years. We love the fact that Harmoni is one of the few places in Orlando where you can sit on a nice patio, drink a glass of wine (or local beer), and simply watch life pass by. The food is fantastic and the service is always great, if a bit feisty. More on that later. This evening our meal began with drinks and an appetizer that Harmoni has dubbed "Mediterranean Nachos." This gorgeously sloppy pile of toasted pita, spicy tzatziki, tomato salsa, and red pepper hummus is now one of my favorite appetizers in town. The spice of the tzatziki is nicely balanced with the cool of the tomatoes and the creaminess of the hummus. The dish is so worth the money, and who doesn't love getting a little messy in the name of a good plate of "nachos."

For dinner I ordered the grilled mahi sandwich with a Caesar on the side and Jamie ordered their smoked salmon sushi special. Little did we know that Jamie's special was going to provide the evening's entertainment. When our lovely waitress brought Jamie her dish, she politely asked for a set of chopsticks, commenting that, "you can't eat sushi without chopsticks!" The waitress immediately looked a bit frustrated, then vented, "I told the chef that we needed chopsticks!! He didn't think that we did. I'm Asian! You don't eat sushi without chopsticks!!" After a good chiding from our waitress, the boss ran to a restaurant down the street to pick up a set of chopsticks. Jamie gave the

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