Located just up Mercer University Drive from the Macon Mall, Anderson’s Diner is a friendly, comfortable place to grab some quick, good food.
If you’re not familiar with the "meat and two" format, that’s a Southern-style diner that provides many choices of entrees (the "meat") and even more choices of sides (the "two"). The food is already waiting for you, usually along a cafeteria line, so it’s a great option for those with limited time.
Anderson’s has its menu up on the wall, and it's organized by the day of the week. We visited on a Saturday afternoon, when fried pork chops were among the entrees available. It’s too bad, we said, that a plastic knife was the only utensil available for cutting it, because the thickness definitely called for some steel. Plastic utensils match the Styrofoam takeout tray that comes with every meal ordered, so there’s no need to make that decision until it’s time to sit or go.
A "meat and two" usually also offers a vegetable plate — only in the South would macaroni and cheese be considered a vegetable. Most places give you three choices for a vegetable plate, but Anderson’s gives you four, and they’re very generous with those four, too. I decided on candied yams, cabbage, mac and cheese and green beans. I’m new to cabbage, so I’m no connoisseur, but it was my least favorite of the four. The green beans had a smoky flavor without too much saltiness; and the mac and cheese had large elbow pasta and was super cheddary. The yams were exactly what you look for in a dessert masquerading as a vegetable.
Even though each day’s menu is up on the board, make sure you double check to see if there are other things available in the pans in front of you on the cafeteria line. We saw some black-eyed peas with green beans on the line and were very pleased with them once we ordered them. Fried chicken is always there, and on the right days you can get meatloaf, ribs and baked chicken.
Our littlest diners inhaled their yams and mac and cheese, and they were eyeing the last piece of dessert available — a triple layer chocolate cake — when it got snatched up in a to-go order. Red velvet cake is available every day on a first-come, first-served basis. We were there at 2 p.m. and all of it had already been served.
There’s nothing extra here, so the price can be kept fairly low. A great idea would be to come by after work and order a customized "meat and two" for each member of your family. Take it home and everybody gets exactly what they want. The price won’t be much higher than if you made it yourself. And, if you’re like me, it’ll be a whole lot better.
Anderson’s Diner 4191 Mercer University Drive Two and a half stars Phone: (478) 471-8988 Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday Payment: Cash, credit card Price: $6-10 Reservations: No Dress: Casual Children’s menu: No Vegetarian selections: Yes Wheelchair accessible: Yes Noise level: Low Alcohol: No Health rating: 93