H & H Restaurant
by Michael Buffalo Smith
How many times have we heard the old adage, "don't judge a book by it's cover?" Never has that statement held more truth than in the case of The H & H Restaurant, 807 Forsyth St. in Macon, Georgia. Outside the redbrick building with the aluminum door hangs an old, weather worn sign.The only clue as to the Allman Brothers Band's historical connection to the eatery is the small mushroom painted on the bottom of the sign. In fact, if you didn't know what you were looking for, you'd likely walk right around the corner past Mama's place.
Inside, you'll find walls filled with signed publicity photos, candid shots of The Brothers and the restaurant staff, autographs and photos of related bands like Gov't Mule and Doc Holliday. There are some beautiful paintings of the Allmans in there too. And the juke box is cool. The first CD on it is The Allman's greatest hits, and there are tons ofother choices, including some Otis Redding and lots of good r&b.
Mama Louise Hudson is usually cooking up some of her fine food in the kitchen, which is visible throughout the H & H. She has a huge smile for everyone, and a hug for folks she knows well.
A very nice fifteen-year-old gentleman named Philip helped us be seated and handed us an orange laminated menu. The first thing I noticed was that the menu had no prices on it. This is likely to have come from themany times when Mama fed the hungry, including the early Allman BrothersBand, for free when they couldn't afford it. Fact is, my wife and I both had plates full of piping hot meat and vegetables, iced tea, and a basket of crunchy, golden cornbread, absolute heaven for a country boy. Our total bill was around $14.00 or so. A great value.
The menu changes daily, and offers a choice of 1 of 3 meats ... forexample, a selection between chicken, barbeque ribs, or roast beef. Along with your meat selection, you will get to choose three vegetables from a list of six ... perhaps greens, corn, beets, rice, peas or macaroni & cheese. Or you can also order a "vegetable plate", without ordering any meat.
I had the fried chicken, boiled okra, collard greens and black-eyed peas. Where's Grandpa Jones when you need him? Somebody say, "Yum-yum!"
The H & H offers soft drinks and coffee, and in true southern fashion, good ol' sweet Tea.
Desserts are available, however, I had to drive back to Greenville, so I didn't want to over do it. Buy hey, the cobbler my neighbors were enjoying at the next table smelled awfully good!
Mama Louise gets an "A+" for food, another "A+" for atmosphere, and yet another "A+" for her sweet, caring spirit. If you find yourself inMacon, you owe it to yourself to dig into some of Mama Loiuse's soul food. And if you are a fan of The Allmans like me, well, that just makes the visit that much better.
H & H Restaurant
807 Forsyth St.
Macon, GA 31201
-Michael Buffalo Smith