Wake up Macon and smell the prosciutto - there's a new deli in town!
If you're asking yourself "Does Macon really need another sandwich shop?" then you obviously haven't checked out Empire Delicatessen & Caterers, where sandwiches are hardly the only thing on the menu. Just like the specialty sandwiches, the menu is loaded with extras such as wings, hot dogs and a Long Island Burger made just the way you want it. Salads of almost every variety and freshly-made steak fries and beer-battered onion rings round out the selection of side items.
And that doesn't even begin to cover their breakfast menu of egg sandwiches and somewhat greasy but extremely tasty omelets, which you can order until 2 p.m.
I took a couple of co-workers with me to try out the sandwich selection at lunch recently. I ordered the buffalo chicken wrap and was given the choice of grilled or fried chicken. The chicken (I got grilled) was tender and well cooked (not at all chewy), and came coated with ranch dressing and a spicy wing sauce that made my lips tingle.
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One of my co-workers ordered the Italian Stallion, which I'd had before. It comes on a delicious, soft bread and is loaded with an enormous amount of meat, including pepperoni, salami, Italian ham and prosciutto. A mix of roasted peppers and balsamic vinaigrette give the sandwich a somewhat sweeter taste, but not so much that it overpowers the flavor of the meat. She also ordered a side salad of pesto tortellini, which she liked because of its generous helping of pesto.
Another co-worker ordered the Long Island Burger with beer-battered onion rings. The rings, just like the burger, were made fresh upon order. They could have been cooked a little longer, but overall they had a nice taste. The burger was thick and juicy, and came with a crisp layer of bacon.
On another visit, I tried out the breakfast menu. The menu includes a variety of omelets, from the fairly tame Central Park Omelet of ham and cheese to the more memorable Fugetaboutit Omelet with prosciutto, capicolla ham, provolone cheese and roasted red bell peppers. My omelet was moist and well cooked, and the ham was loaded with flavor. It was a bit on the greasy side, but that's not always a negative. I also sampled an egg, sausage and cheese sandwich, with the egg cooked just like I wanted it. It was made with the same fluffy bread as the sandwiches, though smaller, and the sausage had a little kick. It was filling, but didn't leave with that heavy, I-just-overate feeling.
Just as with any new business, there are a few kinks to be worked out at this restaurant, but the service is friendly and the food is pretty good. I hope it sticks around.
Empire Delicatessen & Caterers
4524 Forsyth Road, Suite 308
Phone: (478) 474-1429
Hours: 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday
Payment: Cash, credit cards
Price range: $.75-$8.95; more for platters and catering
Vegetarian selections: Yes
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Health code: 100
Alcohol: Not currently, but they hope to offer beer and wine soon