At 807 Forsyth St., sits an institution that is uniquely Macon. Here, civil rights activists and the NAACP held meetings. Members of the Allman Brothers, Molly Hatchet, and Wet Wille came to eat. Steeped in history and tradition, H&H restaurant is a revered place on the Macon food scene.
Despite its importance, financial troubles forced owner Mama Louise to close the establishment in late 2013. Help came in the form of the Moonhanger Group, owners of downtown's Dovetail and Rookery restaurants, who announced they would purchase the eatery.
The restaurant re-opened Aug. 13 of this year. However, many wondered if the new owners would live up to the expectations.
The day before going, I couldn’t stop talking about the meal I was going to order at H&H. My roommate Kyle Struck, who had finally gotten tired of hearing my voice, decided that he’d join me and my colleague, Justin Baxley. I had to wake Kyle up before we left and he managed to stumble to the car and off we left.
I was not disappointed in the least.
Once we found parking, we approached the humble building. The atmosphere was very homey. Our waitress, Erica Zanghi, placed menus in front of us and took our drink orders. Kyle and Justin ordered the lemonade while I got the Sweet Tea. The lemonade is the best I’ve ever had. The Sweet Tea was also very good. It was sweet enough to stomach but not too sweet to consume.
Once our waitress returned, we asked her what she recommended.
“My personal favorite is the baked chicken and dressing,” Zanghi said. “You get a big heapin’ portion of dressing with chicken gravy over it. The baked chicken is super flavorful.” She went on to add “I can never say no to fried okra…and our mac and cheese is off the chain.”
Sadly, it was Friday. The menu changes on a daily basis and baked chicken is served on Thursdays.
Despite the setback, we eagerly proceeded. Kyle ordered baked ham, deviled eggs, mac and cheese, and fried okra. Justin ordered chicken livers, deviled eggs, mac and cheese, and broccoli casserole. Yours truly ordered the fried chicken, coleslaw, and mac and cheese.
The wait for our meal wasn’t too long. We didn’t mind the wait. We spent most of that time enjoying the Allman Brothers memorabilia than hung from the walls.
Our meals arrived and we quickly began eating. We tried to describe the food to each other but found that we’d rather eat than talk. The fried okra was perfectly cooked. The ham was well-smoked and juicy. The mac and cheese was equally praised by all for its delectable cheesiness. Justin and Kyle raved over the deviled eggs. The coleslaw had a yellow tint to it which threw me off. However, it was the best coleslaw I’ve ever had. The fried chicken has spicy undertones and the skin didn’t crumble apart or sag after taking a few bites. “This was worth waking up for,” said Kyle as he took a few more bites. After a few more rounds of lemonade, we proceeded to clear our plates.
Zanghi came back to check on us periodically. Towards the end of our meals, we asked for more lemonade and about the dessert choices for the day. Peach cobbler, Banana pudding, caramel layer cake, and bread pudding were the choices. Justin immediately ordered the peach cobbler. Kyle quickly ordered the banana pudding. Yours truly had to be different.
Periodically during my meal, I’d glance at the menu hanging above the back counter. The Bread Pudding had piqued my interest. After running the idea by our waitress, she eased my worries.
Once it hit the table, dessert was met with a chorus of O’s and Mmm’s.
The bread pudding was sweet, thick, and very filling. The powdered sugar, cinnamon, and syrup were great. However, it was a little too rich following the massive meal I had just eaten. Without hesitation, my guests devoured what little I couldn’t finish. The banana pudding was great and the Peach cobbler was unbelievably fresh and tasty. I felt like I had taken a peach right from a tree.
This was easily the best meal the three of us have had in a while.
H&H is open Monday-Saturday 6:30 a.m.- 3:00 p.m and don’t forget to thank Mama Louise before you leave.
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