Name: Mac’s Speed Shop (Steele Creek)
Address: 2414 Sandy Porter Rd., Charlotte, NC 28273
Order: Small pork platter with collards and cole slaw (hush puppies included) (link to menu)
Speedy and I have previously lamented Mac’s Speed Shop and how far it had fallen off in our eyes since we first started going there in 2005. This might have something to do with the fact that they’ve gone full franchise, with five locations in the Carolinas from Charlotte to Fayetteville and even Greenville, SC. Franchising can sometimes have the effect of lowering quality across the board, and I’ve felt that to be the case for Mac’s. But hey, when you’re in Fort Mill on a Sunday and have been given the green light for barbecue you take what’s nearby and open at 11am.
Seeing as this was Sunday morning and Speedy and I had just met with the Marie, Let’s Eat! crew at Midwood Smokehouse the night before, I opted for just the pork platter (also, Mrs. Monk wasn’t interested in splitting the combo platter with me). The pulled pork comes pre-sauced with their Carolina BBQ sauce and while it is tender and moist, it isn’t very smokey. Particularly when I compare it to the wood smoked barbecue at Midwood Smokehouse the night before. But, other than the noticeable lack of smoke, the pork was still decently tasty in its own right.
I’ve mentioned before, but I love the hush puppies that Mac’s serves with the side of honey butter on the side. Plus, the hush puppies themselves were hot and fresh out of the fryer. Seeing as how this was two meals of barbecue in two for me, I went with the slightly healthier choices of slaw and collards. The slaw is a mayo and vinegar concoction and is really pretty good. The collards had real nice flavor and when I wasn’t able to finish much of mine Mrs. Monk was more than happy to have them boxed up for leftovers.
As I read back on our review of the original location of Mac’s Speed Shop, I can’t help but feel as if we may have been a touch harsh (though I do remember the brisket being as bad as we rated it). I will say that this location is very reminiscent of the original South Blvd location and that means plenty of tv’s, a good beer list, and a nice looking outdoor patio (not that anyone was out there on a sunny but chilly January morning). On this visit and at this location, I have rated it just a tad higher than our review of South Boulevard. However, you could still do a fair amount better in Charlotte for barbecue and unfortunately it’s not nearly as good as it used to be.