Peachtree Cafe at Lane Southern Orchards, Ft. Valley GA

We are achingly close to a full set of the Georgia restaurants reviewed at One on their list had long confused me a little about when best to stop by for a visit. It’s Lane Southern Orchards, a gigantic agribusiness about fifteen miles south of Macon near the town of Fort Valley. I wasn’t entirely sure what would be good to eat here other than fresh peaches. Turns out that they do have a cafeteria, so we just needed to wait for a trip down to the coast to visit Marie’s mother and her father that coincided with our state’s peach season, and we could mark it off our list.

Now, regarding this cafeteria: tread cautiously. In their considerable defense, this place offers some frankly amazing fried chicken, but it seems to sell out very, very fast. We arrived shortly after eleven, behind some large tour groups from area senior centers, and got the last of it. At eleven. In fact, we were called back to the window with apologies that they had already sold out of the chicken, and asked whether Marie would like anything else. Happily, they had miscounted and Marie did get a really good order of fried chicken. It was fantastic, incredibly juicy and better than any we’ve had in ages.

So if you can get the chicken, absolutely do so. Otherwise, find something else in the region. The barbecue was truck plaza cafeteria slop, the sides all came from out of town, and even if you can eat this wonderful chicken, you might do so under the oppressive eye of eight or nine flat screen TVs all blaring Fox News.

Lane almost made up for my disagreeable lunch underneath vomitous propaganda with their desserts. I will forgive a lot for homemade peach ice cream. This was great stuff. My daughter had the butter pecan, which was darn close to being almost as good, and Marie had peach cobbler which would shut anybody’s mouth and left even our wonderful ice creams in the dust. She came out of this visit way, way ahead of my daughter and me, let me tell you.

Of course, the visit would not have been complete without a box of fresh peaches. You can get a half-bushel here for only $25. That was more than enough for Marie to share with her family, and bring home to my mother, and set her to the very agreeable task of eating and cooking. They grow absolutely perfect peaches here at Lane. They don’t need sugar and they don’t need cream.

Marie has mentioned something about trying to make some spiced peach and carrot cake. I wonder how that’s going to turn out.

3 thoughts on “Peachtree Cafe at Lane Southern Orchards, Ft. Valley GA

  1. We took you up on this recommendation (as well as Yoder’s). Unfortunately, we are just on the brink of peach season and while they had peaches for sale (and people were buying them) they were quite small and hard! Strawberries were available – but I think we hit them at the end of their season. We did manage to get some peach icecream (delicious) and two fried peach pies to take home. OMG – the peach pies are EXCELLENT. They’re not cheap ($2.99 each) but they are big and they are really good. I’m not sure why – but they put almond extract in there somewhere (maybe in the glaze that goes on the pie after they are fried? Not sure). If you’re not a fan of that very particular taste that almond extract imparts – these may not be for you. I loved them. I didn’t check out the lunch offerings (we had just left Yoder’s) – but overall I found Lane to be – okay. Lots of “touristy” peach stuff and lots of food products – but all looked mass produced and of not much interest to me. They do have a “tasting” bar where you can sample a lot of the products they sell – which is nice because some “peach amaretto” jam really caught my eye, but once I tasted it, I passed. If we’re wizzing down I-75S and it’s full-blown peach season we’ll stop again – it’s just a few minutes off the interstate. Again – thanks for the recommendation!

    1. I’m thrilled that you followed us to two recommendations, but no, I don’t know that I’d be heading to Lane this side of June, either. Heaven willing, we’ll be back down that way the second weekend in June, as more peaches must be acquired, but I don’t think we’ll risk getting the fried chicken at that cafe again. We’ll plan to eat at Grillmaster or someplace in Perry instead. Thanks so much for reading, and for sharing your experiences at Yoder’s and at Lane with us!

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