Nat just got off work and I decided to meet her for a quick bite to eat at the recently opened Mac Shack in Kerrisdale. I guess I should’ve known better with all the buzz on twitter that they are always busy! We got there around 6 and they were still packed.
They have their menu on projectors, kind of a cool concept. There are three sizes available – regular, ultimate and jumbo – the price range is about $3-4 difference between the sizes and depending on the ingredients in the dish. A regular sized dish that feeds one person runs from $5-$12.
They also serve alcoholic beverages, tea, coffee, pop and dessert. Asides the “Mac Shack Favourites” you are able to build your own mac dish as well. They provide gluten free mac and whole wheat pasta options as well.
Most of the clientele that evening were highschool students and families. My sister ordered the Lobster Mac and I ordered the Ultimate (bacon, bell peppers, chicken, chorizo, mushroom, shrimp, broccoli) and I also got the Bacon Cheeseburger mac to go for Brian.
Nat and I waited about 20-25 minutes for our mac to be made, but we were not the only ones waiting. It was a full house and I figured we’d be waiting for a bit. Nat’s order came first and we chowed down on it while we were waiting for mine. It was good, kind of strange that it had tomato sauce as lobster is usually paired with butter and creamier sauces, but Nat didn’t seem to mind. The macaroni used here are not the elbow kind, so they’re big and loopy, which is excellent for holding the sauce. There was a good amount of cheese but not so much so.
I think they must have got my order wrong – since I asked for mine “for here” and the Bacon Cheeseburger “to go” – they packed both to go. I wouldn’t have minded because I was planning to bring it home anyway but the manager upgraded my Ultimate mac to a bigger size. When the server brought it over, she didn’t mention that he did so I didn’t say anything.
Nat and I dug into mine, which had more cheese on the top and more vegetables and goodies inside. The sauce on top was a bit bitter – I’m not entirely sure what it was but it had the “bitter” taste of balsamic vinegar which gave the mac and cheese a bit of a bite.
Unfortunately a piece of my chicken that I ate half of was undercooked. I looked over all my other pieces of chicken and they seem to be fine. Nat was telling me that I should probably tell them and it would help them get better, so we waved over the server and I showed her my raw piece of chicken. I told her, I just wanted to tell her but she insisted that they would make another one for me. I refused because it was only one piece that was raw and my sister was in a rush to get somewhere. But she wanted to double check that all the chicken was cooked so she took it back to the chef and I guess he checked and brought it back to me.
She was apologetic and offered to remake it again or even buy me a drink – I normally would’ve accepted but I was in a bit of a rush. I really admired that they wanted to fix the situation.
I took it to go and took off. Brian got the Bacon Cheeseburger Mac (and he had it a little later, so that’s why it doesn’t look as appetizing!). It has a very smokey taste to it with double smoked bacon and modest portion of ground beef. The smoked bacon pieces are juicy. The monterey is perfect for this dish and really makes it stand out. I think by far this was my favourite one of all three.
For all of the macs, I think they need a little bit more cheese – I understand that cheese is usually the most expensive part of the dish, but it could use a little more throughout and not just on the top.
I think the Mac Shack has great potential and they have a fan base already, they just need to iron out some of the kinks that all restaurants have when in their first month of business. I will definitely go again to see how they’re doing in the later months.
Check out their website here.