Friday, February 2, 2018

Restaurant Review: M.A.C. 24/7, Waikiki

My Meals At M.A.C 24/7 in Waikiki, Hawaii

Three Different Meals, Three Different Experiences

During our stay at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel (review), we decided to try the food at M.A.C. 24/7, as it typically receives excellent reviews. It is a casual restaurant with a full bar, accessible by venturing inside the hotel.  It is well-known in Hawaii as one where you can find a stack of pancakes about the size of a hubcap and their competitions to eat multiple stacks.  Not sure I could eat more than one myself, though.  
They are also known for reasonably priced, enormous meals.  Although not typically appealing to me, as I’m a light eater, I do enjoy sharing a good meal with hubby. M.A.C. we went.  The meals were, well, inconsistent.  
The Good 
Our first meal was pretty good.  We shared a mushroom burger and fries.  The burger was cooked perfectly, and not dry like so many others.  The bun was a toasted brioche—yum.  The fries were crisp “side-winder fries”, not at all oily, and salted perfectly.  I couldn’t get enough.  The only downside were the mushrooms. There were three measly pieces.  In my opinion, a mushroom burger should include an overabundance of these fungi.  What follows is the description directly from the menu:
Mushroom Swiss Burger
8 oz. wagyu beef patty, grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms, vermont swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, island baked brioche bun. $18.00
The Uh... What?
So, one night we decided to forgo our free appetizers (learn about the free food in this post) to enjoy a full meal.  Knowing how large these meals could be, I suggested sharing again.  Nevertheless, hubby wanted the full meal.  Full describes the results exactly.
I chose a simple salad.  However, Hubby wanted to make sure I had enough to eat and added grilled chicken.  Fine. I thought at the time.  

Simply Mixed Greens

local spring mix, hamakua tomato wedges, cucumber, red onion, carrots, mushrooms

$10+chicken breast $6.00
The salad wasn’t too bad, but the dressing had little flavor, tomatoes were flavorless, and the added chicken was dry and cold.  I felt it was a waste of calories.
We both thought the “Pacific Rim Style Braised Beef” might be interesting, especially after discussing it with the waiter.  He stated the seasoning is a specialty of the chef, hence the “Pacific Rim” in the title.  I was excited to try it.  

Pacific Rim Style Braised Beef
fork-tender, demi-yaki sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed island vegetables. $24.00
Imagine my surprise when this humongous chunk of beef—four inches square x two inches thick—covered with generic brown gravy arrived on the plate surrounded by mashed potatoes and over-cooked veggies.  Darn.  Where was the “demi-yaki sauce”?  The meat was cooked to perfection, but the flavor wasn’t any better than a budding-home chef’s attempt at cooking pot roast.  Double darn.

Beverages were pretty darn good.
For our lunch, we both chose iced tea.  It was especially good—nice and dark with deep flavor.  We chose wine for dinner, which was a great choice.  The wine list was pedestrian, but good for an average diner.  My Edna Valley Chardonnay, $9 a glass, was the best white wine in the entire hotel, which is unfortunate.  M.A.C. was the only place to get it. My hubby chose Bridlewood Cabernet Sauvignon, $11 a glass. It was amazing.  Bridlewood is a favorite that never disappoints.
Will we return?
Even though our experiences were mixed, we will return.  M.A.C. has many dishes that work well.   However, as is true with many restaurant, there are good days and bad days.  We experienced both.  Next time will be better and there is a good reason for that viewpoint.  Check out this post to find out why.

2500 Kuhio Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Please share your experiences.