Open since: January 2007
Location: Lenny Mac's is located inside a shopping center
just off Sugarloaf Parkway,
directly across from the Gwinnett Arena.
n Owners: Lenny and Diane McNally
n Hours: The restaurant is open for brunch from 10:30 a.m. to
2:30 p.m. Sunday, and for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, but closed for dinner both nights. From Tuesday through Saturday, however, Lenny Mac's stays open late, not closing the doors till everyone's finished. Dinner on those nights begins at 3 p.m.
Atmosphere: On the inside, Lenny Mac's looks a bayou-style barbecue joint, but with little modern touches, like free-hanging window panes suspended above the partitions that separate the seating sections. Nods to Nola abound - an LSU logo here, a Mardi Gras mask there - and the Cajun credo "Laisse les bon temps rouler!" ("Let the good times roll!") is scrawled in big letters across the brick back wall. Adding an audial layer to the ambiance, an XM radio tuned exclusively to a blues station provides a fitting soundtrack.
Chef Blaine McNally said the interior, with its weathered wood walls, is divided in two: One side represents Louisiana, while the other, dotted with UGA and Georgia Tech logos as well as old ads for Coca-Cola, represents the South at large.
The menu: The list of eats at this Cajun kitchen is a half-and-half affair as well. Not content just being known for barbecue, the chefs at Lenny Mac's recently added a
whole slew of bayou-tinged fare, including popular entrees like Antoine's etouffee (pronounced A-To-Faye), chicken tasso and that old Crescent City standby, red beans and rice.
But all the gumbo and po' boys in the world can't completely overshadow the power of pork. Barbecue is still a big deal at Lenny Mac's - the restaurant's Web site touts its smoker, adding "No self respecting barbeque joint is complete without one" - and the full order of baby back ribs at this place is a serious slab of meat. But despite the sizable surface area, you'll never have to ask for extra sauce; each table at Lenny Mac's already has what you need: three bottles marked "Hot," "Sweet" and "Lenny's."
Before you decide on a meal though, start off with one of Lenny Mac's signature appetizers, like the fried crawfish tales, the Okeefenokee Gator Bites or the Downhome Fried Dill Pickles (which aren't thin-sliced like your typical fried pickles, but instead served in batter-dipped spears).
Beverages: The restaurant is "trying to attract more night business," McNally said, and a bar stocked with thirst-quenching microbrews like Sweetwater, Turbo Dog and Purple Haze can't hurt.
Things you might not know: 'Tis the season for dining on spicy crustasceans, and Lenny Mac's holds a Cajun Crawfish Boil every Thursday night, "from 6 p.m. until they're gone."