Southern Landing is a relatively new, high-end Valdosta restaurant that replaced the old Charlie Trippers on North Valdosta Road. They advertise themselves as a southern restaurant and use the moniker “Valdosta’s Taste of the South” on their advertising materials. But, I would say that this restaurant falls more in the steakhouse, seafood category with a southern twist. Southern Landing is located at 4479 North Valdosta Road, Valdosta, Georgia just off exit 22 from Interstate 75. They are open Tues-Sat from 5pm-10pm and can be reached at 229-247-0399. For daily specials, pictures and more information, you can visit their website; http://www.southernlandingvaldosta.com/ or Facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/SouthernLandingValdosta .
We were reluctant to do this review because we were still trying to recover monetarily from our trip to Charlie Trippers a year ago. But, the restaurant has changed hands and has been getting pretty decent reviews online for its larger portion sizes so we thought we would give it another go. Each time we would drive by it felt like the restaurant is almost beckoning to you to visit. The entrance sidled up to a beautiful outdoor patio area framed by large collection of Spanish moss trimmed oak trees; the area just gives off a very relaxed vibe of Southern hospitality — so we were excited for our revisit.
As we approached the hostess, we were given the option of sitting in the dinning room or the cocktail lounge. We had planned on a nice dinner, so we opted for the dinning room. The décor seemed almost identical to when we had visited last year and it seemed like the only changes were in the lighting—which was a bit brighter. Once settled with our menu’s, we were excited by the range of options. Besides the shrimp and grits entrée and a few southern styled appetizers, be warned; the menu is more seafood/steakhouse than southern food. We settle on the spinach and artichoke dip, shrimp and grits, and the special of the day, which included corn and crab chowder soup, and a 16-ounce NY Strip. They also offer wine from the local Horsecreek Winery so we order glasses of Hahira Red to add to the local feel of our meal.
Like most high-end restaurants we received a small basket of rolls to tide us over until our meals came. Usually, this is a tell-tale sign that you are going to be waiting for a while for dinner. It didn’t happen! Within a few minutes we received our appetizer, followed quick by our soup, salad and entree’s. The service was friendly and very prompt. The manager even came by twice to make sure we had everything we needed. Already impressed by the service, we started on our dishes. The spinach and artichoke dip was tasty and very cheesy. Tri-colored tortilla chips accompanied it, which is always a better presentation. The corn and crab chowder was creamy and a good mixture of both ingredients. The shrimp and grits were the main event and did not disappoint. If you are a skeptical grits eater….this is the place to rediscover your love for the simple yet undoubtedly southern meal. The shrimp was sauteed with scallions, garlic, mushroom and bacon and then ladled over a bowl of cheesy grits. It was absolutely delicious! The dish has a bit of Tabasco for some kick, but you can order it without and it tastes just as good. Unfortunately, the steak was not as impressive. It was well prepared, but was not the quality you would receive at a Longhorn or Outback.
Although we were too stuffed for desert, their specials sounded delicious. On the night we went, they had chocolate bread pudding, chocolate layer cake, crème brulee, and red velvet cheesecake.
The meal service was over and we began to prepare ourselves for the bill…and it did not disappoint! The bill was about $75 with tax and tip. While we know that we are generally paying for the ambiance and service, it is hard to get over the high price tag for the same meal we could find cheaper (and maybe a little better) several other places. On a positive note, the portion sizes are larger than the old Charlie Trippers and we had plenty for doggy bags.