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Cyndi Allison - Grill Girl

Mac's Speed Shop - Charlotte, North Carolina
Restaurant Review

Mac's Speed Shop Charlotte NC
Mac's Speed Shop - Charlotte, NC


Mac's Speed Shop Restaurant BBQ
Mac's Speed Shop - Biker Bar


barbecue mac's speed shop charlotte
Barbecue Plate with Onion Rings


brisket mac's speed shop north carolina
Brisket with French Fries

Yesterday we headed to Mac’s Speed Shop in Charlotte, NC. It was a rainy day (not so great for home grilling), and I had been wanting to check out this biker bar after seeing a news segment. The news segment was about how the Mac's Speed Shop owner helped a homeless man (now off the streets) bottle barbecue sauce to sell to help other homeless people.

Biker Bar? Not So Much!

First, while this barbecue restaurant may attract bikers (when it’s not rainy), this is not a traditional biker bar. It would be better classified as an upscale sports bar. This was pretty clear from the high end vehicles in the lot and also as far as the clothing worn by the patrons. If you’re looking for leather and chains, you are going to be disappointed.

As far as the clientele, expect testosterone city. There were very few females other than the servers who were apparently hired based on eye appeal. Fair enough. The guys in my party appreciated that. I didn’t care much one way or the other.

All in all, you had uptown business men taking a break for a meal and to watch the ballgames on the TVs that were well placed all around the room. Now, you could not hear those TVs, but who really needs to hear the announcers anyway.

Don’t Make Assumptions – Gender Bias Alert

When we were seated, the hostess noted that we might want to eat on the porch (which is heated) where it would be quieter. This suggestion was clearly sent my direction. Whether the idea was based on gender or age, I do not know. Eye roll. Thanks – but no thanks. I raise sons. Quiet has never been my reality. We opted to eat with everyone else instead of on the almost empty porch with a great (not) view of the rain.

Least it appear that I am making a mountain out of a molehill, our server also put the bill in front of the boys’ father. Really now, have we not moved beyond that type of assumption? I snagged the bill (barbecue is my area and treat), put my credit card in the folder, and then the server returned the folder and again put it in front of Jimmy. Geez. Does he in any way look at all like a Cynthia and is it not a clue when the folder moved across the table? I suppose not. Fortunately for the server I am a nice person and still left a good tip though none to cheerfully.

Mac might want to consider letting the servers know that women in this day and age work jobs and have money to spend. He might also suggest that if the female puts up the credit card, then the folder would most appropriately be given to the female rather than the male when it’s time to tally up and tip.

OK – I’m Over It – Food Time

Not one to dwell on things I can’t change, I focused on the food. Barbecue seems to be the key offering, although there are a lot of options. At our table, we went with a barbecue plate, barbecue sandwich, brisket, and Brunswick stew.

While we waited for our order, we had a tray of hush puppies. They were the sweet type which I like, but the guys all prefer the more traditional cornbread balls with a corn taste rather than the more cake like flavor.

The barbecue was good for Charlotte barbecue. In our area, we have barbecue smoked over wood. In Charlotte, they use gas which is easier to control and quicker to crank out. This was good gas cooked barbecue. No complaints.

As far as the brisket (also gas cooked), it was very tender. Brisket can be pretty darn tough, so they did get that right in terms of texture. They did sauce it in the kitchen and with a very sweet sauce. Since there are a range of sauces on the table, it would make sense to let customers select their own sauces. If you order brisket, have them hold the sauce and pick your own there at the table, unless you happen to love real sweet sauce on your meat.

The Brunswick stew was more in the lines of Momma’s vegetable soup. I think there was some chicken in there, but there was not enough to give the stew that Brunswick texture and taste. It was a decent soup, but I’d not bill it as Brunswick stew myself. Different animal that - I must say.

On the sides, the boys went with French fries. They were standard fries with light seasoning and were fine. The onion rings were gorgeous, but they unfortunately had very little flavor. Perhaps someone forgot to add something to the batter. They made for nice photos though.

The meal was fine. I wouldn’t make the drive just to go to Mac’s Speed Shop, but it would be okay for a stop if we were out that way. I’d say this place would be more fun at night and best suited to a younger crowd and apparently more suitable for guys based on my experience. They seem a tad confused when faced with a female of a certain age. The really funny part is that I do, in fact, own a Harley. And, I'd wager that I was in the minority on that count. You just never know, and guessing wrong is not cool.

The Highlight – Got my Coleman’s Barbecue Sauce

I’d heard that the Coleman’s Barbecue Sauce had sold out, but they must have cranked out another large batch. I was able to buy a bottle of the sauce. Yay! I hope I can meet or at least talk on the phone with Mr. Coleman. I think it’s great that he is bottling his sauce with the help of Mac’s Speed Shop and that the money goes to help the homeless. That’s really nice all round.

When we crack open Coleman’s Home BBQ Sauce I’ll post a review on that too. I love trying new barbecue sauces, and I’m especially looking forward to trying this one. If you visit Mac's Speed Shop, be sure to ask about Coleman's barbecue sauce. They do have it, and it's only $6.  



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