Thursday, March 17, 2011

Southern BBQ at Mac's Speed Shop

On our last day in Charlotte, in order to help us recover from the previous day's festivities as well as indulge in some southern fare (its only right, after all) my brother took us to Mac's Speed Shop.  While completely different from our great Friday night dinner at Cowfish, it was really fitting considering we were south of the Mason-Dixon line, and Nick's only request for our brief vacation.

When we pulled into the parking lot of Mac's I really wondered if were in the right place because it basically looked like a pretty nice garage.  Seriously - there was a carport 30 yards long with motorcycles under the entire thing.  Also, there were loads of picnic benches in the front with people eating away and a fence that hid the table tops, but I trusted my brother.  We walked in and were greeted with a what you always thought a Southern BBQ place should look like: plenty of beers and BBQ.  Add bikes to that and you have Mac's motto. 

Quote reads, "where bikers stare at cowboys, who are laughing at the hippies who are praying that they'll get out of here alive..."

That quote basically sums the place up, which was the perfect spot for a great plate of BBQ to cure our St. Paddy's Day-sized hangovers!  If "hair of the dog" is more your style than this is the place to come, with more than 50, and probably closer to 100, beers to choose from, there is one to match whatever will help you the most.

Coolers to the left filled with all sorts of beer
Nick and I stuck with the diet cokes, but my brother basically got a road soda of bud light - pretty impressive that you can get those somewhere outside a gas station.  Gotta love the south.

While there were a lot of tempting things on the menu, including a great fried chicken special that our server said was her all-time favorite, we were there for BBQ.  Honestly, we did not have to look too hard because my brother suggested we order what is called "The Whole Lotta Stuff."  Basically, you select 4 of 5 different meats and 4 sides - its was perfect for those of us who really want to taste a bit of everything.

I actually laughed out loud when the plate came because there was so much food on it.  The following pictures are of all the different angles to make sure I got everything!  The three of us feasted on hand pulled pork, beer can chicken, St. Louis ribs, and some beef brisket.  For sides we chose some mac n' cheese, onion rings (obviously, a theme for the weekend), collard greens (needed some color), and cheddar grits.  For some reason they also thought we needed some toast.

The Sides and some of the Pulled Pork
Chicken and Ribs
More Chicken
Once again, the food was fantastic.  The three of us ate most everything on that plate.  The BBQ was delicious - such a great treat!  My favorite was the brisket and the pulled port - so yummy.  The brisket had a really great char on it and an amazing smokey flavor.  Mac's offers their own variety of sauces the represent different BBQ styles throughout the South.  These were a lot of fun to taste and offered a variety of flavors for each part of the plate.  Also, while I laughed at the bread when it came out, I totally used it to soak up the mixture of sauces at the end.  Needless to say it was amazing!

Somehow, even after all the BBQ we had a bit of room for dessert - when in Rome, I suppose. First we got the Apple Bread Pudding with a whiskey sauce and vanilla ice cream, which our server said she loved "even more than her mama's."

Apple Bread Pudding
This was a great blend of apple pie and bread pudding.  The whiskey sauce had a great sweet kick to it.  We also decided to order the banana pudding with vanilla wafers and whipped cream.

Banana Pudding
I don't normally like banana pudding, but this was good.  The crunch of the vanilla wafers added a lot of nice texture to the pudding dish.

Mac's was a lot of fun.  Our server was really friendly and offered great suggestions.  I would recommend this place for those needing a BBQ fix in a heartbeat and and as a go-to stop for those northerners wanting to fully experience the south. This delicious food totally helped our hangovers!

Mac's Speed Shop BBQ on Urbanspoon

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