The culinary team at Papa's Bar-B-Que & Seafood has honed the art of slow cooking pork loin and deep-frying shrimp through four decades of practice. After opening on West Bay Street in 1972 and spending nearly 20 years at Whitemarsh Island, the eatery arrived at its current spot on Charlotte Road. Although its location has bounced around, its food hasn’t. The same pit-cooked ribs, hand-breaded chicken fingers, and blackened tilapia pile onto plates to comfort stomachs so diners don't have to tuck teddy bears into their belts.
In keeping with this spirit of humble expertise, Papa's whips up housemade banana pudding and sells its own Bar-B-Que sauce by the gallon to drench homemade ribs or fill perfume bottles. They also sell barbecued pork, gumbo, and shrimp salad by the pint or pound. In addition to their dedication to hearty comfort food, owners Frank and Judy Ouzts have shown their commitment to the community with efforts such as a charity event, featured on WSAV-TV, that celebrated the eatery’s 40th anniversary while raising money for America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia.
Connect Savannah named Blowin’ Smoke Best Barbecue and Best Outdoor Dining, and named its chefs Best Chefs, in 2009. The restaurant was also mentioned as must-try in Southern Living, and Savannah Magazine named it Best BBQ, Best Chef, Best New Restaurant, and Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant in 2008. Yelpers give it an average of four stars:
Inspired by the story of a 16-year-old orphan with a sparkling personality and a penchant for cooking, Willie Jewell’s Old School Bar-B-Q serves up heaping helpings of traditional slow-smoked barbecue from recipes passed down through generations. Diners step under a corrugated tin roof and follow a bright red arrow toward a menu saturated with succulent meats and savory sides. Pork cooked for 12 hours and stuffed between bread ($6.49+) goes head-to-head with beef brisket rubbed in a secret spice blend and suspended over smoldering wood chips until it breaks down and reveals its undercover flavor ($6.49+). Four signature sauces bathe tender vittles in sweet and tangy hickory, spicy classic, traditional hickory, and carolina classic, accentuating the down-home essence of suppers such as smoked turkey ($8.99 with two sides) and half chicken ($8.99 with two sides). Third, half, and full slabs of St. Louis ribs are also available for tickling practice ($8.99–$19.99).
The delighted shrieks lead straight to Saddle Bags, where a bucking mechanical bull sends riders tumbling to the cushioned ground. Inside, boots scuffle against the hardwood floors of the expansive dance floor during free line dance lessons, and billiard balls clatter on pool tables like boulders on really, really big pool tables. Garbed in cowgirl boots, bartenders and servers dole out mugs of beer along with plates of southern-style finger foods and dinners. The bar hosts regular special events, including a Wednesday night bull-riding contest and monthly "Best Chest in the West" and "Boots and Bikinis" competitions with cash prizes.
Veteran funnyman Steve Hofstetter has appeared on CBS' Late Show with Craig Ferguson and hosted Trial By Laughter on Comcast, written a regular column for Sports Illustrated, and served as an original scribe for Internet giggle factory CollegeHumor. Collect and catalog his witticisms within the confines of recently opened performance venue The Wormhole, where the full bar can help salve busted guts and well-worn funny bones with the medicinal powers of beer and mixed drinks (alcohol is not included in this Groupon).