Burt’s Butcher Shoppe and Eatery

Burt's Butcher ShopIt only takes a couple steps inside Burt’s Butcher Shoppe and Eatery to know you found the real deal. Before seating yourself in the dining area, you’ll pass by the counter where locals have ordered fresh cuts of meat for years. And once you’ve chosen a booth or table, get ready for one of the best off-the-grid dining experiences in the city.

Okay, a little clarification here. If “dining experience” paints pictures of themed decor, uber-perky servers and cocktails with funny names, you’ll find what you’re looking for just down the road. There’s nothing fancy about Burt’s, but you’ll be too busy enjoying the food to really notice. Dinner meals include your choice of side orders and plentiful portions of fresh steaks, chops, schnitzel, ham or chicken. Salads are basic lettuce-and-tomato fare, but they arrive at your table crisp and fresh. Whether you order them as a side or an appetizer, do yourself a favor and don’t leave Burt’s without putting away a few fried green tomatoes. Beverages include soft drinks, tea, lemonade and coffee.

You’ll find a wide range of sandwiches and “mini-dinners” on Burt’s lunch menu. Servings are still generous, with prices that rival those of the franchise burger joints. Just remember to show up early: the place can get jam-packed around noon. Service is attentive and courteous. The staff refills empty glasses and looks after diners without that obtrusive “server smother.” They’ll even bring a styrofoam tray for those leftovers, a good thing since you won’t want to leave anything behind. The eatery is open from 11am-7:30pm Tuesdays through Saturdays: the butcher shop opens at 9am and closes at 7pm those same days. The address is 2932 Warm Springs Road and you can call 706-653-0677 to place orders or check on daily specials.

There’s no shortage of good places to eat in Columbus, it all depends on the food and mood you have in mind. If you’re willing to trade fancy trappings for a delicious full-on meal at a price that’s better than reasonable, you can’t beat Burt’s.

Macon Road Barbeque – A Hidden Gem

Macon Road BBQ – A Hidden Gem

Barbeque in the South is as famous at it is varied in taste.  Columbus is known for its mustard based, pork BBQ that usually divides many first time tasters.  While the taste is not as renowned as the tomato based sauce used in Memphis, it’s a taste that grows better over time and the locals here swear by it.

One of the best BBQ joints in town is Macon Road Barbeque.  This restaurant is no more than a small shack that has stayed the same since it was built.  When you first walk in you are met with a blast of BBQ aroma and smoke.  Everything is cooked slowly on a chimney style smoker from the 70’s that still uses wood, the smell will linger comfortably on your clothes long after you leave.

Macon Road Barbeque simply has the best BBQ chopped pork sandwich in town.  A mountain of slow cooked pork in their original BBQ sauce is served on a bun with a dollop of homemade slaw – a combination of flavors that will put your mouth in heaven.

This isn’t your typical chain restaurant offering.  There are no dancing pigs on the menu – or a menu at all for that matter.  The tables are bare and a pitcher of sweet tea is brought to your table after you order.  They also serve chicken, ribs and a pulled pork plate for the hungrier patrons.  I would also recommend trying the home made Georgia style Brunswick Stew – thick and tomato based with ingredients that include pork, potatoes and corn.

Macon Road Barbeque is a great place to eat at for lunch and is a straight shot for Aflac employees.

The Tavern

The Tavern – A Great Live Music Venue in Columbus, Ga.

The Tavern, located behind Country’s BBQ off of Veterans Pkwy and Whittlesey Road, is one of the best live music venues in the Columbus, Ga. area.

During the day time The Tavern is one of the best upscale restaurants in town. For lunch menu items include a number of delicious burgers and sandwiches, while the dinner menu includes some of the best steaks, ribs and seafood in town.  Tables here are covered in linen and lit by candle light, making it a great location for a date or business meeting.

The Tavern has features a huge bar that offers a huge selection of beer and wines for patrons who decide to stay after dinner.  The atmosphere here is lively and includes a large space for dancing and big stage for live bands to play.  Bands that often play here include “The Misty Harbor Band,” and “Kaleb King.”

The crowd at this venue is a great mixture of younger and older, but mostly those who love to dance to the hits.  This is a great alternative to some of the downtown bars and is great for those who live on the north side of town.

Mixed drinks at the bar average $5 dollars and shots around $7. The Tavern is open Tuesday through Saturday starting at 4 P.M.Thetavern

The Best Wings in Columbus

bmerrellsThere are some great wing restaurants in Columbus, Ga, but few can compare to the unique taste offered by B. Merrell’s wing sauce and homemade dipping sauces.

There are a ton of great menu items to choose from at B. Merrell’s, but I would personally consider it a sing not to order the wings every time I go – if not just for an appetizer.  They offer wings in different amounts, the smallest being the snack pack (6 wings) and the normal order (10 wings).  After this amount patrons can order wings in increments of 10 up to 100 wings for huge parties.

Every order of wings comes with celery and carrots as a side item.  While not advertised, the restaurant allows hungrier guests to substitute this with a hearty plate of thick steak fries.  Dipping your French fries into the wing sauce is recommended.

Wings come in two flavors: Caribbean and Traditional.  The Traditional sauce tastes similar to buffalo sauce, but this flavor is baked into the meat and is not quite as messy as other “traditional wings.”  The wings are big and baked sauce can be tasted within the meat.  This sauce can be ordered as mild or hot.

B. Merrell’s most popular sauce is the sweeter Caribbean.  It is thicker than the traditional sauce and a tad messier as well.  The sauce blends perfectly with the chicken and creates a unique flavor. For those who want a taste of both sauces, I recommend splitting your order half Traditional wings and half Caribbean.

The dipping sauces at B. Merrell’s are also fantastic and homemade.  As a big fan of blue cheese, this is the best blue cheese I have ever tasted.  Creamy and chunky at the same time, it provides a rich flavor and chewy consistency.  The blue cheese makes for a wonder salad dressing as well, so I recommend ordering extra.  The ranch dressing is also a delight and tastes like a traditional ranch sauce and goes great with the Traditional Wings.

Give the wings at B. Merrell’s a try, while they are slightly more expensive, the taste cannot be beat.

Market Days in Downtown Columbus

Market Days Downtown Columbus The first time I went to Market Days on Broadway there were only about 3 or 4 vendors and I thought there is not much to this..  Well that has changed dramatically!!  Now there are 3 blocks of vendors on Broadway every Saturday Morning.

Everything from organic foods like the table pictured to flowers to backed goods to jewelry and crafts.   Wow!  Impressive display of food and crafts.

Additionally, there is an impressive amount of people downtown with their dogs and children just milling about and buying food and crafts and just generally enjoying the outdoors.  Live music was playing and just a great energy.  The Downtown area or as it is commonly called the uptown area is becoming the place to be.

The other thing I noticed is that the uptown area is becoming dog friendly and outdoor friendly.    The Big Dog Running store has runs in the downtown area and in a couple of weeks the whitewater rafting opening day is May 25th.  So we are becoming a city for people who enjoy the outdoors!    Fun!  I have never really thought of Columbus Ga that way before.  Really exciting!

Nights in the Valley: April 9-15

Some local nightlife to enjoy this week:

Monday, April 9 – Service Industry Night and Karaoke at Soho, Spades Night at The Suite Bar and Grill

Tuesday, April 10 – DJ AI at The Suite Bar and Grill, Open Mic Night at Soho with host Tripp Wrigley

Wednesday, April 11 – Wine Tasting at Ben’s Chophouse with live music from Nick Johnston; Piper’s Down at The Suite Bar and Grill

Thursday, April 12 – Charles “Big Saxy” Robinson at Ben’s Chophouse, Open Mic Night at The Suite Bar and Grill with host Nick Johnston, Open Mic Night at Fountain City Coffee, “I Tweet On My iPad (And I Liked It)” opening night at The Springer Opera House, Comedy Night at The Loft

Friday, April 13 – Downtown Concert Series on Broadway with Big Woody and the splinters!! DJ Teknek at The Suite Bar and Grill, Ben Sutton and Josh McKenzie at Ben’s Chophouse, Friday Night Jazz and Peggy Jenkins at The Loft

Saturday, April 14 – Latin Extreme Night at The Suite Bar and Grill, Ben Sutton and Josh McKenzie at Ben’s Chophouse, Leigh Nash at The Loft

Sunday, April 15 – Jazz Night at The Suite Bar and Grill

Weekend Getaway: Atlanta Food and Wine Festival

If you’re looking for a novel and invigorating out-of-town experience, you should check out the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival.

This 4-day celebration of culinary excellence and superb beverages will take place from May 10 thru 13 in Midtown Atlanta. Food and drink enthusiasts will have the opportunity to enjoy the fine cuisine of the premier chefs of our capital city and from around the Southeast.

According to their website, the festival is “a culinary experience like no other, unites leaders of their craft— barbecue pit masters, award-winning chefs and mixologists, sommeliers, fry cooks and local growers—in the spirit of celebrating the rich food and beverage traditions of the South.”

Tickets for the event are available in three packages: Connoisseur, 3-day passes, and day passes. Tickets to individual al a carte dinners and events are also available. Check out their website for pricing and availability.

This will give you and yours the perfect opportunity to experience some of the best food and beverage that the South has to off. So make the trek and make sure you bring your appetite!


Drew Konze at Crepe Myrtle in the Landings

Crepe Myrtle in the Landings - RestaurantI recently had a chance to interview Drew Konze,the owner of an awesome new restaurant in Columbus, the Crepe Myrtle. So here are some of the questions and responses Drew gave me.

Q: Drew, you told me that you and your mom started the Crepe Myrtle. Could you tell me a little about that and how ya’ll came up with the concept??

A: The Crepe Myrtle in The Landings was started in Columbus, Ga in December 2011. I will be graduating from Auburn in May, looking for a job. I have always been interested in cooking and the restaurant industry. My mom was in Atlanta, and fell in love with the concept she stumbled upon while at The Atlanta Market. We were consulted by the company in Atlanta. My mom and I worked hard, researched everything we could think of and started the company from the ground up. We learn everyday new ways to better cater to our guests.

My family has been involved in family businesses my entire life. My dad owns Xpress Printing for 35 years, and my mom has started an arts and craft lesson business, as well as a Bible Verse Pillow case Business, Tadah is the name. Therefore, I have always wanted to start my own business and grow it large enough to provide for my family. With the help of my parents, we were able to invest the money needed to start the restaurant that is unique to Columbus GA.

Q: What makes the Crepe Myrtle different from other restaurants in Columbus?

A: Crepe Myrtle focuses on fresh ingredients. Everyday the vegetables and meats (steak and white meat chicken) are cut and cooked in order to create meals with the best possible ingredients. Each meal is prepared for the individual customer, not held warm all day. We are unique to Columbus being the only crepe restaurant in town. Our focus as a company is the customer and providing them with the best customer service will be a huge advantage of Crepe Myrtle. Our mission as a company is to provide our customers with a relaxing, delicious meal by providing the best customer service. Our employees take pride in the company we are creating together and share their love for life through the interactions with our guests.

Q: What are your future plans for the Restaurant?

A: The future of Crepe Myrtle is to eventually grow to become a regionally know restaurant that could have other locations. The other locations would be in towns similar to Columbus within Georgia or Alabama. Trying to keep the small, personal feel and great food will be the main goal for future restaurants.
The absolute ultimate goal would be to franchise hundreds of stores, but for now that is too far down the road.

Q: What else do we need to know about your business?

A: Crepe Myrtle in The Landings is a family owned and operated restaurant in Columbus, Georgia. Crepe Myrtle sells crepes that are created for the individual guest for lunch and dinner. Our location is in a central shopping center located in a great part of town. Our goal is to offer our customers a “get away from the everyday hustle and bustle” feel, by giving great, personal service and great food.

Thank you for sharing with me Drew! I have sampled the restaurant and was very impressed. You should have also let them know that they can have a glass of wine with their dinner. I for one will be back!!

Party Like an Irishmen: St. Patty’s in Columbus

St. Patrick’s Day is Saturday night, and Columbus has a whole host of options for how to celebrate this year. Just be sure to sport some green clothing, and of course have some green beer, if you plan on partaking in any of the festivities!

Local favorite Stereomonster will be performing. Also drink specials and Irish Stew. $5 Cover.

Ben’s Chophouse
Scott Taccati, the Piano Man, will be rocking the bar. A ton of drink specials including 2 for $10 Irish Car Bombs and $2.50 Guinness. No Cover.

The Loft
Comedy from 8-9:30, Music by Big City Ramblers starting at 9:45. Drink specials including Irish Flag Margaritas. $10 cover for comedy, $5 for music.

The Relics will be performing. Drink and cigar specials. $5 cover.

Scruffy Murphy’s
Irish food and drink’s throughout the day (starting at 11:30 A.M.). Na Buachaillí, an Irish band, will be performing. $7-10 cover.

Music from the Chris Collins Band, along with acoustic music during the day. $8 cover for Chris Collins Band.

Corbin Knowles performing.


Taste of the Valley: Lunchtime

When it comes to your lunch hour, don’t get stuck in a rut with the same old cuisine and waste this most sacred time of the work day. Why not try out some of these new hot spots to satisfy your midday appetite?

Crepe Myrtle
This little gem in the Landings offers a twist on classic sandwich options in the form of, yep, you guessed it: crepes. Crepe Myrtle in the Landings brings to Columbus the taste of the original Crepe Myrtle Cafe, a popular eatery in Auburn. With tasty selections ranging from Pesto Steak to Roasted Veggie, or my personal favorite Caesar Chicken, this fresh take on the sandwich hits the spot. And yes, they have the panini option if you’re not feeling particularly adventurous (but seriously, get the crepe!).

The Grill
Wanting a great place to have that splurge meal for the week? Try a tasty burger or melt at our town’s newest diner, The Grill. They have some great dishes that might not be so good for you diet, but will certainly please your tastebuds. The Grill provides that small town diner feel with some really flavorful food to boot. This place is likely to become a Columbus staple, as their slogan says it all: “Where the local people meet and eat!”

Your Pie
This place is a topping lover’s dream! Your Pie gives everyone the opportunity to be a pizza artist, as you get to put together a delectable personal piece with over 30 different toppings, 10 cheeses, and 8 sauces to choose from. With 20 of those toppings at no additional charge, there’s no need to compromise on what you want on your pizza ever again! They also offer specialty pizzas, along with calzones, paninis, and bread-bowl salads. And once you’ve polished off your personal brick-oven masterpiece, don’t skip out on the decadent tiramisu gelato. You won’t be sorry.