Sep 7, 2014

Retro dining "cafeteria style" down south at S&S Cafeteria in Georgia

2124 Riverside Dr.  Macon Georgia
(478) 746-9406

I visit the South just about every year with my family for vacation.  The last time I passed through Macon Georgia, I ate at S&S Cafeteria, and was not disappointed in the least.

I did some research prior to our trip, which resulted in my discovery of S&S Cafeteria.  I already had my heart set on dining on plenty of authentic Southern cooking during the trip, and read a lot of good things about this restaurant on Yelp and Urban Spoon.  I also wanted the kids to have the experience of eating at a cafeteria style restaurant (heck.. its been at least 23 years since I've dined this way).  Open since 1936, S&S has definitely got some serious staying power.  We knew there must be a reason why, so we decided to take a gamble on S&S, and it paid off big time!


I would have loved to take pictures of the serving line, the friendly staff and some of the retro decor, but I had my hands full with showing the kids how the process of cafeteria dining worked.  At first they had the inclination to start grabbing everything that looked good.  My bride and I emphasized that you have to pay individually for items at a cafeteria, and that they needed to choose wisely and be very attentive to exactly how hungry they were.

They had some good dinner deals however, which included your choice of salad, entree, vegetable, choice of bread, and dessert for $6.99.  An absolute STEAL considering that all of the food was generously portioned, absolutely delicious, and made fresh.

The meal that I chose included chopped sirloin steak, twice baked potato, black eyed peas, sweet potatoes, cornbread muffin, and a slice of warm cherry pie.  I was originally torn between the meatloaf and corned beef, until the chopped steak caught my eye.  I didn't know exactly what it was, so I asked the server behind the counter.  He replied with a very lively "It's our delicious fresh made chopped steak, which comes with a twice baked potato".  I felt I couldn't go wrong ordering an item that the server was so enthusiastic about, and that decision proved to be a good one.

The chopped sirloin steak was juicy, full of flavor and drizzled with a ladle full of the rich and flavorful pan drippings.  The twice baked potato was rich, sharp, and creamy.  The black eyed peas were very tasty, and reminded me of the ones my Grandmother use to make.  The sweet potato casserole was possibly the best I've ever had, and the cornbread was so good, I found myself cleaning the plate of every last crumb.  The cherry pie was incredible.  I can't remember the last time I had one this good, not to mention one that was made from scratch.

I was able to sample a few other items from my kids and my brides plate as they were winding down and ready to call it quits.  Cooked green beans offered a flavor explosion the second they touched your tongue.  Fresh made biscuits were fluffy, flaky, and tender.  It was obvious to me that the corned beef from the carving station had been perfectly brined, and was incredibly tender.  The very last thing I tried was a bit of coconut cream pie, and I must say it was everything coconut cream pie should be.  Made from scratch right down to the pie crust, with real coconut, and incredibly delectable. 

During our dinner I started reminiscing about eateries like S&S, and the kids were surprised to hear that eateries like this one used to be the norm years ago.  Fresh cooked food and superior customer service.. two simple concepts that many eateries of today simply can't grasp.  

In short, every single thing we ate tasted incredible.  The staff was pleasant, informative, and beaming with Southern hospitality.  They bent over backwards to help us get through the serving line, and took the kids under their wings to explain what their options were.  S&S was hitting on all cylinders, and we all had a wonderful dining experience. It's definitely old school cafeteria dining at it's best.  We're definitely going to make it a priority to dine there whenever we're in the vicinity of Macon Georgia.

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