Way back in the beginning… long before this site was created, we checked out Mac’s Speed Shop in the South End. Our first trip there was memorable and left us constantly wondering if/when we would make our way back over there. Well this week we made our return visit but left with a less than stellar impression.
Mac’s Speed Shop has four locations throughout the area and with a large menu, outside seating, and a cult following I’m sure there will be plenty more locations opening over the years.
Their website proudly displays “Beer – Bikes – BBQ” and that’s exactly what you get from the second you walk in the door.
We didn’t notice this the first time we came to Mac’s but we thought it was very unique for a bbq restaurant to have an expediter inspecting all of the food prior to its arrival at your table. The purpose… to ensure everything is right and everyone leaves happy.
At the table there’s a selection of four unique Mac’s Speed Shop bbq sauces. We tried all of them and thought the Red bbq sauce was the best of the four… but Jim N Nicks Habanero bbq sauce is still our favorite :)
We ordered some hushpuppies to start off the night but what came out was far from anything we would ever recommend. We really hope our hushpuppies weren’t the norm at Mac’s because they were easily the worst we have ever had. The hushpuppies at Mac’s more closely resembled dense and chewy fried cardboard balls with butter on the side.
The tobasco fried pickles were a huge repreive from the hushpuppies. They were lightly fried with a thin batter, a touch of tobasco, and sliced thin. Not at all the best in Charlotte, but they were unique at recommendable.
Next we got the mini “Scooters” sampler which came with pimento cheese, chopped brisket, and smoked pork. All three of the sandwiches came on roll’s so dry they broke apart before making it off the plate. The pimento cheese slider was in desperate need either bacon, a tomato, or both and the pulled pork slider was mediocre until we drowned it in Mac’s red bbq sauce.
The best slider on the plate was easily the brisket which we found to be tender, juicy, and maybe the best brisket in Charlotte.
We then tried the small pulled pork bbq sandwich, with a side of onion rings and potato salad.
The onion rings were good but a little heavy on the onion and the batter was super crunchy but way too thin.
The potato salad was creamy and delicious but nothing remarkable.
Our second trip to Macs Speed Shop was far from impressive. There were a couple good things, nothing we would consider great, and a stack of things we didn’t like at all.
IDK if it was just an off night for the restaurant or if we’ve become more picky since our last visit, but after this visit I don’t think its Mac’s we will be recommending to fellow foodies :(