Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Neighborhood Dive Near Downtown Jackson - Mac's

Mac's Bar-B-Que is a hole-in-the-wall tucked away behind a barber shop, which is shares a restroom with, on Hollywood near Downtown Jackson, TN. Mac used to sell his barbecue out of a trailer at a location next to the current restaurant as well as at the nearby West Tennessee Farmer's Market where Ron's BBQ is currently set up.

Mac's restaurant is a small, one-man operation with just a few tables and some barstools at counters similar to Down South Bar-B-Que near Whitehaven in Memphis. It isn't a place to go if you are in a hurry, but Mac stays in constant motion in the open kitchen that looks residential enough to make you feel like you are visiting a friend who happens to be serving some barbecue.

The meat was moist but surprisingly lean. I didn't notice any fat in my serving. It had a strong smoke flavor as well as a more distinct pork taste, similar to a pork chop, than a lot of pulled pork I've sampled. While it may seem blindingly obvious to say that barbecue tasted like pork and wood smoke, those two flavors are muted in a surprising amount of pulled pork.

 Mac asked if I wanted more sauce, which was supposedly hot but still mild and sweeter than I prefer. When I told him I prefer to taste the meat he nodded and said, "Some people want it swimming in sauce." The portions were generous and cheap. The barbecue plate is only $6.60, and after eating all the meat and the tasty slaw, I only ate about half of the beans, which weren't bad but were nothing special. The menu also featured a wide variety of burgers, fried fish and other dishes you'd expect to see at a southern neighborhood diner.

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