Back when we started covering the dining landscape of the Coastal Empire, we put up a post about some great places to grab a discounted bite at quality establishments during that wonderful period of time known as Happy Hour. That was now some years ago and the post itself has become a historical document, a snapshot of a different time, or perhaps just a curiosity to future web archaeologists. The Florence is defunct, and The Grey has changed their happy hour scheme a few times to include some odd high tea concept at one point. They still have discounted oysters, but instead of a dozen Harris Necks for around 12 bucks you’ll be paying that Netflix surcharge at 20 bucks a dozen now. 39 Rue de Jean is still doing the same deals, and I still highly recommend their burger (future burger-centric post upcoming. Stay frosty.)
Sure, you can get cheap/cheaper drinks about anywhere in Savannah from a window of about 4pm to 7pm, and I guess that’s all some people are after, but what makes a happy hour truly special is when you have the opportunity to sample tasty vittles in a relaxed setting for a reasonable expenditure of coin. Your dedicated author will sometimes make a specific happy hour deal itself my dinner.
That brings me to our new Happy Hour Champion of the downtown region: Prohibition.
I have enjoyed dinner at Prohibition and I find it to be recommendable, but I have spent far more time chowing down on their tasty morsels offered for $5 each between 4pm and 6pm. The initial draw was the deal on raw oysters at $1 a pop. As you know if you’ve read this blog before, I am a big fan of bivalves and a dozen for an even $12 is as solid a deal as Savannah has going (we’re way behind Charleston in that regard, but I’m not here to harp on that.) The selection of oysters changes throughout the seasons, so it’s pretty much a grab bag (on two memorable occasions the oysters were beausoleils) but they’ve always been properly shucked and pleasantly presented. They generally come served with hot sauce and this amazing pickle juice mignonette concoction that I, no kidding, will drink straight instead of put on the oysters. They aren’t necessarily ever local shells, but when those guys are going for $3 a cup at other establishments on the regular, its sometimes nice just to eat oysters and not feel fleeced.
The rest of the happy hour menu includes a scaled down portion of their award-winning wings (an order of 5), foie gras gravy fries (mon dieu!), crispy brussels, street corn, and deviled eggs. Now, I’ll start with what I don’t generally order, and that’s the deviled eggs. They are certainly tasty, and the crispy chicken skin is a nice touch, but lets face it—$5 is probably a waste of money on eggs. I also haven’t bothered with the street corn here because that’s something I go for at places like Flaco’s Tacos, but I’m not opposed to it.
The king of the list is the charred wings. I would have to form a separate category of ranking that included only grilled and smoked wings separate from traditional fried wings if I were to attempt any kind of level-playing field ranking. However, if indeed I did do such a thing then Prohibition would be in the top two in that hypothetical category. That’s a convoluted way to say that the charred wings are exceptional but not comparable to, say, Coach’s Corner. It’s apples to oranges.
The wings are rubbed with a delicious blend of spices that is savory and sweet, and then charred to perfection. The meat slides of the bone in a pleasing way, and even though the happy hour amount is a smaller portion, the wings themselves are always large and satisfying enough that I walk away happy. They come served atop a smear of what they call “Gorgonzola ranch” which is like blue cheese dressing on steroids. It is a perfect happy hour plate.
With the wings and the oysters taking care of my protein, whether I go with crispy brussels or the FGGF is really a matter of how fat I’m feeling that day. Both are amazing dishes and both come in sizable portions that are plenty filling for one person, and usually split between myself and the wife. The brussels have always been perfectly crisp, and the chili-lime sauce and pickled carrots give an almost Vietnamese, umami-rich flavor profile to go along with the crunch (this is definitely some fish sauce in there.)