The following is an excerpt from a recent “The Commute” podcast discussion featuring foodie Martina Yvette, host of “Dine and Dash.” Comments have been condensed in the interest of space. The full interview is available with the online version of this story at SavannahNow.com/opinion or through mobile device podcast apps by searching “The Commute with @SavannahOpinion.”
Question: What has been your feeling about how food has changed in Savannah over the last 10-15 years?
Martina Yvette: “Savannah’s landscape has definitely changed. I was born and raised here. So I’ve been eating here for a while. So there used to be more options for soul food. (That) is one of the things that I’ve actually seen that has shifted a lot lately. So back in the day, I remember like Mr. B’s and Morris’s, which was then Piccadilly after a while, that was like a big thing people used to go to on Sundays. And now with the new avenue of different restaurants, it’s pretty cool. Because you’re actually seeing a unique, array of different foods.”
Q: “I think a lot of people, when they thought of Savannah food, before, it was predominantly like traditional Southern food. Now, you have a lot of different options. And I think that’s come from Savannah just kind of opening up in terms of what the cuisine is.”
Yvette: “For sure. It is definitely come in like a whirlwind of like, okay, who’s gonna open up a restaurant next weekend? I was like, I don’t know what anybody is gonna make, but it was just really cool. Just to see all these different restaurants open. I think it was like that new Tropial Savannah that came out and it’s a different way [to enjoy] Venezuelan coffees and stuff.
“So this is what I’m expecting from Savannah, that unique and strange balance of cultures, blending and creating good, good foods to eat.”
Q: And I think also, it’s shifted a little bit away from downtown. Probably 20 years ago, or even as close as 10 years ago, people were going predominantly to River Street, in that area of town, to go where the quality food in Savannah is. Have you seen places branching out, whether it’s Midtown or the Starland District or even the Southside?
Yvette: “Yeah, for sure. I feel like Bull Street is now the hype spot. That was never the case in Savannah. You had Back in the Day Bakery, there was like a salon, a barber shop and then Tricks barbecue, and Popeye’s. That was pretty much it. And so now to see like, Bull Street is becoming the spot for food, it’s like, oh, okay, this, is what’s happening here.
“Thunderbolt is actually getting a rise in the food area as well. So that’s pretty awesome. But it’s interesting just to see these of these bare places become the food places to be at in Savannah.”