Better than Warm Apple Pie; Oh Wait… It was Warm Apple Pie

Pulled pork, BBQs, slow-cookers, mac n cheese, beans, smokers, and Brunswick stew Mac's Speed Shop, Charlotteare all North Carolina staples that I’d been dreaming about experiencing. Since moving here 6 months ago, I was on the hunt for the best southern comfort food that North Carolina has to offer. I tried everything from expensive, uptown restaurants to cheap dives in sketchy neighborhoods, but I still felt like I was missing the authentic experience. When I heard about Mac’s Speed Shop, part biker bar, part barbecue joint, filled with tables, chairs, and picnic tables out front, I didn’t expect to find “the spot”. From the time our appetizers arrived until the last bite of dessert, my taste buds were elated with the unique flavor-filled experience of true North Carolina cooking.

We went all out, ordering appetizers, platters, and dessert. Starting with the Smoked Chicken Nachos and chicken wings was a great choice. The nachos were topped with a home-made queso sauce that made me lick my fingers with every bite. They were not exactly a dish you’d order for a first date since saying they were messy is an extreme understatement, but I’ll be dreaming about that sauce and smoked chicken for weeks. The smoked chicken wings, served with blue cheese and ranch, were topped with VXT Chipotle sauce. Rather than drenched-in-sauce wings that tasted like you were licking hot sauce from a bottle, the wings were delicately dressed with Chipotle and cooked to perfection. With a start like that to our meal, we would have been completely satisfied if that was all that we ate… but then came our platters and the culinary delight continued.

Mac's Speed Shop, Charlotte

Dry rubbed and hickory smoked for 6 hours, the St. Louis Style Ribs were the best I’d ever had. Couple them with Mac n Cheese and Brunswick Stew and I thought I was going to need a wheel-barrel to get out of there. Darren ordered the Little Bit of Stuff Platter and I can safely say that calling it “Little Bit of Stuff” was a flat-out lie! There was more food on his plate than in a mess hall. I now understand why people continued to brag about the “Smoker” experience of North Carolina. It was an art form!

Mac's Speed Shop, CharlotteMac's Speed Shop, Charlotte

Thankfully, we packed up some of our meal to go and saved room for dessert. The Fried Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream and Powdered Sugar was worth the visit in itself. I’d reveled in the exquisite taste of deep fried ice cream before but never fried apple pie. The crust was crunchy, the apples were moist, and the ice cream was rich. The combination of textures, flavors, and temperatures was worth the calories. I’d run for five hours on an elliptical for another scoop of Fried Apple Pie.
Mac's Speed Shop, Charlotte
The food stands alone as a worth evening out, but the service is equally note-worthy. Our waitress was like Criss Angel, magically refilling our glasses at the turn of a head, reading my mind when I needed an extra napkin, and knowing what sides I wanted without even asking. If I ever win the lotto, I’m going to go back and see if she’d like to work for me as a personal assistant.
Fair prices, huge portions, attentive service, flavor for days, and North Carolina cooking… Mac’s is my kind of joint. Now, if it could only be low fat, I’d be in heaven.
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44 thoughts on “Better than Warm Apple Pie; Oh Wait… It was Warm Apple Pie

  1. J.D. Duncan is one of the owners. He started with his upscale place in an old church in the Dilworth neighborhood called Bonterra. Great wine list there. Mac’s used to get all kinds awards for their brisket. Haven’t been in awhile because I just can’t eat like that anymore…not that I don’t want to! I might have to swing by again soon!


  2. That all looked so good. What fun! There are times when being celiac simply is a drag. Thanks for giving me a chance to live vicariously through you.


  3. I’m jealous. I so miss NC BBQ, “Pig Pickings” are an eastern NC tradition. Birthdays, holidays, any excuse would be conjured up so we could smoke a whole hog overnight. The fellowship is what I miss most about those events though.


  4. Sounds like you found Southern Comfort all right. North Carolina cuisine means just one thing for me and that’s fried flounder in Calabash. It’s been a long time since I was there, but the family used to go to a friend’s beach house in Myrtle Beach every summer. There was always a pilgrimage to Calabash. The whole town was one big restaurant row with an emphasis on fresh caught seafood. I wonder if it’s still that way or whether it to has been decimated by one too many hurricanes and the trend towards chain restaurants.


  5. I love BBQ. This looks like a great place. I found a hole in the wall place once in Florida. It was so good I didn’t want to leave. It’s so rare when everything you taste is the best you’ve ever had.
    BTW – i’m starving now!


  6. I love Macs! My personal favs at Macs are the tabasco fried pickles (SO good) and believe it or not – they have the BEST veggie burger in town. Sort of weird to go to a BBQ place and order a veggie burger – but try it next time and you won’t be disappointed. Their beer selection is always a win with my hubby – so we end up there a lot for weekend lunches! Glad you found it!


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