Don’t let Molly’s Cafe decor stop you at door, hearty fare awaits

Telegraph correspondentApril 19, 2013 

The decor at Molly’s Cafe may cause a few men to hesitate at the door, but the tasty and hearty choices on the menu will satisfy any diner.

Molly’s anchors one of the corners at Cherry Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and is open weekdays for lunch. The decor is frilly with lots of pink, knickknacks and a general fancy tea room vibe, but the dining is definitely casual.

The menu is a mix of salads, sandwiches, wraps, burgers and specials. There are lots of interesting pairings -- like pear and gouda -- and a range of vegetarian entrees.

The sandwiches, wraps and burgers come with a choice of homemade chips, fries, soup, apple salad or pasta salad. Onion rings are available for an extra $1.49.

On an initial visit, we opted for two of the three menu items with Molly’s in the name -- Molly’s Famous Chicken Salad and Molly’s Famous Monte Gristo, which is named for Telegraph columnist Ed Grisamore.

The chicken salad is served on lettuce or a croissant and I had it on the bread. I am normally not a big chicken salad fan, but Molly’s adds dried cherries, pesto and a “secret sauce,” and it was so good.

My friend had the Monte Gristo and said it differed from a traditional Monte Cristo as it wasn’t battered and fried or served on French toast. She also said there was too much powdered sugar, but the sandwich was OK.

I took the family for a second visit. There is not a kids menu, but our server said the kitchen would be happy to accommodate and we were able to get some grilled cheese sandwiches.

On this visit, I tried the ham and spinach sandwich, which comes on toasted ciabatta bread with purple onion and a Southwestern ranch sauce. It was so filling that I could have stopped at one half, but it was so tasty I had to polish off the whole thing.

My husband got the Southwestern Ranch Gorgonzola Burger and described it as a “deeply satisfying hamburger ... sized just south of decadent.” He said it definitely met the description on the menu.

On both trips, I tried some of the fries and homemade chips, which are sliced thin and fried. They didn’t make much of an impression the first go-round and my friend described them as kind of “eh.”

The chips were much better the second time and the family enjoyed sharing those. The fries are good, but not anything out of the ordinary.

These two visits were my first trips to Molly’s. My friend had been before and said the restaurant had made some changes to the seating layout that made it feel less cluttered.

The place was very busy on both trips and had options for cozy booth dining or large parties.

We had excellent service for both trips -- prompt and attentive but not hovering.

My husband said he’d always expected to find cucumber sandwiches and other tea room type fare on the menu, so the number of hearty sandwich and burger choices was a pleasant surprise to him.

The bottom line for Molly’s is the food is good and don’t be intimidated by the decor.

Molly’s Cafe

Address: 402 Cherry St., Macon

Phone: (478) 744-9898

Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays

Payment: Cash, credit

Smoking: No

Alcohol: No

Kids Menu: No

Noise Level: Low

Health Rating: 91

Price range: Soups start at $3.95, sandwiches at $7.95 and salads at $8.95

Rating: 3 stars

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