I’m spending a few months at Tybee Island, Georgia. I noticed a big restaurant while driving over a bridge in between Tybee Island and Savannah: Paula Deen’s Creek House. When I realized it was owned by Paula Deen, I wanted to try it. I’ve been to the Tybee Island/Savannah area several times. I’ve had multiple meals at Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons restaurant in downtown Savannah. The food is good, but there are better places to get similar Southern dishes in the area. (Pirate House is my top pick for a better and cheaper comparable meal.) So I was curious about Paula Deen’s Creek House.
Paula Deen’s Creek House Review
Creek House is located on the marsh off of Highway 80 n between Savannah and Tybee Island. It was previously “Uncle Bubba’s Seafood & Oyster House.” Deen and her brother co-owned this restaurant, which closed suddenly in 2014. This was where the racism allegations about Paula Deen originated. Creek House opened in 2017.
I decided to take myself to Paula Deen’s Creek House for dinner on a Saturday night. I arrived around 6 p.m. There was plenty of parking available. The restaurant is huge and most seats were vacant. January is off-season on Tybee Island, so perhaps this carries over to Creek House as well. The restaurant is on the marsh with lots of outdoor table seating on a large back deck, as well as benches and swings to take in the view.
The staff was quick, warm and friendly. I was greeted and seated as soon as I walked in. The waitress was also fantastic. I ordered the seafood combo, which contains fried fish, shrimp and oysters, seafood hush puppies and fries. Oysters are not my jam, so I subbed extra shrimp. I also swapped the fries with cheese grits. A half sweet iced tea was my beverage of choice.
A basket of bread arrived with my drink. Sliced white bread. Cold. With cold butter. It was fine. Nothing special. Certainly, nothing like the hot biscuits and cornbread passed out before your meal at Paula’s The Lady and Sons.
My meal arrived quickly. It was also…fine. The tartar sauce was very good. The fried fish and shrimp were tasty, but better fried seafood is available at just about any restaurant on Tybee Island. The cheese grits were dry and bland. They lacked creaminess and flavor. The hushpuppies were also meh.
But I still went with dessert: Paula’s ooey gooey butter cake. It was good, but not something I’d crave and want to return to have again.
My meal was about $30 before tip.
Creek House Brunch
A sign was near the door when I was leaving announcing a new Sunday brunch buffet. I love brunch. Biscuits and gravy are a big favorite and I thought this would be a place for a restaurant owned by Paula Deen to shine. So despite not being thrilled with dinner, I returned for brunch a few weeks later.
Service was still all around wonderful again.
The food was not.
I started with a waffle, which was made right in front of me by the sweetest, most cheerful teenage boy I’ve ever encountered. It was soggy, but tasty, as most waffles are, but, again, nothing special. The salad bar was sparse but fresh. I made a small salad with spring mix, tomato, cucumbers, olives and blue cheese dressing.
My plate from the hot food line was disappointing. Yes, there were biscuits and gravy. The biscuits were so hard they were inedible. Paula Deen, you really let me down with that! The restaurant opened at 11 a.m. and I was there at noon. A southern restaurant should have good macaroni and cheese, right? Nope. Dry and flavorless like the cheese grits, which were also on the buffet. I had some green beans, a small piece of corn on the cob, a couple of bits of beef tips and chicken tenders with honey mustard. The tenders were the best thing on my plate.
I moved on to the dessert bar with low expectations. This was the right move. I took a bite or two of several different things and left a full plate of sweets behind.
Brunch is $19.99 before drink, tip and tax.
Paula Deen’s Creek House is not a place I’d recommend if you’re visiting Tybee Island or Savannah. I’ll post some better options for you soon.