-story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
Chef Tara Davis likes to say the dishes she prepares in her newly opened Savage Skillet restaurant isn’t health food, it’s fresh food. A professional chef, caterer and sommelier, Davis keeps everything fresh by changing the breakfast and lunch menus daily and ingredients local.
“The theme is home grown, and we’ll focus on sourcing locally,” she said. “We’re going to keep it small and simple to focus on quality. We’ll never have a set menu.”
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A week’s worth of Savage Skillet breakfast and lunch menus are posted on social media at the beginning of each week. There are also Grab & Go items to eat in or take out and retail food items from Mississippi and Louisiana.
Another new twist is the pricing: the breakfast and lunch menus have two daily options, one under $10 and the other around $10.
At last Sunday’s friends and family feeding, the food coming out of the kitchen practically shimmered with freshness: Spring mix salad with citrus dressing, perfectly cooked flank steak with homemade sauce, wraps packed with pork loin and veggies, tangy-sweet tomato and bacon jam bruschetta and pulled pork topped with house-made pineapple salsa.
Chef Tara is from Hattiesburg and first visited the Bay area with her family. “I always loved it and intended to come back to the area when the time was right.” She went to culinary school in Texas where she cooked professionally and earned a sommelier certification. She’s also worked on farms, in vineyards and breweries, food trucks and high-end restaurants.
She eventually moved to Bay St. Louis in October 2016 and for the last two years has been in the catering business under the Savage Skillet brand. She intended all along to open a restaurant, she said, “and here we are.” The catering business operates alongside the restaurant at the corner of Highway 90 and Bouslog across from the Post Office. She has four full time and one part time employees helping her.
Breakfast at Savage Skillet consists of various tacos (a tortilla filled with breakfast ingredients ) and house-made salsas - plus some weekly specials. Prices start at $3 and go to $5.95. The lunch menu has two items, from $5.95 to $11.95. Recent selections were flank steak with a caprese salad and tomato-bacon jam bruschetta or Quinoa-shitake soup and plum-ricotta or buttermilk chicken bruschetta.
Savage Skillet stocks a cooler and freezer with prepared foods from $3 to $11. Items change weekly, but some are always available including soups, fruit salads, green salads, veggies, wraps and lasagna. The tasty variations of chicken salads also are always on hand.
But don’t look for anything deep-fried. “Everything you can do to food, we do it, we just don’t fry. It’s not my cooking style and also there are lots of places to get good fried food.”
1248 C Highway 90
Bay St Louis
Wednesday - Saturday
6:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Breakfast 6:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Lunch 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.