Review: Mac's Speed Shop in Charlotte
So I'm back writing. Work has kicked my ass the last couple of months. I haven't had time to read other blogs, let alone write. But things have finally calmed down a bit.
A couple of weekends ago, The Sports Freak, Q, and I went to Charlotte, NC. We had 2 reasons to go, as we have a friend living there, and the Redskins were playing the Carolina Panthers. Well, this was a great idea in the pre-season when the Redskins looked like a middle of the pack team, not the debacle they have become. If you want to read more about our thoughts on the game, see here. But what I'm writing about here is food.
Our Charlotte friend told us about the great city, how as a Northerner, he loved the pace and lifestyle the South and particularly his current home city provides. The three of us had visited before, but we were barely there a day so we didn't experience the city much. This time, we got to some of the restaurants.
We flew down Saturday morning, arriving just in time for lunch. So after checking in at the hotel and meeting up with our friend, we all headed over to the South Blvd location of Mac's Speed Shop. From the outside, it looks like almost any restaurant. But the tiny parking lot was packed. Always a good sign. Going instead it was even better. The place was definitely full inside as well, but lucky they had a table for 4. While they had regular tables, much of the seating are bar height tables and stools, which is where we were seated. The place seems to be more of a bar with a large bar seating area, but is appropriate for the style. TV's showing sports all around and the diners ranged young and old, from yuppies, professionals, and yes, bikers.
The picture above was what I ordered was "A Little Bit of It All". Meaning literally. There was BBQ Chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket, and ribs for meat. 2 sides and Texas toast accompanied the big plate. For my sides, I ordered the mac and cheese and onion rings. That was a lot of food. We also made the great choice/mistake of ordering a plate of hushpuppies to start. The hushpuppies were better than what I've had before, but I only had one, because the entrees came up quick. The ribs were outstanding. Some of the best I've ever had. Just enough sauce and they were meaty and tender. The pulled pork was good. I've had better, but the amount they served was unbelievable. If you imagined a roll to make a sandwich, make sure you have at least 2 rolls, as I think they slaughtered a whole pig for the amount on each plate. The beef brisket was good. The Sports Freak ordered just the brisket and he thought it was excellent. I didn't get to it much until I had already gone through all the ribs and much of the other meat, so I was already full. The disappointing part of the plate was the chicken. it was almost as if they roasted the chicken without seasoning then basted and sauced right before serving. The sides were great. The mac and cheese was crunchy on top and creamy in the middle. The onion rings had a nice and crisp coating, but had the snap I like with the onion.
I would definitely go back again, but would order only the ribs. They were that good. Oh, "A Little Bit of It All" at $16 implies there is a bigger plate. Yes, for only $10 more, you can get "A Whole Lot of It All". I don't know who any one person can eat that much. I was served enough food to feed a family of 4 for 3 nights. I left at least a normal plate of food. As for service, it's not fine dining, but it's good service. The staff all seem to have some ink on them. If you have the chance, try one of Mac's Speed Shop's three locations.
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