The bottom line: I could eat the brisket they serve here all the time!
They say humans are full of contradictions (or is it just women? No, I’d like to think this applies to all people) and this rang true for me a couple of weeks ago. After having a really amazing vegan meal and truly enjoying it I then became an insatiable carnivore while visiting Mac’s Speed Shop. Yes, I do recognize I went on complete opposites sides of the spectrum here, but sometimes there is little that can stand in the way of me and some delectable BBQ.
Maybe some of you might not recognize the name but I am sure if I describe Mac’s you’d know exactly of what I am talking about. Mac’s is located in South Boulevard and is to your right as you are making your way to uptown Charlotte. And on any given day as you drive through this section of town you will see bikes of all sorts in it’s parking lot. During the summer days the outside patio is also almost always full of people. I’m sure you are going “Oh yeah!” now Inside the restaurant is very lively. The decor is bar inspired with pictures of NASCAR, Harley Davidson signs, and a couple of arcade games. There are various TV’s everywhere (so ladies, if you want to go with a guy here and actually get to talk to him…I might reconsider. You know how some guys are with their sports!) and music is playing trough the loudspeakers.
My visit to Mac’s was with a couple of co-workers and a baby (you guys my co-worker has the most well behaved baby I have ever seen. She is so precious and didn’t throw a fit at all during dinner!). I was having trouble deciding on what to get so I did what usually turns out to be my last recourse during times like this…I ordered a sampler. The dish is called a Combo Platter and you are allowed a choice of 4 meat options plus 2 sides and a Texas Toast. For my meal I chose (ready?..) Beef Brisket, St. Louis Ribs, Hand Pulled Pork, Beer Can Chicken, Mac & Cheese, and Potato Salad. Pheeewww…I think when I ordered it I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I dove right in and started with the hand pulled pork. I love Mac’s because they have an array of sauces (tomato based, mustard based, vinegar based, and more) and they place a bottle of these at the table. I tried all of them on my pork and I experienced BBQ bliss. The pork had a lot of flavor and had a hint of smokiness. It was soft but there were also just the right amount of little burnt bits that gave it a switch up in texture by providing something crunchy to chew through. Next I tried the beef brisket. This was truly the highlight of my night. The brisket is dry rubbed and smoked for 12 hours, and it’s served with the red BBQ sauce. My oh my! The brisket was honestly melt in your mouth tender. Really, I think there was hardly any extraneous chewing on my part. The red BBQ sauce enhanced the dish but I’d doubt the brisket wouldn’t have been able to stand on its own without it. I loved loved it…and I will be back for more.
My meal continued on with the St. Louis Ribs. The ribs are also dry rubbed, slow cooked for 6 hours, and served with red BBQ sauce. I also thought very highly of the ribs. The meat just fell off the bones. The seasoning was incredible and the sauce complimented the dish every bit. Maybe it was because I had also had the BBQ sauce with the brisket but after a while it could feel like what you tasted a lot of was the sauce and less the flavor of the meat. But taking each thing individually (brisket and ribs) then it could be a different story. And last but not least there was the beer can chicken. I do have to say that maybe it was because of the fact that I had such savory pieces of meat before hand that I did not find the chicken as great as the other things. It had flavor…but it just wasn’t exploding with it like everything I previously had. I do want to go back though and try it on it’s own to see if I still feel the same way. One of my co-workers had the chicken by itself and they said they liked it. As for the mac and cheese, what can I say? It’s one of the best that I have tasted. It’s cheesy and smooth and delicious. The potato salad was also good. The potato itself was cut into larger pieces than what I am used to but that wasn’t something bad. I enjoyed it and it fit into the little stomach space I had left.
Pictured you will also see some of the different dishes that my co-workers ordered like Chainsaw’s BBQ Chicken Sandwich, St. Louis Ribs, and Pulled Pork. As you can see, my dish just encompassed all their food into one! Service wise I think it was fair. We did have our meal come out in no time and we were all extremely happy and impressed about that! All my co-workers had fun and enjoyed their food so mission was accomplished. This was my first visit to Mac’s but I know it won’t be my last 😉