ROGERSVILLE – To celebrate Restaurant Week today we took the short drive out to downtown Rogersville to visit a unique place called Café Savanna. Barbara Clines started the business about five years and it has become a labor of love for her. Barbara said she named the Café after her granddaughter Savanna.
The cafe is located in historic downtown Rogersville and has quickly became a destination place for folks wanting handcrafted sandwich, soups, salads and pastries. All of Barbara’s items are prepared fresh daily on-site by her and her staff. She also brews gourmet coffees and prepares spectacular specialty beverages. They even have a frequent purchase card named the Savanna Sipper Club. When you buy 9 specialty beverages, the 10th is free.
On our visit we decided to have the daily special called the “Dab Salad”. They should call it the “Big Dab Salad” because the “dab” they give you of the three salad selections you choose are a plate full. In addition, you get a cornbread muffin, dessert and beverage of your choice.
For my Dab Salad, I chose the Buffalo Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad and Broccoli Salad, a chocolate muffin and iced tea. Debra ordered the Dab Salad with Macaroni Salad, Broccoli Salad and Chicken Salad which is the Café Savanna’s signature dish. She also order the chocolate gravy biscuit and a soft drink. After Debra finished her salads, she took the first bite of the chocolate gravy biscuit and proclaimed that one serving was just not enough. I think she liked it.
Each of the salads that we sampled had a very good taste and were over the top on flavor. As expected the chicken salad stood out, but my buffalo chicken salad had a bold tangy flavor that was easy on the palette. The broccoli salad very delicious with the usual things you find in a broccoli salad but Café Savanna kicked it up a notch by adding mandarin oranges and cranberries. This adds a small but pleasant punch of acidity with the oranges and a touch of sweetness with the cranberries. Blended all together it works exceptional well.
In 2010, Café Savanna’s chicken salad was selected by the Alabama Tourism Board as one of the “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die” listing. In 2012, Café Savanna’s chocolate gravy biscuit was added to the listing. The listing of the 100 dishes to die for is a exclusive listing and you can’t buy your way onto it. You actually have to have the dishes to backup the rating.
Café Savanna has a trendy but shabby sheik decor with lots of photo-montage’s on the wall. Behind the lunch counter style bar, there is an an eclectic grouping of various collectable ceramics. The tables and chairs add a nice touch and are arranged so that diners are not sitting on top of one another. At the counter there are comfortable bar stools with backs. In addition, there are a few tables on either side of the entrance alcove that can be utilized for alfresco dining.
The staff at Café Savanna is very friendly and offer prompt service. You actually stop at the cash register on your way in and order your meal from the ever-changing blackboard. Then grab yourself a seat and the staff will deliver your meal and beverage to the table. After you’ve finished your meal the staff quickly clears the table to allow you and your dining companions to enjoy dessert or coffee on a clutter free table.
Business hours for the Café Savanna are 8am – 4pm, Monday thru Saturday and they are located at 1609 Lee Street, Rogersville, AL 35652. They are also open in the evening for Rogersville First Saturday celebration. Café Savanna is also available by reservation for special parties in the evening. Call Barbara for details 256.247.9788.
Credit/debit cards are accepted and cash is always welcomed. No alcoholic beverages are served since Rogersville is “dry”. When you go to the Cafe Savanna, tell Barbara and her staff you read about them in The Quad-Cities Daily.
And, as always, don’t forget tip your wait staff.