Bears Den shines with simple Southern food

mstucka@macon.comMarch 30, 2012 

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 it’s 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 doesn’t 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 we’ve 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 it’s entirely possible to grab a dessert in a flavor you weren’t seeking.

That said, it’s hard to go wrong with the desserts, or much of anything else at the Bears Den.

The Bears Den

Address: 1191 Oglethorpe St., Macon

Phone: 745-9909

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

Smoking: No

Alcohol: No

Kids menu: No

Noise level: Loud

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Health rating: 97

Rating: 3 stars

The Telegraph is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service