Downtown Macon has had many types of restaurants over the years, but it’s been decades since it last had a seafood restaurant. Lee and Kelley Clack of Kudzu Catering recently remedied that situation by creating Kudzu Seafood on Third Street.
The same high quality that they have always delivered in their catering events is evident in their sit-down lunch restaurant as well.
The shrimp po’ boy at $10 has Kudzu’s beautifully fried shrimp -- lightly battered, not greasy -- topped with lettuce and their signature remoulade on a super thick French roll straight from New Orleans. The roll is a bit too hearty for my taste (and waist), so I left most of it in favor of the sandwich insides.
Captain Lee’s combo basket for $12 allowed us to try three of their fried favorites: oysters, grouper fingers and chicken fingers. The Gulf oysters are cornmeal battered, the grouper has the same batter as the shrimp, and the chicken is hand breaded with a flour mixture.
I didn’t really expect to like the barbecue shrimp and cheese grits just because I like the original un-barbecued version just fine, but the extra zing gave the dish another layer that can be lacking in such a rich dish.
The daily-made jambalaya is fresh and just slightly spicy, with bits of andouille and plenty of shrimp, tomatoes, onions, celery and peppers to jazz up the rice.
The fish tacos come in both Cajun and Cancun flavors, usually served with warm tortillas, homemade chips and remoulade for $8. We tried the Cancun, which had ample filling in a flour tortilla. The fish was fresh and balanced well with the black beans, slaw and remoulade, with a flavor that was not overly fishy. There were no chips included in this particular to-go order.
In general, we liked the entrees better than the sides. The bleu cheese slaw is just a flavor that doesn’t work for me, with too much sour and not enough sweet. The homemade chips were good but not outstanding, and the Cajun green bean salad just didn’t hit a home run. I’d recommend the cheese grits or a small salad to go with your basket meal.
It’s a cozy atmosphere, with a big table perfect for groups if you grab it early. They can also do private parties at night, offering food from their catering menu as well as a large screen for presentations.
Kudzu is a great addition to the burgeoning downtown scene and we expect its following to continue to grow. If you want to avoid a wait, go way before noon if you can.
Address: Dannenburg Lofts, 470 Third St., Macon
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: No
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 100
Price range: $6-$12
Rating: 3 stars