The Perfect Pear; Perry Catering Service one of Best in Central GA
“This really is my niche,” owner Megan Brent says, “and Lord knows it takes a special person to want to feed people for a living, but I love everything about it.”
If your experience of Perry is limited to your once-a-year visit to the Georgia National Fair, it might be time for you to take a little road trip – the Georgia National Fairgrounds are impressive, sure, but there’s a whole different vibe going on in downtown Perry. While Macon’s downtown revitalization has been writ large, Perry’s has been simpler and subtler, resulting in a charming, inviting, quintessentially Southern-small-town community. Carroll Street in downtown Perry boasts the best of what this refreshing little city has to offer, and the beloved restaurant/catering company The Perfect Pear is located right at the heart of it all.
Megan Brent, owner/operator of The Perfect Pear, is from Coleman Falls, Virginia – a small town that “makes Perry look like a metropolis,” she laughs. She and her husband Richard – who is Director of Collections and Merchandising at the Big House here in Macon – have been here since 2007, but she’s been working in various capacities in the restaurant industry for close to a quarter of a century, “This really is my niche,” she says, “and Lord knows it takes a special person to want to feed people for a living, but I love everything about it.”
As a restaurant employee, Megan always took the time to pay attention to what was and wasn’t working, filing that information away for a later date when she’d be able to use it to better her own business. That’s one reason why, as she says, she’s “always present at The Perfect Pear – it’s not that I micromanage, it’s just that I noticed every successful business has an owner who’s active and present and visible at that business. If anything goes wrong, I’m there to fix it.” She’s also a constant fixture in The Perfect Pear’s tidy, efficient kitchen, where she and one other employee do all the cooking. “I could not be more proud of the amount of food we pump out!” she says – and they always keep it fresh and delicious.
The Perfect Pear started out as a catering-only business, and that’s still the bulk of the work they do, but six years ago in June, they opened their doors as a restaurant, too. Because of the time and space demanded by the catering business, the restaurant keeps slightly odd hours – they’re open for Sunday brunch from 11-2, lunches Monday-Wednesday 11-2, and the occasional very popular dinner or brunch pop-up for special occasions.
Megan is always having fun with the food she cooks – “I love to try things out at home,” she says, then goes on to describe the “Gouda Grief” burger (“I came up with that name; I think I’m funny,” she says, laughing) made with Greenway Farms beef, bacon, gouda cheese, apple slices, and apple jam; she added it to the menu at her husband’s insistence and was surprised when it became an instant best seller. The restaurant’s all-time favorite, though, is its “Perfect” pimiento cheese, most popularly ordered in the grilled pimiento cheese and bacon sandwich, served with a side of tomato-basil bisque. Chicken salad is also a favorite – Megan’s flattered when guests call to order it in bulk to serve as part of their weekend plans – and the Downtown Hot Brown and the Bahn Mi are two newer sandwiches that are gaining traction. Desserts are another Perfect Pear specialty – guests rave about the decadent Krispy Kreme bread pudding, the key lime pie is homemade from an original recipe, and the pecan pie bread pudding was named one of the Georgia Department of Tourism’s “100 Plates Locals Love” for 2016, an honor which thrills Megan to no end.
Another thing that thrills Megan – the opportunity she’s given as a caterer to be involved in so many of the big, beautiful moments of people’s lives. “This past Sunday, we had a couple come in for brunch who were one of the first couples we ever catered for, back when we first started,” she says, “and I loved seeing them and catching up! It’s so cool to be able to have the restaurant and run into people that way.” Being successful in the independent restaurant industry isn’t easy – “Whoever came up with that saying, ‘Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ did NOT work in food service,” laughs Megan. “I work hard, but my customers and this community make it all worthwhile.” If you have a special occasion coming up, give The Perfect Pear catering a call – and if you happen to be passing through Perry at the right time, by all means, stop in for a perfect lunch.
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