If you’ve been around Macon for a few decades, you might remember a little barbecue place back in the 1960s called Lee & Eddie’s. At one time it was on the Cochran Short Route and even had servers on rollers skates. Wheels are back in the business now with a new Lee & Eddie’s on Second Street, as part of Cherry Street Cycles.
The cycle shop has been downtown for a while now, but when they relocated to the newly designed Second Street Corridor, they decided to add the family barbecue business inside the bike shop. In just a few months, they realized the demand for their pulled pork, ribs and rotisserie chicken was higher than they expected, and they have already expanded the floor space of the restaurant.
We came on a Saturday and the joint was jumpin’. We grabbed the family-sized table for six just before a tuxedo’d group came in to fill the other large table. As we leisurely ate our lunch, the bar stool seats with a view of a televised bicycle race filled up and people started coming in to buy bikes on the other side of the space.
Before you even leave the sidewalk, you can see the rotisseries in the window -- just like they were in the old family restaurant in the ’70s. As you enter and walk toward the left, you’ll see the wall menu listing your choices and place your order. They let you know when your order is ready and if it’s not too busy, they’ll help you cart it over.
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After seeing those rotating birds in the window, we tried the half chicken plates with two sides. The chicken was juicy and tender, with a crispy skin and not too sauced up. Their sauces are vinegar based, but I preferred the hot version. The homemade potato salad had a definite pickle flavor that was a little strong for my taste, but the homemade coleslaw was nice and vinegary, with big chunks of cabbage that indicated it was handmade.
The ribs were huge and meaty and would be loved by folks who love smoke over sauce. They could have been more tender, but no one fussed. The pulled pork sandwiches are generous and you can sauce them the way you want them instead of having your meat flavor covered up by someone else’s idea of the right amount of sauce.
Prices are very reasonable and you can even place an order over the phone for pick up in the afternoon. Imagine being able to just drive up Second Street, put your arm out the window, and take a big barbecue dinner home! Call early if you want banana pudding for dessert though -- they were sold out when we came by.
Downtown is growing by the day now. If you haven’t gotten down there to see the progress, make a trip to visit an old-time favorite, Lee & Eddie’s. The memories will come flooding back.
Lee & Eddie’s BBQ
Address: 484 Second St., Macon
Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: No
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 100
Price range: $2.75-$7.75
Rating: 3 stars