We enjoy getting out of town from time to time to change up the pace of life, try something new, and more times than not, to go see live music. One of our favorite places to go is Macon, Georgia. Just an hour past Columbus, it is a quick, easy trip for us to make. Macon is home of the Allman Brother’s Band, Otis Redding, Little Richard, and Chuck Leavell, to name a few of the famous musicians from this town. The music history here is incredibly rich and makes this town a mecca for musical artists that are passing through. Macon has been a part of my life since 2002 when I saw my first Widespread Panic show at the Macon Coliseum (now Centreplex). Little did I know almost sixteen years ago that when I passed through this town for a concert, that I would find myself returning here time and time again.
We have a solid routine when we get into town. Today our first stop was Gregg Allman’s graveside in Rose Hill Cemetery. It is a beautiful cemetery, with rolling hills making their way down to the riverside. This cemetery was established in 1840. Some may find it morbid, but it is actually a very serene property, and on a pretty day is a great place to take a stroll. I was first attracted to stop here to visit Berry Oakley and Duane Allman’s graveside. Being a long time Allman Brothers fan, this stop and a stop at The Big House Museum are a must. You could spend an entire day just visiting both of these places. The Big House is truly a magical place. The Allman Brothers lived here during their early days of building the band, and you can really feel a special presence in the house, and for me, all over town.
After Gregg Allman passed last year I have visited his graveside a handful of times. He is laid to rest in an unmarked grave directly to the left of his brother Duane. The first time I visited, it was sad to see just a chain marking the grave, but with each visit, a sprinkling of flowers and ceramic mushrooms are filling up what is now a makeshift memorial to Gregg. The staff at The Big House said a headstone is coming, but there is no estimated time when it will be in place. While paying our respects, we chatted with another gentleman who was doing the same. He introduced himself as Tony Coleman. He was very kind and spoke to us as we were long lost friends. He told us he played with B.B. King for over 35 years and was playing with the act, Jamey Johnson, that we were in town to see. We saw him at the show later that night, and he came up and gave us a hug like we were old friends. This is a perfect example of a Macon, Georgia experience. Even though were are there to enjoy a town where we know no one, we always leave having made new friends, and having experienced something exciting.
For dinner, we went back to a place we had visited once before, The Dovetail in the heart of downtown Macon on Cherry Street. We really like this location because not only is the food really tasty, but it is located in close proximity to The Cox Capitol theater (now the Hargray Theater) and the Macon City Auditorium. We can park downtown and walk everywhere we need to go. The Dovetail is located upstairs above another great place to stop in for a bite, The Rookery. I would describe the Rookery as more casual and pub-ish, whereas The Dovetail is a little more of an upscale and refined dining experience.
We were dressed a little more casual, did not have a reservation and opted to sit at the bar this particular evening. Most of the time I prefer the comfort and service afforded with having a table, but tonight we enjoyed sitting at the bar. Our bartender was extremely attentive and we enjoyed talking with him. Our server from a previous visit came by to say hello, even calling us by name. We felt welcome and at home. We started out with cocktails, per usual. I had the “Out of Season” and my husband had his usual, Maker’s Mark on the rocks. We contemplated for a little bit on how exactly we wanted to order our food. Everything on the menu looked appetizing, and from previous experience, I knew it would be equally delicious. We could not decide between sharing several small plates, or sharing few small plates and ordering our own entrees. We ended up with a blend of both, and a delightful dining experience.
For appetizers, we shared several of their small plates, the deviled eggs, the house cold pickled veggie plate, and the beet quinoa salad. I am fairly picky about my deviled eggs, and these passed my scrutinization. They were creamy, almost a fluffy whip of deviled egg goodness. The house cold pickled veggie plate introduced me to several new pickle preparations for veggies I had never thought of, nor experienced prior. Pickled brussel sprouts, cumin pickled carrots, and sweet, pickled rhubarb where some of the standouts for me. I love beets too, so I knew when I saw the beet and quinoa salad, we had to order it. The beets were tender and did not have an overpowering earthiness to them. They were tossed in a blue cheese, quinoa, pecans, honey oregano vinaigrette, and a little bit of shaved celery for crunch. Everything was divine, and we cleared every single plate.
For our entrees, I ordered another small plate, the Wagyu sirloin top, and my husband ordered their special for the evening, “The Going Back to Macon” Burger. The name of the special was a play on a Jamey Johnson song titled ‘Going Back to Macon’. I got one bite of it and it was savory and delicious. Had a nice smoke on the meat. My Wagyu was cooked just as ordered. I did not even use my steak knife. The tender, delectable Wagyu was in a base of shiitake mushroom cream sauce, roasted rutabaga puree, and a carrot top chimichurri. Simply scrumptious.
If you get a wild hair and want to get out of town, I highly recommend you put Macon, Georgia on your radar. Visit The Big House, walk through Rose Hill, take a musical tour with the Rock Candy tour company, watch some live music, go to Grant’s Lounge or the Hummingbird, and stay at the 1842 Inn. Get out and live life!