Dominic the food critic: Mac Shack
At OnMilwaukee, we believe in raising all voices and using our platform to support the dreams of others. And that’s what we hope to do for Dominic the Food Reviewer. When I first met Dominic almost two years ago, I was impressed by his passion, curiosity and interest in improving his writing. Over time, I not only enjoyed getting to know him better, but he taught me as much as I have him. I hope you not only enjoy reading Dominic’s reviews, but also glean understanding and joy as you see the world of food through his eyes. – Lori Fredrich, editor-in-chief
This weekend I went to Mac Shack, located at 1701 N. Humboldt Ave. where I had the honor of meeting both Chela Maldonado-Perez, who is the General Manager, and owner Ash Mustafa.
The two envisioned the concept of the restaurant six years ago and opened the Mac Shack in August of this year. Mustafa told me that he was the general manager of I-Hop, but that he loves owning his own restaurant.
Maldonado-Perez helps create the Mac Shack menu and enjoys creativity in coming up with recipes and cooking the dishes. She said all of their macaroni and cheese dishes are made from scratch and are made in a wood-fired oven, so the dishes come out hot and flaky.
Inside the Mac Shack, the decor is incredibly impressive. The walls are painted by a local artist named AndrÃ© Colbert. The artwork was professionally done and very colorful. Beautifully painted aerial views of Brady Street are painted on the walls and tables.
The entire restaurant and building is completely renovated and has a very modern feel. Mustafa told me that they chose this specific location to open the Mac Shack because Brady Street is really building up with different restaurants and bars. It gets crowded at night too and Mac Shack is the perfect place to go after a night out.
For my appetizer, I tried their Mac Ting, fries topped with cheese sauce, poutine sauce, and fried cheese curds ($ 7.99).
The homemade poutine and cheese topped with fries with fried cheese curds were perfectly mixed with the sauce and creamy cheese. It was a well portioned appetizer with such a perfect combination with crispy fries.
For our meals, we were able to taste several types of macaroni and cheese dishes. First, we had a Mac flight with a Greek Freak Mac with chicken on it, a Tuscan Mac with chicken, pesto, and cheese, and Buffalo chicken with a drizzled buffalo sauce ($ 19.99 for a flight of three).
The Tuscan Mac is one of my all-time favorite dishes. The strong pasto aroma with a slight creamy taste was perfect. I enjoyed the Buffalo Chicken Mac because the Buffalo Chicken was tender and I enjoyed the heat and the cheese mixture. The Greek Freak Mac is served with a cottage cheese sauce, tzatziki sauce, goat cheese, spinach, chicken kebabs and kalamata olives. The unique flavors gave it a great tangy taste which I really enjoyed.
I also tried the Brady Street Mac with chili and hot dogs ($ 12.99). The mac and cheese mixed very well with the chili beans and the hot dogs were well grilled on the bottom.
It almost reminded me of the chili mac soup I have eaten in the past because of its creaminess and cheese. This mac and cheese was well portioned especially for me as I can really eat. I ate all the mac and cheese chili because it was so delicious.
When I was done, I told Mustafa his macaroni and cheese were perfect and I couldn’t wait to go back.
I would highly recommend checking out the Mac Shack because of their delicious food, and all of the workers are very positive, personable and a pleasure to talk to.