If you haven’t witnessed the resurgence of downtown Macon yet, Taste and See Coffee Shop and Gallery is a great place to get acquainted with the new vibe of upscale style and camaraderie that has brought the area to a new level of expectations.
One block away from the new Dannenberg development on Poplar Street, Taste and See is a portal to a Colorado hang out, where gorgeous landscape photography adorns the walls and the room is covered in natural woods. In the back corner is a gorgeous tin-roofed ordering counter, complete with flagstone and moose lanterns.
Let’s start with the coffee. For usually less than the price of “large chain coffee shops,” you can get a typical espresso, latte, cafe au lait or cappuccino, pulled by a trained barista. They also have specialty coffee drinks like a Gold Rush, Liquid Gold or a Maple, which have added flavors such as caramel, vanilla and maple syrups. There’s even a Mexican Mudslinger made with cola and espresso, not for the faint hearted.
For purists, there is the Pour Over, which is basically a Japanese version of the French press. Beyond coffee, they have tea, chai latte, iced versions of almost everything, and fruit smoothies, made with only fruit, honey and milk.
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Of course, you need a snack to go with your beverage. Taste and See has an in-house baker to create their cranberry orange biscuits, iced cinnamon rolls, caramel pecan cinnamon rolls, Italian cream cake, blueberry muffins and more. We tried their bacon cheddar scones and enjoyed their fluffy texture and bacony goodness. If the baked good you came for isn’t in the counter, there are always egg and cheese bagels, with or without pork sausage, turkey sausage or bacon.
Taste and See recently has added some lunch items, but they’re still experimenting with the selection. At the time of this review, they were serving chicken salad or pimento cheese on your choice of bagel. We really enjoyed the slight sweetness of the grape-studded chicken salad but the Wicked pimento cheese is a scene stealer. The heat comes only from the black pepper, so it’s not acidic like jalapeño can be. We also had the new Smoke Wagon sandwich with a fried egg under the pimento cheese, but it was not as well received as the other two choices.
They have live music every weekend and plan to have family-friendly entertainment from 7-9 p.m. every night during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Because they are a Christian-based business, note that they are always closed Sunday.
The addition of this great looking, sustainable business has firmly cemented the downtown comeback we have all been waiting for. Come be a part of the great return.
Taste and See Coffee Shop and Gallery
Address: 546 Poplar St., Macon
Hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: No
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 100
Price range: $2.10-$5.50
Rating: 3 stars