Georgia – 22028 Miles Driven.
Georgia marked the last of the 48 states I would be visiting on my epic American adventure. Having found myself in the historical coastal city of Savannah, I couldn’t think of a better last meal to eat than shrimp and grits.
Narobia’s Grits & Gravy is a southern soul food diner that as the name implies serves grits and gravy. Open for breakfast and lunch only, Narobia’s may be small in size but it’s the heart and soul of the surrounding neighbourhood. It’s owned by Howard Reid, and named after his daughter Sieda; Narobia is her middle name. It means ‘beautiful place’. Howard runs the business side of things, the cooking is lead by his wife Renée and their sons Hakeem and Rasheed, and Sieda manages the restaurant. It’s very much a family affair, and many more family members help out too.
There was a two and a half year gap between the previous location being forced to close, and the current Midtown location opening. During which time locals would continually go round to Sieda’s parents’ house, asking Renée to cook them some of her wonderful soul food. In the end and bowing to pressure, the family re-opened Narobia’s. As a thank you to the local community for all their support, each Thanksgiving Narobia’s will cook customers a free breakfast, a range of food from their extensive menu that doesn’t just include grits and gravy. Last Thanksgiving they handed out 500 breakfasts, and while Sieda realises some people were there purely to grab a freebie, is hasn’t deterred her and her family from carrying on this annual tradition.
On the day of my visit to Narobia’s it was busy, it was hot, it was loud, and it smelt of fried onions. I put my order in for grits and shrimp, and on the recommendation of my server opted to have my shrimp smothered and served with cheesy eggs and a biscuit. It was a very beige plate of food, but what it lacked in colour it more than made up for in flavour. The grits that are simply cooked in water, reminded me of a gloopy polenta. I can see why some people might be put off by the texture, but I personally really liked them. There was plenty of flavour in the herb and peppery gravy that smothered the sweet Gulf shrimp. They were good scrambled eggs, plenty of cheese, and the deliciously buttery biscuit was one of the best I’ve eaten. It was a really enjoyable and tasty plate of food; proper southern comfort food done really well.
There’s a sign hanging up on one of the walls that reads ‘good food, good friends, good times’, which I think perfectly sums up what Narobia’s is all about. My grits and gravy was good food, good American food, and a perfect culinary ending to Lucy Eats America.
Narobia’s Grits & Gravy is located at; 2019 Habersham St, Savannah, GA 31401. Telephone; +1 (912) 231-0563.