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It 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 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.
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.
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!