Week before last, I was in NYC on business. It struck me how everyone looked so well-dressed, successful, good-looking, and fit. It’s not like this is news to me – after all, I lived in Manhattan up until two years ago. I guess being a country girl is starting to shape my perceptions of the world, because it all seemed so pretentious. There’s so much going on, that in order to garner attention each store, restaurant, and person needs to stand out from the crowd in some new, clever, and garish way.
Then I came home and over the weekend, my husband and I found ourselves traveling through Waterloo on route 5/20 around dinner-time, when I spotted the vintage red and white Mac’s Drive-In sign, so out of curiosity, we pulled in. The place is proudly stuck in time from the day it opened, 49 years ago. It actually features bellhop service, but we decided to get out of the car to see what the place was like inside. Two words: fun and fried. I ordered fish and William ordered shrimp, accompanied by real potato-ed french fries the joint claims are homemade. Dessert – two honeybuns- come with each dinner and while I was intently surveying the food prep, watched a teenage line cook pull a Pillsbury dough canister out of the fridge and squeeze two pieces into the deep fryer. When they were done, he scooped them out and covered them with a stream of honey from a plastic bear. Utterly disgusting, but still, I was compelled to try one, and yeah – it was yummy, although there’s no way I could bring myself to eat both. If you go, try the root beer, it’s excellent.
In comparison with my recent experience in the big city, this place seems like the real deal. The kind of place urban New Yorkers seeking comfort food are endlessly trying to emulate.