Tuesday, November 18, 2008


If it's a cold wintry day, make a lunch stop at Satterfield's at 120 New St in downtown Macon. This friendly, relaxed, homey BBQ restaurant features a menu with plenty of choices. Be sure to grab a bowl of boiled peanuts as an appetizer while you ponder your selection. The Hobbit recently enjoyed some toasted pimento cheese sandwiches and a bowl of Brunswick stew, all sent south with a generous bowl of peach cobbler and ice cream. They know how to brew a good jug of ice tea too! Don't overlook this Macon gem!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jeneane's Cafe

Eating lunch at Jeneane's Cafe, located at 524 Mulberry Street, Macon, is a step back in time and out of the fast pace of the work week. This causal homey cafe serves up good ole' country food in a really relaxed environment. Friendly staff and local people make lunch at Jeneane's a pleasant experience. One of the Hobbit's favorites is baked chicken with turnip greens, corn bread, and whatever other vegetable takes his fancy. They bake some tasty pies too! Swing by Jeneane's for some country soul food!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bonefish Grill

The Hobbit had a treat recently when he went to the Bonefish Grill at 5080 Riverside Drive, Suite 506, Macon. This smart seafood restaurant is described on its web site as "Polished Casual®" and that is a fair self-assessment. The atmosphere was a smart-casual environment with an efficient air about it. The numerous waitstaff, dressed to impress, glided to and fro and were knowledgeable about the tantalizing menu.

In his usual procrastinating style, the Hobbit had difficulty committing to one item from the menu. However, he settled on one of the specials of the day: Swordfish steak. This sumptuous, thick steak was cooked to order and was very pleasing to savor. The Hobbit's guest selected Imperial Longfin stuffed with shrimps, scallops, and crab. The flavor of this dish was incredible. Bonefish Grill is definitely a quality inland location to enjoy seafood.

Prices reflect the quality of the food and service, but are not outrageous. All in all, a very satisfying experience and a place where the Hobbit will take guests in the future. Only negative was that the music was a little on the loud side, making conversation a tad difficult. But Bonefish Grill is a place to try, for sure.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Luigi's Bistro

This Sunday evening, for a treat before heading to the Grand Opera House to watch Sweeney Todd, we stopped for dinner at Luigi's Bistro, 401 Cherry Street, Macon. Luigi's is definitely another one of Macon's dining gems - a modern Italian restaurant serving high quality authentic Italian food in a relaxed atmosphere with friendly, attentive service.

The menu boasted quality and variety, while not overwhelming the reader with a plethora of choices. Even so, I had great difficulty narrowing it down to just one entree! We started our meal with an appetizer of Pita Chips, dusted in parmigiano and Italian herbs and served with a Marinara dipping sauce. If I were a piece of pita bread and faced imminent death by being eaten, given the choice this is the way I would depart! The pita chips were slightly crispy with a little softness in the centers. They did not last long despite being a generous portion!

For entrees, we chose the Frutti di Mare Ravioli with Salmon and an 8oz New York Strip with Portobellos and Marsala Sauce. The ravioli was exceptional with beautiful fresh-tasting meats and a creamy sauce with just the right balance of lemon and seasoning which brought a lightness to the dish. The New York Strip was cooked just as I requested and tasted wonderful. The Marsala dressing was no stranger to the inside of a Marsala bottle and, paired with the portobellos, accompanied the steak with gusto. The mashed potatoes and broccoli with accompanying salad were fresh and tasty.

Luigi's boasts a sizable wine cellar. We chose a French Chardonnay and a Chianti. They did not disappoint. The dessert menu was concise. We tried the special - a cheesecake creme brulee and a piece of chocolate cake. Both were outstanding and the slice of chocolate cake was huge!

Complimenting the food was efficient and personable service and a relaxed ambiance. This made for a very enjoyable experience. Luigi's is one of the more expensive restaurants that I've tried recently, but definitely appropriately priced for the experience. In other words, "Totally worth it!" This is a place to which I'll return for a special occasion rather than a mid-week pit stop, but I do look forward to going back there sometime soon.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Adriana's Italian Cafe, located at 359 3rd Street, is undoubtedly my favorite weekday lunchtime eatery. It's a favorite of many others too. Yesterday I wondered if we'd even find a seat at 1:15pm, but we did!

Yesterday's eye-catcher for me was the Manicotti; broad pasta tubes filled with Ricotta cheese and dressed in an authentic Italian tomato sauce. As is my habit, I accompanied this with a Greek Salad. I declare that the Greek Salad at Adriana's is the best I've ever had outside of Greece. I'll bet it knocks the socks off many Greek Salads inside of Greece too! The Manicotti were very tasty and the naturally complimentary flavors of cheese and tomato were enhanced by popular Italian herbs.

Repeat visits are testimony to the quality of a restaurant. You'll see that there are already several postings on this blog about Adriana's. It's not complicated: Go, eat, enjoy, ...repeat! That's what I always do! Don't forget to look at the dessert bar by the entrance. There are some exceedingly good-looking desserts in there and they taste the part too. This is quality, authentic Italian food served in a casual cafe atmosphere. Don't settle for less when you're thinking Italian.

Brind Avan Indian Garden

I was very happy to have the opportunity to visit Brind Avan Indian Garden, one of Macon's fine Indian restaurants, this week. It had been a while since I'd been there - back before I started this blog - so I'm glad to have the chance to share it with you now.

Brind Avan, located at 5033 Brookhaven Road, Macon, is a pleasantly formal yet modest restaurant with smart, attentive service. We were welcomed and seated promptly and our Mango Lassis, Mango yogurt-style drinks, were brought immediately. They are delicious and surprisingly refreshing. Brind Avan's wait staff don't keep you waiting. They demonstrate attentive hospitality and are more than happy to explain items on the menu.

Between us, we ordered Lamb Biryani, Chicken Tikka Masala, and curried vegetables. The Biryani features Basmati rice and tender lamb which is delightfully seasoned. This dish doesn't have a lot of sauce, unlike the Tikka Masala which comes with lashings of creamy tomato curry sauce. The vegetable dish was spicier, but good even for those wary of spicy food. The menu offers plenty of variety and includes a few specialized regional dishes.

Pleasing to Hobbits, the portions were generous and nobody left hungry. In fact, even this Hobbit had to use a to-go box. Brind Avan is definitely a place to try and if you've never sampled Indian food before, you'll receive a well-guided introduction to this delicious cuisine of the World's master spice-blenders. Brind Avan gets busier on the weekend and later in the evening. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Adriana's Cafe in downtown Macon (359 3rd St), served up a delightful Italian-style Beef Stroganoff recently. I was ready for a hearty meal one lunchtime and this Farfalle pasta-based dish with ground beef and mushrooms certainly fit the bill. The Stroganoff is best accompanied with a light salad, such as the House or Greek salad, to balance its textures and flavors. As always, the food was delicious and my appetite was satisfied well into the evening - an important consideration for a Hobbit.

I've mentioned it before and I'll say it again. For me a great dining experience, especially at lunchtime on a work day, is one in which the food is memorable and the atmosphere helps to take my mind away from the busyness of the day's activities. Adriana's provides the hustle and bustle, as well as the solace, of a table at a city-center bistro where one can watch the world go by while relaxing with a friend or simply with one's own inner thoughts. I'll be back soon!

Viva Adriana's!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tokyo Alley

Call me "Boomerang" - I returned to Tokyo Alley in downtown Macon twice last week. I even ate the same dish on both occasions! If you try it, you might be inclined to do the same.

The Masaman curry is a permanent feature on the evening menu and a frequent special at lunch. This Thai chicken curry boasts an outstanding sauce which combines the robust flavor of peanuts and the subtle flavor of coconut milk, amongst other well-chosen spices. Served with rice and a pasta salad, this dish is testimony to the quality of food produced at this delightful little restaurant. Masaman curry is not particularly spicy so it will satisfy those who are wary of curries that put out some heat. If you like Indian Korma, Masaman will be sure to please and would make a fine introduction to Thai food. As for me, I'll be back for more!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ingleside Village Pizza

Mercer University faculty, staff, and students rejoiced when Ingleside Village Pizza (IVP) graced their neck of the woods with its second location (1635 Montpelier Avenue, Macon). Just a stone's throw away from the heart of Mercer's Macon campus, IVP's concise menu hits the spot when it's time to fuel up at lunch. Specializing in pizza (obviously), IVP also offers salads and subs at reasonable prices. They must have consulted a hobbit before designing the menu because a grand selection of domestic and international bottled beers is available to help wash the pizza down to its destination.

IVP's uncomplicated pizza menu is a fine example of less is more. Three diverse pizza compilations are listed, but a long list of toppings allow pizza lovers to create their own edible artistry according to their whims and desires. I wasn't feeling artistic today, so I went for one of the ready-designed pizzas. The White Pizza boasts a topping of Ricotta cheese, spinach, mushrooms, garlic, and extra cheese. This concoction is a delicious medley of robust flavors that work together beautifully.

The IVP experience is relaxed and uncomplicated. Yep, we need more of that in life. When the semester is in full swing, be prepared for lines or get there early. IVP is the place to be!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Spaghetti Alley

I was glad to make a swift return to Spaghetti Alley for lunch in downtown Macon (575 Mulberry Street Lane) this week. I'm nearly always impressed with a place that has a concise menu with enough variety that I have trouble choosing which of the delectable delights to order. Such was the case, once again, and by a rigorous process of elimination I made the excellent decision to try Fettuccini Franco. The combination of fettuccini, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and Alfredo sauce made for a super combination of flavors. I added the grilled shrimp which rounded the dish off very nicely. The quantity satisfied this happy hobbit who told at least ten people about his lunch! The service was of great quality once again.

Spaghetti Alley's bread and dip, a standard prerequisite to all meals, is worth a mention. The bread is fresh and tasty and the olive oil dip with a well-chosen blend of Mediterranean herbs is very moreish.

I highly recommend making your way to Spaghetti Alley for a meal. I have every intention of working my way right through the menu. Not in one sitting, though.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


It's always a delight to return to Adriana's Cafe in downtown Macon (359 3rd St), but especially so when I get to try something new there. This Tuesday lunchtime I had the opportunity to try their Turkey, Mushroom, and Cheddar Quiche which also boasted sun dried tomatoes. Now I've eaten some quiche in my time, but this was one of the most memorable. A sight that any hobbit likes to behold, this slice of quiche was most certainly a two-storey quiche. Not only was it impressive in its elevation, but it was presented with a lavish, light, flaky crust of substantial proportion.

A quiche of this thickness always runs the risk of being undercooked in the middle, especially when the pastry crust is present. Not a problem at Adriana's - The quiche was consistently light and fluffy all the way through and the pastry was cooked to perfection. The flavors were well balanced and complimentary. I accompanied the quiche with my usual Greek Salad and the combination was a very, very satisfying lunch.

We arrived and were seated just in time because the lunchtime rush, testimony to the popularity of this fine eatery, commenced in full flow. Despite the bustle of this cafe, however, it's always a refreshing change of pace from the busyness of the work day. How fortunate we are to have Adriana's!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sticky Fingers

Macon increased in stature last week, when Sticky Fingers opened a restaurant in the new mall at 5080 Riverside Drive. I'd never been to Sticky Fingers before but I knew I was in for a treat when the cutlery arrived wrapped in a hand towel! The menu offers ample variety and I decided to try the ribs and pulled pork sandwich combo. The meal comes with two sides and I chose the slaw and seasoned fries. Sticky Fingers features several types of barbecue sauce. I road-tested the Tennessee Whiskey sauce.

The food was delicious, from the fall-off-the-bone ribs to the richly-flavored pulled pork. The seasoned fries were the best I'd tasted in a while. I was particularly impressed with the Tennessee Whiskey sauce. I've tried several whiskey-flavored barbecue sauces before and they all fell way short in comparison to that offered at Sticky Fingers.

This was a fun place to eat. The service was reasonably good - the new team at this newly-opened restaurant was still in the process of coordinating itself. Fair play, it was their first few days. I'm really looking forward to going back to Sticky Fingers again soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Spaghetti Alley

A working lunch this week saw me dining at Spaghetti Alley in downtown Macon. Spaghetti Alley, as its name suggests, is tucked away in an alley off the main thoroughfares. Located in one of Macon's older buildings at 575 Mulberry Street Lane, this casual Italian restaurant's web site is quick to point out that they're, "...more than just pasta." Spaghetti Alley's menu certainly features pasta, but also offers a handful of subs, salads, and some classic Italian entrées.

I decided to try the Ravioli Rosati, "...a three cheese ravioli served in a vodka-tomato cream sauce with fresh basil." The attraction wasn't so much the vodka in the sauce, as the fact that I'd just had a go at making home-made ravioli the previous weekend and wanted to see how I measured up. I was a little concerned, as a hobbit naturally should be, when the plate arrived with only about six pieces of ravioli on it. For a lunch time pasta dish, however, the quantity was appropriate, although I could have quite happily put away a bit more. The ample-sized ravioli along with the rich accompanying sauce were delicious and had a nice balance of flavor and texture.

The service was attentive and efficient and the prices quite reasonable. It's worth noting that Spaghetti Alley also offers a variety of takeout platters for six people (or three hobbits) if you want to impress without making the effort in the kitchen!

This will definitely be a place to which I return in the future. Oh, and I may be biased, but I think my homemade ravioli wasn't at all shoddy in comparison to that made by the pros!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Shahenshah Cuisine of India

A long time fan of Indian food, I had occasion to try one of Macon's Indian restaurants this week. Shahenshah Cuisine of India, located at 5022 Romeiser Drive, Macon, is convenient to Macon State and I475. Their web site boasts a "huge menu that can satisfy any size appetite." Now, the fantastic variety on the menu is indisputable, but to a hobbit the latter part of that boast is not so much a statement as a personal challenge. My anticipation for this visit built up over several days and by the time I got there, I certainly had a hobbit-worthy appetite.

My friend and I split the Assorted Appetizer (for two) which includes Samosas, Pakoras (fritters), and Papadum. This arrived swiftly with a selection of three delicious sauces. The appetizer provided a tremendous variety of flavors, was very tasty, and built strong anticipation for the main course.

We shared Lamb Rogan Josh and Fish Tikka Masala, accompanied with rice for the main course. Our server was kind enough to make recommendations from our shortlist of selections. The dishes were a fine example of Indian cuisine and were fresh, hot (temperature), and very nicely seasoned. A side of Naan and a drink of Mango Lassi (yogurt-based drink) rounded off this fantastic meal nicely.

The service was frequent and friendly, a true representation of the family business that Shahensha is. The food was delicious and yes, this Hobbit's appetite was satisfied, and then some. In fact, a meal such as this is best not rushed and the attentive service at Shahenshah's will make you happy to linger.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tokyo Alley

I just couldn't resist returning to Tokyo Alley in downtown Macon again! The memory of its atmosphere, service, and intense flavors preyed upon my mind until it dominated my thoughts! I surrendered to the urge on Thursday lunchtime and trotted down there to satisfy my craving! This time I decided to try the Thai part of the menu and settled on an old favorite, Pad Thai Chicken.

The Pad Thai noodles were delicious. They were cooked al dente, just as I like them and the Pad Thai sauce was very intense, as anticipated. The sauce was more of a sweet and sour style which was a bit different from any Pad Thai I'd had in the past, but in a good way. The food arrived quickly and was piping hot. Served with a little raw cabbage and crushed nuts, a half lime accompanied the dish and added a nice zesty finish to the flavors.

I arrived with anticipation, I ate with delight, and I left happy and satisfied. Mmmm Mmm!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


On a recent trip to Beaufort, SC I enjoyed strolling along Bay Street, looking at art galleries and sampling local wine at Low Country Winery. Bay Street is home to numerous restaurants and we selected Panini's for our evening meal. Located at 926 Bay St. Beaufort, SC, and like most Bay Street restaurants, Panini's overlooks Waterfront Park at the rear and offers outdoor seating. A brisk sea breeze was blowing, so we sat inside and upstairs where we enjoyed great Low Country hospitality and food.

As you would expect from a quality Low Country restaurant, Panini's select Italian menu boasts delicious seafood as well as quality steaks and offers variety for many tastes. I chose to try the Beaufort Boulibase which features grouper, shrimp, and mussels in a saffron-scented broth with potatoes, onions, and tomatoes. Served with a house salad and bread sticks, this Low Country delight tasted fresh and fantastic. This was my first time eating mussels and they certainly looked more appetizing than any that I had seen elsewhere and tasted delicious.

The service was sophisticated, the atmosphere very pleasant, and the prices were not unreasonable for the location and quality of food and service. I'd certainly return to Panini's to celebrate a special occasion.

Tokyo Alley

I don't know how I've lived in the Shire for over a year and a half without being aware of one of Macon's hidden gems, Tokyo Alley. Thankfully I remedied that a couple of weeks ago one lunchtime. Located at 574 Mulberry Street Ln. in downtown Macon, Tokyo Alley is not visible from the main streets, but I assure you it is well worth hunting out.

Once you step through the front door into the intimate dining area (soon to be expanded with an upstairs dining room), it is easy to believe that you have stepped into a restaurant off an alley in downtown Tokyo. The dining room is adorned with Asian decor and the service is attentive.

The menu, available for dine in or take out, is concise but well varied and features Japanese and Thai food. I tried one of the lunchtime specials, Teriyaki Beef and a cheese roll appetizer. The cheese roll (similar to a spring roll) was a hot, fresh, and delicious prelude to an outstanding entrée. The tender Teriyaki Beef, served with rice and beautifully dressed noodles, had an astoundingly flavorful sauce. The quality of the food and service, combined with very reasonable prices, made for a delightful lunch.

I confess to being a little disappointed when I stepped out of the restaurant and found myself in downtown Macon instead of Tokyo, but now I know where to come for a taste of Asia.

Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous

While in Memphis, TN recently, I had the good fortune to discover Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous, a downtown rib restaurant located at 355 N Main St, Memphis. Rendezvous has a back-alley entrance off of N. Main Street so don't give up looking for the door! Once inside, descend below the diner to the basement restaurant for a ribtastic experience! It pays to make reservations, especially on the weekend, as Rendezvous is famous for its award-winning ribs and people flock to eat there.

The menu is concise, focusing on what Rendezvous does best - ribs and barbecue. I chose a small order of the World-Famous Rendezvous Charcoal-Broiled Pork Ribs with Beans & Slaw. One thing that makes Rendezvous ribs stand out is the dry rub seasoning. I souped it up with the hot BBQ sauce and refrained from much conversation for the duration! The ribs were fantastic, by far the best I've ever eaten.

Other than the quality of the food, the atmosphere also makes for a great experience. The wait staff are great fun as they interact with diners, as well as effective at handling the high volume of people that come to eat. One thing is for sure: If I'm ever back in Memphis, I'll visit Rendezvous again.

So if you're ever in Memphis and you don't go to Rendezvous.... you might just as well make like Elvis' hound dog and cry a while, because you'll have missed out!

Beyond the Shire

Having made recent trips to Memphis, TN and Beaufort, SC - where I discovered outstanding new eateries and sampled incredible regional dishes - I've decided to expand this blog with a category of restaurants simply tagged Beyond the Shire. While this blog remains devoted to Middle Georgia eateries, I thought it would be tragically negligent of me to remain silent about some of these fantastic restaurants found beyond the borders of my Middle Georgia Shire.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


If barbecue is on your mind, then make a lunch stop at Satterfield's in downtown Macon. Tucked away at 120 New St, this down home BBQ restaurant is a friendly place to take a break and enjoy a tasty lunch from a menu with plenty of choices. Satterfield's doesn't do a dinner service and isn't open on the weekend, but does offer catering and special events in the restaurant in the evenings and on weekends.

I enjoyed the Monday special this week; BBQ pulled pork with three sides - I chose slaw, potato salad, and green beans. This is good, simple, tasty Southern food. It hits the spot and has enough variety for various appetites. Their sandwiches are pretty tasty too. I've enjoyed the pimento cheese sandwich and the Litter of Piglets (pulled pork on three wheat rolls) in recent months.

Sit inside the restaurant or out in the screened-in porch. If you feel like you're being watched, you are - numerous pigs and piglets in all shapes and forms are watching you from vantage points all around the restaurant. I didn't let it make feel guilty about eating their relatives though. I mean, we're all on the food chain somewhere, right? Life is just better nearer the top!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Emilio's Cuban Cafe

Things were swingin' at Emilio's Cuban Cafe in Bonaire Saturday night. Located in the strip mall at 402 GA Highway 247, Suite 300, this welcoming Cuban cafe-restaurant is well worth a visit if you're in the area. When we arrived just after 7pm, the live music was cranked up and the atmosphere was buzzing. The main dining area was full and people were enjoying the entertainment. We were seated in a booth in the bar area and our server took time to explain some of the less-familiar items on the menu.

Emilio's menu offers a variety of authentic Cuban dishes ranging from sandwiches to full entrées. We chose the Lechon Asado (Mojo marinated roast pork) and the Ropa Vieja (slow-cooked shredded beef in a creole sauce). The entrées include sides with a choice of red or black beans; white or yellow rice; sweet or green plantains; and fried or boiled yuca.

Other than being a tad salty, the meats were delicious and the sides added a great variety of flavors and textures to the meal. The food arrived quickly and the portions were generous. We were well satisfied. Emilio's is a place to enjoy good food and hospitality, which are closely related in Cuban culture. Combining the food and the atmosphere, I felt in no hurry to eat and run. This was my first time eating Cuban cuisine and I'm definitely ready to try more. I noted that Emilio's is also open for breakfast, so maybe I'll stop by there one morning.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Between the Bread Cafe

Between the Bread Cafe, located at 588 Mulberry St., Macon, is an intimate downtown dining location in an historic building. Good service and atmosphere make the experience enjoyable before the food even hits the table. The menu offers a nice variety of light to medium lunches to suit many tastes. Pastas, salads, sandwiches, hobbit-worthy loaded potatoes, and interesting specials are sure to delight.

This Friday lunch I eventually managed to decide on a slice of quiche from the Specials board with a side of fresh fruit salad. Wow, it's been a while since I had quiche, but this was one of the best I ever remember eating. The fruit salad was so fresh, I could smell it as it arrived at the table. The loaded potatoes looked really good too. I would have eaten one of those as well, but I had to go back to work and remain awake and productive for the afternoon, so I refrained.

An interesting concept, Between the Bread Cafe becomes Michaels on Mulberry for the dinner service. I'll check it out one evening before a show at The Grand Opera House.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


It is only fitting that my first post about a great dining experience be about my all-time favorite lunchtime eatery. Adriana's Cafe in downtown Macon (359 3rd St) is a delightful Italian cafe with a bustling atmosphere. It's really popular so I've learned to try to get there before the lunchtime rush. That said, it's always been worth the wait!

On Friday last, I enjoyed their salmon pasta with a Greek salad for lunch. It was flavorful, light, and satisfying. Their Greek salad really rocks. It is laced with garlic and filled with Mediterranean flavor. They also feature a sun-dried tomato soup with walnuts which is rich, tasty, and downright moreish. The spell-checker doesn't recognize the important culinary term "moreish." It's not rocket science - it means one bowl is never enough!

I've often gazed longingly at the delicious-looking cakes that they display in the dessert bar. I'll be sure to let you know when I try one. I'll pair it with a good espresso or cappuccino.

Middle Georgia: My Shire

Ever since I first hung my hat in Middle Georgia, I've been enjoying a great variety of culinary experiences. When I interviewed for my job here, I got to experience one of my all-time favorite lunchtime eateries to-date. When I relocated here, I was furnished with a list of good restaurants by my colleagues. Food is definitely on people's minds here in Middle Georgia, and that's a good thing in my book!

The places at which I have paused to enjoy a meal vary greatly - from fast food joints to restaurant chains; from family-run specialty eateries to formal restaurants - but most of them have had one thing in common: I'd be happy to tell my friends to go there and try it for themselves. And I do. Sure, I have my favorites which I frequent but I'm always on the lookout for something new.

This blog is a record of the memorable places I'd like to share with y'all.