The Bears Den may not be the classiest eatery in Macon, but it certainly has some good food.
Competing with a number of other meat-and-threes, the Bears Den has built a loyal following during the more than two decades its been open. The price -- $10 for a meat, two veggies, a bread, dessert and a drink -- is certainly reasonable for the quantity and quality of the food.
The restaurant near Mercer University specializes in Southern food, and the traditional Southern fare is solid.
The lasagna is unlikely to be mistaken for an authentic recipe from the Old Country, but it was still flavorful and hearty.
The Bears Den is on much firmer ground with Southern favorites. The shining example: Mac and cheese is offered every weekday for lunch. And the mac and cheese doesnt skimp on the cheese, and hot sauce is at every table for those who like it with a little kick.
Options vary from day to day. Chicken and dumplings (Tuesdays, Thursdays) is particularly well done, but may need a little more seasoning at the table. The baked chicken and dressing (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays) is tasty and cooked well. A colleague liked the country fried steak (Wednesdays). Chicken tenders and fried chicken (all days) are also just great.
The Bears Den also has a big variety of Southern sides, including black-eyed peas, rice and gravy, fried okra, collards and cheese grits. Selections vary with the day.
But the restaurant shines with its desserts, and a menu lists 16 possible desserts. The chocolate selections alone include chocolate brownie, chocolate Oreo pudding, German chocolate cake, iced chocolate cake and chocolate pie. Every kind of dessert weve had was scrumptious and flavorful. My one quibble -- and friends have had the same problem -- is a lack of labeling on the desserts, and a lack of artificial coloring -- means its entirely possible to grab a dessert in a flavor you werent seeking.
That said, its hard to go wrong with the desserts, or much of anything else at the Bears Den.
The Bears Den
Address: 1191 Oglethorpe St., Macon
Hours: Dine-in, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; takeout, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays
Payment: Cash, credit, debit
Kids menu: No
Noise level: Loud
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Health rating: 97
Rating: 3 stars