Hibachi grills crackle with roaring flames and razor-sharp knives glimmer as they slice through fish—affording diners glimpses of the culinary skills the master chefs at Shogun Japanese Restaurants have been honing for more than a decade. Rustic exposed-brick walls and Japanese art pieces surround patrons, but all eyes are on award-winning chefs as they sizzle up choice beef, vegetables, and seafood at tableside grills. Behind the sushi bar, sushi artists swiftly chop fresh fish into 78 types of specialty rolls, and in the kitchen, pots bubble with udon noodles and soups that also fill the antiburglar cauldrons lining the restaurant’s roof. Behind the bar, mixologists top lavish cocktails with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
A Macon staple since 1935, Fincher’s savory smoked fare and signature sauce is the first of its kind to leave orbit, traveling on two separate space missions at the request of an astronaut. Topping the streamlined menu is the barbecue pig, a classic chopped-pork sandwich ($2.28), which pairs perfectly with french fries ($1.59) or a cup of brunswick stew ($1.10). The chicken plate ($6.85) unites a half pound of the prized protein with fries, slaw, and buns. For fall-off-the-bone goodness, sample the slow-cooked St. Louis rib plate ($7.99), accompanied by three sides and a succession of satisfied lip smacks.
Wielding an array of fresh ingredients, Caliente's rolls out generously stuffed California-style burritos under the watchful eyes of its hungry customers. Each bean bundle comes with a choice of flour, wheat, or spinach tortillas; steak, chicken, or ground beef; and black or pinto beans. Train your taste buds for a tussle with The Thrilla from the Grilla, a pugilistic package of meat, rice, beans, and cheese seared to crispy greatness on the grill ($6.25). Or help your date overlook your own slovenly habits by juxtaposing them with the Seriously Sloppy nachos, a multilayered mass of tortilla chips, cheese dip, meat, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, and chipotle-ranch dressing ($6.50).
Fresh Air Bar-B-Que's owners, David and George Barber, preserve family recipes passed down by their grandfather and continue to slow-cook barbecue pork, Brunswick stew, and a menu steeped in traditional Southern flavor harking back to the restaurant’s 1929 founding.
After 30 years of curating and perfecting recipes, founders Linda and Julie unleashed their culinary powers to create a Roly Poly menu of more than 50 rolls and sandwiches, plus a tempting selection of desserts. Slinging sandwiches for catering, lunch, and dinner, the sandwich artisans envelop a variety of inventive ingredients inside warm, floury tortillas, from fresh vegetables to pesto chicken to mustard-splashed tuna. Customized sandwiches may also be rolled to suit various diets, preferences, or carbo-loading competitive mimes.
• For $7, you get $15 worth of in-house Mediterranean fare. • For $35, you get $70 worth of catered Mediterranean fare. Papouli’s Mediterranean Cafe and Market quells Corinthian cravings with a menu stocked full of Greek favorites and contemporary Mediterranean dishes. Accentuate a lively debate about first-century Olympians with sharable sides, such as hummus ($3.50) or eggplant-blended baba gannouj ($3.50), smooth dipping sauces perfect for skinny-dipping pitas. Entree-minded diners meet carnivorous cravings with souvlaki plates (chicken $9.25, lamb $11.99), savory spears of marinated meat grilled with green pepper and onion and served over rice pilaf with Greek salad and bread. Alternatively, appease corporate crowds with catered fare ($5.99/person), such as dolmades, seasoned rice and raisins gift-wrapped in marinated grape leaves, or beef and lamb gyros. Pastryphiles can mow down spanakopita, a wedge of spinach, feta cheese, and phyllo dough that doubles as a discus when frozen.