When we arrived at Laniers Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., we expected to find another crowded downtown restaurant, bustling with servers and patrons. The tale of Laniers is accurately told with what we actually found: an empty restaurant, save for a waiter and a cook watching the football game and chatting at the bar. Talking to the waiter, we found out that he had sold a few tickets for lunch, but no one had been in since then.
The restaurant boasts an extensive menu featuring burgers, wings, hot dogs, salads, pasta and more, but from our small sample nothing hit a home run.
Located in historic downtown Macon, this restaurant is easy to find among the row of restaurants on 2nd Street. Laniers distinguishes itself with its unique decor. The building is a repurposed law office. One sits and eats on old wood furniture, surrounded by memorabilia of the 19th century.
No doubt, the fancy candle holders at the table add to the sensation of eating in a refined establishment.
This mood is altered slightly by the classic hits music playing in the background, but all in all, the atmosphere is unique and interesting.
We had the chance to try a variety of sides, since everyone in my party ordered something different. They ranged in quality from okay to simply gross.
The onion rings and buttery roasted potatoes were pretty good, and the fries were standard. Unfortunately, the side salad was tasteless, and the baked potato and fried spring veggies were also unexceptional.
The greatest letdown for me, as a big fan of Southern food, was a dish I’m always excited to try: the fried green tomatoes were slimy with no crunch.
I had what was supposed to be a generous portion of a slightly spicy chicken alfredo pasta, but it was a large (but not as massive as the waiter described) dish of flavorless chicken, with equally flavorless noodles.
Adam ordered extra hot wings. They were barely spicy, and the wings were more bone than meat. Mathew’s Philly cheesesteak had stale bread with a sliver of meat.
The only success of the night was Sydney’s smothered chicken, which was tender and covered in tasty melted cheese, onions and mushrooms.
The biggest disappointment was Jacey’s disastrous chopped steak. Either the waiter forgot to ask how she wanted it cooked, or it only comes one way: burnt. The steak was dry, unseasoned and not worth eating.
Though the price is reasonable for what the menu offers, no dish was incredibly striking. The decor is interesting, and the service is decent, but Laniers struggles to find its identity within its food. A neat place, Laniers’ food is unfortunately just average.
Will 2 / 5
Adam 2.5 / 5