When I have guests from out of town and I want them to try real home cooking, I take them to Rooster’s on Houston Road.
The dishes never change, so you always know what they’ll have. There’s meatloaf, fried chicken, fried pork chops and turkey wings, each with three sides for $7.99. On Friday and Saturday, you can also get fried fish for the same price. If you want all-you-can-eat fried chicken, it’s an extra dollar with 50 cents more for white meat only.
The entrees are really large portions: We got two pork chops, three pieces of fried chicken, and two thick slices of meatloaf on our visit. The fried chicken is tender and moist on the inside and super crunchy on the outside. The meatloaf has a barbecue-ketchup topping that makes it taste like a neighbor brought it over -- it’s a little different but still delicious.
My favorite side by far is the cornbread dressing, which reminds me of Thanksgivings long ago. The candied yams are not too sweet and still look like root vegetables. The macaroni and cheese is what Stouffers wishes it could make and the potato salad is so good I just knew it came from a store (it didn’t).
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The other sides are about the same as any other meat and three restaurant, but you don’t really want them to be different when you’ve had them the same way all your life. The cornbread is really good and I would choose that instead of the rolls.
Now, the cakes. The first time I tried Rooster’s cakes, my eyes rolled back in my head. Miss Butler used to make the best caramel cakes when I was growing up -- sweet, thick icing held up with thin layers of soft cake -- and this cake was like she had come back to us. Later, I bought a half cake for $20 and I felt I had made a deal. I brought other people back with me and they loved it, too. But the last two times I have ordered the caramel cake, it has been thawed in the microwave and the icing had lost its form. Today, it was even melted. Not cool.
The chocolate 14-layer cake and the mouth-pleasing German chocolate are now my preferences, but I’m hoping they will start thawing a quarter or half of a cake each day, now that they know what demand will be like each day.
Rooster’s has become very popular and there’s still just one person cooking back there. Even when there’s not a crowd, she is making everything fresh and you need to wait (sometimes quite a while) if you want something good.
If you have patience and a palate, it’s well worth the wait.
Rooster’s Down Home Country Kitchen
Address: 5616 Houston Road, Macon
Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: No
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 83
Price range: $8-$10
Rating: 3 stars