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· Cafe Founder & VTX lover
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Mac’s Speed Shop

Biker bar or bike-themed restaurant? Unclear. But from the crowds gathering at Mac’s Speed Shop, this much is clear: There is room in Charlotte for casual places with honest food and cold beer.

Honest food: Mac’s menu includes burgers (as fine as the state law will allow), barbecued chicken (fall-off-the-bone, smoky good), pimento cheese sandwiches (not as good as my mother-in-law’s, but still), ribs (now, these are good), wings (several variations, none fried, could use more flavor), tacos (the real thing), barbecue (closest to Lexington-style: pulled pork with a vinegary sauce spiked with tomato, not cooked with wood but still pretty good), mac and cheese (in a word: excellent), and banana pudding (see mac and cheese). There’s more, of course, and it’s all straight up. This is not trumped-up Southern food; it’s good, it’s honest, and it’s cheap.

Cold beer: Mac’s offers around 140 by the bottle, all cold, most $3. It’s not super original, but you won’t find a more extensive bottled-beer selection in the city. The information in this paragraph goes very well with the information in the paragraph above.

Now, about those bikes. Several of the owners, who include J. D. Duncan of the fine-dining Bonterra, own and ride Harleys. As such, Mac’s is adorned with chopper paraphernalia and well-behaved bikers are encouraged. But Vespas, SUVs, Japanese compacts, and European sedans are also allowed (please, no mopeds). Inside, Mac’s feels more like a bar than a restaurant. The music is loud, the waitresses wear tight T-shirts, the seating is all at high-top tables, and much of the front of the building opens to a spartan patio. So, relax.

2115 South Boulevard (704-522-6227) $, L, D, FSB, P
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