5 restaurants to keep on your menu

Atlanta may be one of the premier foodie havens in the Southeast, but notable edibles span the state.

The Rookery

The highly touted burgers at the Rookery are as ample as Macon’s musical legacy. That history gets props on the menu as several items have music-linked monikers. Allman Brothers Band fans can have an Allman Burger, which stays simple with Swiss cheese and sauteed mushrooms. The late Capricorn Records honcho, Phil Walden, has a memorial in the Walden Greenback Burger, which is topped with fried green tomatoes, bacon and more. The 10-plus burgers on the menu each can be had with a Black Angus or grass-fed beef, turkey, chicken or veggie patty. Also on the menu are salads, some with grilled steak or chicken, and sandwiches. As for the latter, locals point to the grilled pimento cheese. Even though OutKast hails from Atlanta, the hip-hop duo inspired the Stankonia fried chicken sammie, featuring hot sauce, collard greens, ham and Swiss. Consider taking a bow with a house-made shake. The Jimmy Carter offers banana ice cream, peanut butter and a bacon slice. And there are grown-up shakes, like the Billy Carter, which adds Jack Daniels.

543 Cherry St., Macon. 478-746-8658, rookerymacon.com, @RookeryMacon.

Humanitree House

The focus is on fresh, invigorating liquids, but don’t let the juice bar technicality deter you from the health-conscious edibles rolling out of its kitchen. The sandwiches and salads at this funky, intimate spot rotate, so check Humanitree’s social media for up-to-date vegan grub. Consider the beet burger, bookended by an onion roll, and dress it as you wish with vegan mayo, pickles, spicy mustard, kelp and dill. The Husband wrap rolls up thinly-sliced seitan, marinated kale salad, tomatoes, onions, jalapeno and vegan mayo. For the kids, there’s a PBJ made with sunflower butter. The organic acai bowl is packed with fruit (blueberries, banana slices and dates), coconut milk and cashews, with a coconut, granola and mint topper. Additional sweetness comes via agave or raw honey. Juice fans have an exhaustive list to peruse, with juices pressed and bottled daily. The Green Goddess, a popular pick, unites spinach, kale, cucumber, parsley, apple and pineapple juices. Lemon, ginger, agave nectar and a kick of cayenne help create the Sunshine Gingerade. Smoothies come devoid of any purees and processed sugar, and only utilize organic frozen or fresh fruit and veggies. Humanitree House doubles as an art gallery and performance venue. Special events include an 11 a.m. art class each Saturday. The outdoor ArtGusta Soul Festival is set for 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 30 in front of the establishment.

230 8th St., Augusta. 706-364-2518, humanitreehouse.com, @HumanitreeHouse.

Palmer’s Village Cafe

Even during off-season you might find yourself waiting for a table at this all-day breakfast and lunch spot near oft-bustling Pier Village, but it’s worth it. Island lifers and pink-skinned tourists slide behind tables in one of two dining rooms. Day-starters include the Coastal Delight omelet. This open-faced creation with melted cafe herbed cheese delivers a mesh of sauteed shrimp, mushrooms, kitchen-made tasso and mustard greens. Huevos rancheros spices up the dawn, while banana pudding pancakes offer cushy comfort. A hollowed-out hoagie roll cradles a ricotta cheese-based chicken salad sandwich. Crab cakes and shrimp and grits remind diners they’re noshing on the coast. John Belechak, who helped launch the Lodge at Sea Island, oversees a revolving four-course dinner menu Thursdays through Saturdays. You might find apps such as ravioli fashioned from cornmeal or a seared pear salad; entrees like pork chop brined in cherry soda; and Key lime pie as one of the desert options. You can burn calories with a short jaunt across the adjacent Neptune Park to the St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum, where a winding staircase and its 129 steps — not to mention killer views — await.

223 Mallery St., St. Simons Island. 912-634-5515, palmersvillagecafe.com, @PVCSSI.

Zunzi’s

Try an off-hours visit to this hot counter-service restaurant founded by Gabriella and Johnny DeBeer. If not, you might be investing some time, since art students, downtown execs, soccer moms and more demographics than you can imagine file in regularly. A United Nations of kitchen sensibilities — Greek, Swiss, Italian, South African and Dutch — mingle inside the walls of the brick storefront on East York. The scratch-made lasagna hunks feature Gabriella’s own marinara recipe. The sandwiches include charbroiled salmon on French bread. Those hungry enough to brave the overstuffed Godfather or Conquistador might consider washing it all down with an African tea. Vegetarians can indulge in the portobello sub. Salads and sides (mashed potatoes, Zapps chips and more) round out the selection.

108 E. York St., Savannah. 912-443-9555, zunzis.com, @ZunzisTakeout.

Bodensee Restaurant

Although the annual Oktoberfest draws tourists to Helen, the German spirit can be found year-round at this eatery. Master chef Aurel Prodan spent many years working and studying in Germany before he and wife Doina began whipping up Deutschland delicacies at Bodensee. Quick lunch grabs, each with a side salad, include knockwurst zinged with curry and Prodan’s own brand of breaded chicken schnitzel. For dinner, come with an empty tank if you feel like going after the Haus Platter. Garlic wurst fashioned in-house joins a smoked pork chop, knockwurst and sides of sauerkraut and potato salad. Those simply looking to soak up German suds at the bar can partake in smaller bites such as the garlic wurst or a bowl of goulash soup. Keep in mind while gorging that apple strudel awaits.

64 Munich Strasse, Helen. 706-878-1026, bodenseerestaurant.com.

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