Historic Nu-way continues to be dog-gone good!

Telegraph correspondentDecember 21, 2012 

I’ve dropped more than one jaw by revealing I’d lived in Macon for more than a decade but never eaten at Nu-Way Weiners.

I confess to having the fries a few times when I was pregnant with my oldest and a co-worker was going for lunch and offered to bring them back.

I also confess to standing outside the door in 2007 to catch a glimpse of Oprah, who was in town to film a “Favorite Things” episode and later called the stop at Nu-Way one of the trip’s highlights.

I had tried to eat there a few times with visiting family, but it was usually around the holidays and we’d find ourselves out of luck.

It wasn’t until I threw my name in the hat to review Nu-Way that I set foot in the historic Cotton Avenue location for a taste of those infamous chili hot dogs and flaky ice I’d been hearing so much about.

In a booth next to the old-school lunch counter, I, too, became a Nu-Way convert.

I knew I had to jump right in and try the classic “All the Way” hot dog and ended up ordering a second before I’d finished the first. It was a good hot dog with chili that had just a hint of spiciness.

The general consensus regarding the hot dogs -- whether you get them with cheese, chili, slaw or all three -- is they are good.

I already knew I liked the fries but had some of those, too. They are not the best fries I’ve ever eaten, but they are certainly all you would expect from a fry -- crispy, hot, greasy and perfect with a little ketchup.

The onion rings also are tasty. A friend tried the chili cheese fries and said they were light on the cheese but still yummy.

My husband tried the cheeseburger and enjoyed it, but Nu-Way is not the first place that would come to mind if a burger was the primary goal.

The kids were in love with their meals -- a grilled cheese with fries that came in a cool little doghouse-style box with a sucker tucked inside. Kids can also choose a hotdog, hamburger or chicken nuggets with the kids’ meal.

During a separate visit, I had the grilled bacon and cheese sandwich and it was divine. The bacon was just right and I’ve always been a sucker for cheese on buttery bread.

I am not a tea drinker, but one of my dining companions is and said Nu-Way may have some of the best sweet tea in town.

Nu-Way also features a tasty-looking breakfast menu, but I will have to save that for another visit. Breakfast is served until 11 a.m.

Nu-Way has been a staple of downtown dining since 1916 when Greek immigrant James Mallis opened a hot dog stand with a signature bright red, private-label wiener.

A 1937 spelling mistake on a new marquee resulted in wiener being spelled “weiner” and Nu-Way left it that way. The unique spelling and unique hot dogs have put Nu-Way on the short list for countless stories about places in the South where dining is a must.

Over the years, Nu-Way has expanded beyond downtown to include five other locations in Macon, two in Warner Robins and one in Fort Valley.

From the sparkly vinyl-covered lunch stools to eating in a part of Macon’s history, I loved everything about the experience.

Nu-Way Weiners

Address: 430 Cotton Ave., Macon

Phone: (478) 743-1368

Hours: 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays

Payment: Cash, credit or debit

Smoking: No

Alcohol: No

Kids Menu: Yes

Noise Level: Medium

Health Rating: 90

Price Range: Lunch items start at $1.79 and breakfast items at $1.09.

Rating: Three and a half stars

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