Some of the best places to eat in the world are right here at home, and WTOC's Dawn Baker discovered one of the best kept secrets around. From Savannah, it'll take you about 30 minutes get there, but boy is it worth the ride. I'm talking about the Old School Diner. The food is unlike anything you've ever tasted before. Chef Jerome Brown hand picks the freshest seafood and personally prepares every meal that leaves his kitchen.
Going to the Old School Diner is like taking a trip back in time. The bright pink wooden restaurant is covered in old tools. Chef Jerome has also rolled out the welcome mat. Carpet covers the driveway. As you walk in, there's a big hint that you won't be leaving hungry. Just in case you need a little help getting back into your car, he has wheelchairs at the door. Those wheelchairs are inspired by the famous wheelchair platter - a feast fit for a king featuring everything that the chef offers from seafood to ribs.
Corley Shearouse says, "Besides being a good cook, a good friend, he's a fine Christian man."
Chef Jerome opened his wildly successful diner just 2 years ago. He has already expanded the business three times and served more than 2,000 satisfied customers. Their happy faces cover the walls. And there is no telling who you might run into. Ben Affleck is a regular. They all come for his mouth watering creations.
The chef prides himself in being the best. Chef Jerome says, "I said, 'you are the man you can do this' and I did it and I have been doing this ever since."
He does all of the cooking by himself. He doesn't trust anyone else to cook for his customers, but Dawn had the honor to step in to his cooking station to help him with the hottest item on the menu, the stuffed flounder.
Dawn asks Chef Jerome, "So I just stuff the homemade deviled crab meat in there?" Chef Jerome answers, "Yes and get some flour. Don't be afraid of it. Let it know that you are in charge." Dawn adds, "That's right I am the queen!"
Within 3 to 5 minutes- perfection! Dawn was amazed at what she had created, "Ooo I did this. It's pretty!"
Next he showed her some tricks to making his famous shrimp. "Don't pat it, let your fingers run through it. You're doing good. Real well, trust the chef."
We should. After all he has been cooking since he was only 5-years-old and by the time he was 11, he was running the kitchen in a multi million dollar operation. He worked there for 31 years before stepping out on his own.
Chef Jerome explains, "The Lord touched me on my shoulder one night and told me that it was time to move on. I gave them an ultimatum on my job and they said it was nothing else that they could do for me so I said find yourself another little 'do boy' and walked out and never looked back."
Chef Jerome sums it up best. He wants his customers to feel at home when they come to the Old School Diner. He prides himself in making sure that no one leaves hungry or without wanting come back again real soon.
Here's how you get to the Old School Diner in Harris Neck, GA:
Take I-95 South from Savannah.
You'll drive about 25 minutes before you take exit 67.
Turn left at the stop sign. Go under I-95 keep driving about 2 miles.
You'll pass the World's Smallest Church on the left.
Make the next left on Harris Neck Trail right in front of South Newport Baptist Church. If you pass the church, you have gone too far.
Go about 5 miles on this two lane road. You'll pass the Belvedere Plantation on the left.
Start looking to the right and turn on the Old School Diner Road to the right. You'll see some plastic pink flamingoes on the ground at the street sign.
You'll see the restaurant on the right hand side.
The Old School Diner is open Wednesday through Sunday at 5pm. Here is the telephone number 912-832-2136. In true Old School Style, Chef Jerome only takes cash - no checks or credit cards.