A travel journal
to Macon by Steve S.
Quote: The phrase "southern charm" rings no truer than when describing the beautiful historical and cultural city of Macon, Georgia.
The menus are a bit curious; this is perhaps the only restaurant I've ever visited that encouraged writing on them. You'll be presented with a plain slip of paper listing the daily specials--three or four meat entrees followed by a dozen or so vegetable options. Circle the one meat and three vegetables that you'll be having, scribble out what you want to drink, and hand your "menu" to the waiter.
The food is unmistakenly Southern, unquestionably excellent and, from the chicken, fried chicken, and chicken fried steak, to the fried okra, fried green tomatoes, and fried corn . . . nearly everything is fried. But don't let the mere thought of your arteries hardening keep you out of here. The portions are large and you certainly won't leave feeling hungry. On my last visit I tried the chicken fried steak with green beans, fried okra, and the house specialty, the fried green tomatoes; everything had a ton of flavor that will leave you craving more or stealing bites from your neighbors' plates.
The dessert menu is every bit as appealing and offers banana pudding and pecan pie that are to die for. The desserts are large enough for two people to share, or you can order a couple and let everyone at the table have a taste!
Perhaps the best thing about Blue Plate is that, regardless if you're visiting for lunch or for dinner, your meal will always cost $5.75. If the food isn't quite enough to convince you to come back often, the service is fantastic, the epitome of southern hospitality, and will certainly leave you looking forward to Macon's new hot spot.
Sunday lunch is the busiest meal time in this Bible-belt city, so expect to wait. Trust me, the food will certainly be worth the wait.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2003
2323 Ingleside Avenue
Macon, Georgia 31204
The restaurant is decorated, like most Mexican restaurants, with posters of peppers, advertisements for Mexican beer and, of course, the namesake sombreros hanging from the ceiling.
Immediately after you sit down, the friendly and engaging wait staff are at your table with a fresh bowl of salsa and hot chips. They make both mild and spicy salsa here fresh daily, and I would recommend trying them both as they are quite excellent and extremely flavorful.
On one of our first visits to this restaurant we asked about the house specialties and were pointed towards an appetizer called, very simply, "white cheese dip." It's a thick blend of melted Mexican white cheeses (the exact varieties are a secret recipe) and assorted spices that make for a fantastic and, if you're not careful, very filling appetizer.
All the entrees that we have tried here have been excellent--and it's hard to picking just one. Their menu is six-pages long and loaded with specialties like beef nachos, fajitas, chili rellenos, tacos, enchiladas, and all the other traditional favorites. I recommend trying a combination plate to sample different styles and flavors of Mexican food. My favorite combination has a chili relleno (a deep fried pepper stuffed with ground beef and white cheese), a burrito (which they cover in a red sauce that I've yet to match anywhere else) and a taco (loaded with so much ground beef and shredded white cheese, you'll be lucky to keep it all in the shell). Their fajitas are also excellent and a single order is plenty for a two people; they arrive sizzling at your table and smell so wonderful that they'll turn the heads of everyone sitting near you.
If you're not full yet, take a look at the dessert menu. I'm a fan of their fried ice cream, which they serve in a crispy, cinnamon-covered edible bowl (think a scoop of ice cream covered in corn flakes and dropped for a brief second into hot oil), covered with hot fudge, and topped with cherries. It is a delicacy and a delight that I look forward to on every trip through Macon.
The most wonderful aspect of visiting El Sombrero is that you can have a fantastic authentic Mexican meal complete with appetizer and dessert for about $10 per person. Not only will you leave with a smile on your face, but you won't overburden your wallet either. Enjoy!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 8, 2003
3555 Mercer University Drive
Macon, Georgia 31204
Restaurant | "The Back Burner"
The restaurant is not much to look at from the outside. It is reminiscent of a small French countryside cabin, with a small porch out front that seems to tie it easily to the more common stylings of Southern architecture that are seen in this mostly residential part of town.
On the inside, the restaurant is fairly small and is broken into several quaint rooms, each with its own unique colors and paintings that work flawlessly to give the feel of an intimate meal at home by candlelight.
The menu is sparse, but provides enough of a selection that most people can find something that intrigues them. We made our first visit to the restaurant for a private party and as such had the opportunity to sample several of chef Christian Losito's creations. The fillet of salmon is truly fantastic. Served with a rich basil sauce over rice, the salmon has so much flavor that you'll crave more when you're done eating. The grilled chicken breast in burgundy wine sauce is also wonderful. The flavors blend together perfectly to create the right balance of natural flavor and spice, and leave you counting the minutes until you can come back to visit again.
The dessert menu too is small, but the New York cheesecake is perhaps the best cheesecake I've ever tried--it melts in your mouth and is so rich and decadent that a guilty smile is sure to creep over your face with every bite.
In addition, the wine list is short but obviously picked by an expert sommelier with a perfect bottle to match any item on the menu.
Although the Back Burner is pricey by Macon standards, and several other fine-dining locales have gone out of business in the past few years, this restaurant is truly worth every penny. The food is wonderful and the individual attention that you receive from the waitstaff and chef Christian himself make the visit truly worthwhile for any visitor to Macon.
2242 Ingleside Avenue
Macon, Georgia 31204
You enter the museum into a large rotunda with a hardwood basketball-type floor lit by natural lighting from an enormous basketball-shaped window. From the first-floor coridor, you have several options, each worth your time and attention. To the left, explore the plaques of the enshrined Georgia sports icons, from Josh Gibson (the Negro Leagues' Babe Ruth) to Evander Holyfield (the former heavyweight boxing champion) to virtual unknowns whose story alone brings credence to the presence of a state sports hall of fame.
As you venture back through the rodunda, you find the theater, made to look exactly like Ponce de Leon Park in Atlanta, where the historic Atlanta Crackers used to play. The film lasts about 10 to 15 minutes and is as educational as it is thrilling to relive great moments like the Braves winning the World Series or a Hershel Walker touchdown run while he was a University of Georgia Bulldog.
As you explore the upstairs area of the museum, the displays are as much interactive as they are interesting. You'll still find cases with mementos of history, from the gloves Holyfield wore in the infamous Mike Tyson "bite fight" to Olympic gold medals won by Georgians or personal trinkets of Ty Cobb or Hank Aaron. The true treat, though, is the hands-on displays. Call Hank Aaron's record-breaking home run on a virtual broadcasting station, try your luck at basketball in a specially designed basketball cage with three or four goals, or kick a field goal or throw some passes in the football cage. If you're not worn out yet, there's also a NASCAR simulator, computer sports trivia stations, and stations to test your equilibrium, measure your vertical leap, or experience what it's like to complete the New York City marathon in a racing wheelchair.
This museum is truly a wonderful experience. It's not very crowded, and as a result recently chose to close on Sundays, but it's an inexpensive ($6 for adults, $3.50 for kids) way to spend an afternoon or an entire day in downtown Macon.
When you're finished at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, you're still in the middle of downtown's shopping, dining, and museum district, so you can easily plan an exciting day all within a short leisurely walk.
Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
301 Cherry Street
Macon, Georgia 31201
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