By JUSTIN BAXLEY (@JbClusterSports)
Photo credit goes to humanclippingservice.com.
You’re driving down Interstate 75, and your stomach starts to ache.
Or maybe you need to stay for the night before heading to Atlanta or Savannah the next day. There is a town called Macon, right in the middle of Georgia, with a rich history and enough restaurants to give you all your palate desires. Here are my top five restaurants from local places to eat around the area.
1. H&H Soul Food Restaurant
This place is cooking up more than just great Southern delicacies. It also serves as a time machine to a much different time period. The Allman Brothers, Wet Willy and the NAACP all frequented this establishment back in the ‘70s.
It might as well be a historical landmark at this point. Of course, the food is not bad either. The menu changes every day except the fried chicken, which remains rain or shine.
It is your typical meat and three, where you can chow down on some of the best turkey and dressing this side of Thanksgiving. I rarely check to see what they are serving, as the menu is also one where you can point to something and it will be good.
Recommendations: Fried chicken, turkey and dressing as well as the amazing desserts, which include a banana pudding to die for.
Website with location: https://www.facebook.com/handhsoulfood
807 Forsyth St
Macon, GA 31201
Meatloaf is just one of the many great dishes at H&H Soul Food. Photo by Justin Baxley.
2. El Camino
A new restaurant that just recently rolled into downtown Macon, El Camino is nothing short of spectacular. They serve fresh ingredients, and a completely different take on Mexican cuisine.
The food ranges from tacos to sandwiches and the best churros I have ever had. I could not find a single thing wrong on my visit to El Camino, and trust me, I tried. Essentially, this a food truck without the truck.
Also for those over 21, I have heard that their margaritas are delicious. I myself opted for a Mexican Coca-Cola.
Recommendations: The Pescador (fried catfish taco), the Bandito (short rib sandwich) and the churros with orange-peel cream sauce.
Website with location: http://www.elcaminomacon.com/
382 2nd St.
Macon, GA 31201
The pescador and the good shepard provide a great meal at El Camino. Photo by Justin Baxley.
3. Bearfoot Tavern
The best burger in Macon is found right here. If you are craving a pint of whatever you like and a juicy burger, then Bearfoot is the place for you.
The burgers are topped with everything from shallots to spicy tomato jam. There are three types of meat: turkey, ground beef and lamb. There are plenty of other great selections on the menu, but if you love burgers then you must try this one.
Recommendations: The Godsey (burger), The Southern Soul (pickle-brined chicken sandwich) and truffle parmesan fries.
Website with location: http://hotplatesrestaurantgroup.com/bearfoot-tavern.cms
468 Second Street
Macon, GA 31201
The best burger in Macon lives at Bearfoot Tavern. Photo by Justin Baxley.
4. Biscuits, Burgers and More
“Do not judge a book by its cover” is an old saying. This holds true for BBM, as it is tucked inside of a grocery mart that looks like nothing more than an old gas station. What you will find inside is one of the best places to eat in Macon.
Mike is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, but he cooks up some mean food. The biggest piece of advice I can give you: Go for breakfast. While the burgers and dogs are a treat at lunch, this place does breakfast better than anywhere I have had.
You will walk into a shrine for the Allman Brothers Band and the Georgia Bulldogs, so be ready for good music and some football talk.
Recommendations: Cheese grits, pork chop biscuit, and the Dickey Betts burger (blackened burger).
Price: I feel like I am stealing. It is less than $.
Website with location: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Biscuits-Burgers-and-More/901242126595348
101 GA Highway 49
Macon, GA 31201
The Dickey Betts is named after the Allman Brothers band member, and the burger represents the name well. Photo by Justin Baxley.
5. The Back Burner
Now so far on this list, I have only put down some inexpensive quick-bite-to-eat places. The Back Burner is not that type of place. In one word it is: fancy.
At least for a broke college student, this is a date-night splurge place. Chef Julio Rosas is a magician in the kitchen. You will take one bite and realize you are in flavor paradise. The meal will run you over $20, but if you are here to celebrate or have a fancier dinner, then this is the place.
This is not your jeans and t-shirt place, so you will need to dress for the occasion. The atmosphere is laid back, though, and you don’t feel like you’re in a “pinkies up setting.”
Recommendations: New York Strip steak, escargot and braised veal.
Website with location: http://backburnermacon.com/
2242 Ingleside Avenue
Macon, GA 31204
You can get just about anything you desire at The Back Burner. The duck is one of the rare dishes you can find here. Photo by Jave Bjorkman.
Honorable Mentions: Cox Cafe, Roasted Cafe, Polly’s La Mesa and J&F Caribbean Delight