Cafe Florie is the best of both worlds. Combining old family recipes with organic and local ingredients, Laytoya Rivers and Theo Smith (first cousins and the restaurant’s owners) are doing the seemingly impossible: cooking healthy soul food. Here, you can have your (red velvet) cake and eat it too.
Named after two of the owners’ grandmothers, Cafe Florie is a step back in the right direction, following their relatives’ example of eating what’s available – not from a can but from the garden. But Rivers and Smith look to new inspirations as well; vegan options are available on the menu, and foods from other cultures and countries also influence the restaurant’s offerings. Whether you miss your mama’s cooking or are a health food nut, there’s something for you at Cafe Florie.
Because the restaurant uses local produce, the menu at Cafe Florie is ever-changing with the seasons and the week’s yield. One day’s brunch might include omelets filled with zucchini and onions, and another day’s lunch may offer sides of red beans and rice and watermelon salad. Never fear though; fried chicken is always on the menu. Every part of the meal is made from scratch and to order, and thus don’t expect rushed service – Cafe Florie is worth waiting for.
The Dishes: Verna’s Fried Chicken with sides of the sweet potatoes and roasted potatoes, Steak “Crepe of the Day” with a side salad and sweet tea
What’s Special About It?
Eleanor: “Soul food made with organic ingredients; this is the place I have been searching for! An evangelist of southern food to a midwesterner like me, Cafe Florie is both old-school and new-school in its methods.”
Kenda: “Cafe Florie is the epitome of southern comfort food in Savannah. Along with its down-home menu, its attention to utilizing local produce in the dishes makes it that much more delicious.”
What Did It Taste Like?
Kenda: “The fried chicken is some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had, and that’s saying something coming from a southerner! It was tender and juicy on the inside with a crisp, well-seasoned crust on the outside. The sweet potatoes were pureed with sugar and spices. No matter what time of year, not just Thanksgiving, I love sweet potatoes. Cafe Florie stayed true to the southern tradition of sweetening them up, but without making them overly sweet. The roasted potatoes were seasoned with rosemary and other spices, giving it a well-balanced taste and so perfect alongside the fried chicken. The meal was also served with a fresh-baked biscuit made from scratch and a homemade strawberry jam with butter. The biscuit was fluffy and tasted excellent with the sweet jam and butter. Because you just can’t have fried chicken without a good biscuit!”
Eleanor: “This was the first glass of sweet tea I ever drank down to the bottom. Made with green tea and fresh juices, and sweetened with stevia and honey, it was refreshing rather than cloying sweet. The Steak Crepe special was an ideal accompaniment. The thin crepe outer layer and lean meat kept it from being heavy, and the goat cheese and caramelized onions were a vibrant complement. Add the side salad with fresh greens and the sweet potato dressing (which was dotted with herbs and delicately creamy), and it was a surprisingly light lunch.”
What Did We Say About It?
Eleanor: “Both fried and green, this is southern food done right.”
1715 Barnard Street