4430 Habersham St., 912/777-3021, 5spotsavannah.com
The raucous St. Patrick's crowds, the seemingly infinite supply of beer, and the slew of kisses — both solicited and not — can't trump a Post-Paddy's Brunch.
Savannah has been both blessed and cursed by the growing popularity of the St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Side effects include an ever-dwindling lack of parking spaces and restaurant wait times that have surely resulted in auctioning off one's position in line to the highest paying bidder or hungriest-looking family. (Try it out, you'll become an Insta-star next St.Paddy's Day).
Being a local means a lot of things, but on St. Patrick's Day it means avoiding the pitfalls tourists often fall into — especially waiting, in all its forms. In order to bypass this, one needs to remember which places to avoid, plot out one's favorite spots, or — like myself — let your group of friends choose since they're the ones driving.
The failsafe plan of allowing others to choose and chiming in only when you disagree results in two things:
1. Having to buy the appetizers.
2. Eating at your favorite diner's favorite diner.
I'm talking Habersham Village's The 5 Spot. One diner may arguably be just like any other, but the camaraderie of good chums, the cool-tempered climate and a little Creedence Clearwater Revival are just a few of the signs that distinguish The 5 Spot from the typical dining experience.
Dining with six 20-something friends, my excursion into "ridiculosity" began before anyone was well and ready for it. Miserably attempting to stifle our laughter and guffaws — as to not disrupt the normal clientele — our group of six was a mix of conversations discussing the best potential "recovery" breakfast intertwined with regular team efforts of trying to accurately recount and regale one another with our personal war stories of St. Paddy's Day 2013.
Admittedly our first thoughts of the meal centered on the holy mantra of "hair of the dog that bit you," with orders of wonderfully smooth Mimosas, a Screwdriver strong enough to invoke flashbacks of the night before and Bloody Marys holding the poignant zest of yesterday's flavors masterfully mixed with the savory intoxicating promises of the day at hand.
The clinks of forks and knives coupled with satisfied smiles, minimal talking and an audible Buffalo Springfield educating, serenading and disseminating messages of worth via speaker-box, all of it signified only one thing: A group of 20-somethings actually made a decision in a timely manner and were beyond enamored with their meals.
As the party slouched a bit more into the graveyard of chicken bones, empty plates and blank stares of satisfaction, the scene became more like a successful voodoo recovery ceremony than a Post-Paddy's Brunch.
Maybe it was the Tabasco in my Bloody Mary, the sriracha on my fries and burger, or the intoxicating environment of the 5 Spot — and my company — that left my lips tingling with spice and my mind tantalized for more.
Whatever it was, one thing is clear enough: The 5 Spot is not your run-of-the-mill neighborhood diner.
The fusion of music, flavors and drinks has guaranteed this local joint a special place in the hearts and stomachs of at least seven 20-somethings in Savannah.