Amy Godwin thought she’d be waiting on just another customer when she walked up to the man wearing a baseball cap at Lemongrass Thai Bistro Monday night.
She began to recite the day’s featured dishes, then was taken aback when the man laughed as she described the restaurant’s drink special: the “Harrison Ford,” a cocktail similar to a White Russian.
After a moment of confusion, Godwin realized she was trying to sell the “Harrison Ford” to Ford himself, the legendary actor of “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” movie fame.
“He cut up with me about it,” she said. “He thought it was funny.”
Rather than holing up in his hotel ordering room service while he’s in Macon, Ford has hit several restaurants. One of his first stops when he arrived June 7 was Natalia’s restaurant on Bass Road.
One meal at Natalia’s just wasn’t enough, though, and Ford returned two days later with co-star Christopher Meloni and director Brian Helgeland, said Natalia del Basso-Orsini, the restaurant’s owner.
Basso-Orsini said Ford was “just great,” even walking back to the kitchen to meet the staff and taking pictures with them.
Ford also signed his menu, and Basso-Orsini said it would find a prominent place on a restaurant wall where menus signed by other celebrities now hang.
Basso-Orsini said Meloni was friendly and personable as well.
“He was as nice as can be, ... very easy to talk to. He has an easy smile,” she said.
Ilir Vargu waited on Ford’s table. He said Ford was impressed by the selection of traditional Italian offerings on the menu.
On his second visit, Ford had a veal chop, lemon sorbet and red wine. Vargu said he complimented the food and was down to earth.
“He was very simple, like a normal person,” he said.
After a couple of rich Italian meals, Ford and Meloni apparently were ready for some old-fashioned burgers at The Rookery.
Wayne Temple, an assistant manager there, was tending bar Sunday when Ford, Meloni and Helgeland walked in about 1:30 p.m.
The three men were friendly, he said, but they asked not to be disturbed since they planned to work while they ate.
Ford, Meloni and Helgeland were seated so quickly at a table they chose by a jukebox that many other patrons in the restaurant did not notice they were there, Temple said.
Michael Collins waited on Ford’s table, saying he recognized Ford but did not treat him like a celebrity.
“I figured he wouldn’t want someone fawning all over him, so I treated it like a normal table,” he said.
Ford ordered a Classic City Cheeseburger, cooked medium rare, with cheddar cheese, fresh onion and jalapenos, with a side of cole slaw. He also had a cup of lamb and black olive soup and a Back in Black beer. He asked for grass-fed beef from Rocking Chair Ranch in Forsyth in his burger.
Meloni had an Allman Burger with Rocking Chair Ranch beef and a side salad with balsamic vinaigrette.
After the meal, Ford told Collins it was the best burger he’d ever had, but then he quickly corrected himself.
“He got this wry smile on his face and looked sort of reflective and told me it was actually the second best,” Collins said. “When I asked him what the best was, he smiled and said he couldn’t tell me.”
Collins said he has become a bit of a local celebrity just by waiting on Ford.
“I’ve actually had people come in and ask to talk to me because I’m the guy who waited on him,” he said.
Collins actually had double Ford encounters this week, believe it or not. He was dining at Lemongrass Monday night, where he happened to run into Ford again.
“He just sort of looked over and nodded at me, and I nodded back,” he said.
The stars were friendly and polite, Temple said. They did not sign autographs or take pictures, but Ford and Meloni both signed the wall of the restaurant.
Ford and Meloni ate dinner separately Monday night. Meloni dined at Natalia’s again while Ford went to Lemongrass.
Godwin said Ford ordered two small appetizers: larp gai, a kind of Thai chicken salad, and sum tum, fresh green papaya with vegetables and a lime dressing. He had gang khew whan koong, a green curry with shrimp, for his main course and also sampled pad thai, a traditional Thai noodle dish.
“He was super kind,” Godwin said. “He was also very short and to the point.”
Ford signed one autograph for a woman at the bar, then signed more and took pictures with fans outside when he left.
Fans waited for Ford outside Lemongrass, and Temple said people have been coming downtown all week to look for the stars.
To contact writer Liz Bibb, call 744-4425.