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Friday, 9 March 2012

Mac N Cheese at the Mac Shack



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IMG_8153 This place has been on my radar for a while but I never find myself in this area so I hadn’t been here. Until this past Monday after skating with Turtle, The Torontonian, and JChan. By the way, if you like skating you really should check out the new facilities at Hillcrest near Nat Bailey Stadium. This place has a skating rink, swimming pool, curling rink, gym, and sports facilities altogether in a shiny new (relatively) building! It a really nice area! Ok back to the topic; after skating I was hungry and I felt like going to a breakfast only location. After some indecisive loitering, snacking on chocolate, eating rice crackers and waiting for Wei Gor to finish work, we settled on the Mac Shack in Kerrisdale. Makes sense right? Totally.

Click the title to read on !


Mac Shack is located on West Boulevard just north or 41st avenue near the White Spot. The first thing you need to do is to find parking and its best to look for free parking on 38th or 37th. If you’re willing to pay then there is a parking lot across from the restaurant and it charges $0.75 per hour. Not bad at all.
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When you enter the place, you’ll realize this is nothing more than a fast food restaurant in disguise. Its not a full fledged service restaurant but not a fast food joint either, its somewhere in between. The interior is nicer than what you’d find at a McDonald’s or Burger King though. Its nice and open and can seat about 25-30 people comfortably.

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As you can see, their menu is projected onto the wall using 3 projectors. This makes you wonder how much expense they incur for just the bulbs in those things, which can be expensive! Any how, their menu has set items as well as create-your-own options. Sizes vary from small, medium, and large (they have fancier names for their sizes but I’ll just keep it simple) and are priced in a sequentially increasing order.  The small size is marketed for 1 person, medium for 1-2 people, and large for up to 4 people.  Prices also vary by dish with more expensive items like the lobster one commanding more money.

Here’s my most important advice: Don’t be deceived, by the size of the small medium and large pans in their display section. The small which is supposed to feed 1 person looks really small but in reality its just enough to fill the average person up. I was deceived and went with the medium which is supposed to feed 1-2 people and surely enough, I couldn’t finish it!

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I got the Veggie because I thought the Four Cheese would be too plain and boring.  I gotta say that when I started eating, it tasted really good, but because it was so big I was full by the time I finished 3/4 of it and I got really bored of it too.  Trust me the medium size is too big for one person!  The Veggie tasted a lot like pasta in tomato sauce and had broccoli, mushrooms, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes mixed in it.  There wasn’t enough veggies to balance the pasta and the flavor got pretty boring as I just mentioned.  Yeah that’s about it.  Be warned, this carbohydrate-y gluttony sticks around for quite a while; we ate at 3pm and I didn’t feel hungry until after 9 pm.  

Here’s another close up:

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I haven’t received feedback from The Torontonian at the point of this writing but I’ll be sure to add his feedback in when I do receive it. Wei Gor joined us for lunch and her and Turtle had the Bacon Cheeseburger to share. This is what Wei Gor had to say: “Very unimpressed with the experience there. Very expensive for what it is. Did not have enough meat or any toppings relative to the amount of mac. Lacked taste. Service was poor - computer got bsod [blue screen of death] but one girl did not even want to take our order. The other girl picked up the slack after but seriously stupid.”
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There is a nice selection of things you can sprinkle on to your pasta to make it more exciting like JChan did to his Creamy Pesto Chicken. This is what JChan had to say bout his food: “Shiet was salty. Thirsty all night. Very filling and fat; didn't have dinner till 11 that night. Tasted alright but did not blow my mind. Tried all of the three sauces. Got quite bored after finished trying them. Bored to sleep. Blew my wallet a little considering it's just mac n [expletive].”

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Well, that was that for this visit. But I wasn’t done. The Four Cheese had caught my eye and I was willing to give it another chance. So I headed here again this past Thursday with MooseMan. This time I had the Four Cheese. He had the Veggie so nothing to say there.

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I gotta say the Four Cheese was easier on the mouth and more enjoyable for a longer period of time. This time I got the small size too so I was able to finish it without feeling like I was going to regurgitate it all. Despite being more plain than the Veggie, I liked it better because it was closer to being Mac N Cheese as opposed to the Veggie with tasted more like a pasta in tomato sauce.

All in all, this place is quite underwhelming.  It is also overpriced for what it serves (mac n cheese for 7 bucks smallest size? really? its more like 5 dollars worth) and very unhealthy.  At the end of the day its another pay-before-eat fast food place with sitting arrangements.  I think the worst thing about the place though, is that when you order and pay (which is before you eat) they prompt you on the Interac machine if you’d like to add a tip.  Seriously?  Dude, I’ve not even finished ordering, what am I gonna tip for?  Its like going to McDonalds and being asked for a tip when you’re paying.  Yeaah… Not gonna happen. 

The ultimate question:  Would I come back?  Only if I happen to be in the area and only as an alternative to McDonalds.  Unlikely.

The Yummies:
- its mac n cheese, tastes good while the novelty is there
- nice interior...
- good for a quick bite if you're looking for an alternative to the actual good food in the area

The Yuckies:
- expensive for what it serves.  Its Mac N Cheese folks.  You could probably make this at home for half the cost.
- parking can be tough in the area
- service is non-existent, no that you should expect any because its really just fast food
- asks for tip at time of payment, and you pay before you eat, and there really is no service.. why tip!?
- extremely filling
- extremely unhealthy



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4 comments:

krispymilk said...

I bought a Groupon for this place! Which flavour would you recommend? The 4 cheese?

Nabeel said...

Four cheese! Add stuff to it to make it better haha

Blogger said...

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Blogger said...

Anyone here needs a FREE MC DONALD'S GIFT CARD?

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