Saturday, December 15, 2007

New Stamford Bar and Grill: Mackenzie’s!

SCOOP: There’s a new bar and grill on High Ridge where Onyx used to be. It’s only a little over 2 weeks old, but it was jammed both times I went.
MY TAKE: It’s new, there are kinks-ola to work out, but this area needs this place, so let’s… make it work!!!!
LONG VERSION: Last week, I was informed that a new place had opened up where Onyx Bar and Grill used to be. "Stamford Talk research! Let's go!"
We drove up and saw the sign: Mackenzie’s. Oh! Maybe Mackenzie’s in Old Greenwich decided to expand their franchise! When we arrived the first time, on a Friday at 6:30, the bar was packed and jovial. Tables were full and people were queuing up at the door. "Let's stay," I said.
A harried-looking man, maybe the owner, came up to pacify the waiting patrons.
Me: "How long have you been open?"
"This is our first night, if you can believe it!" he said with a crazy look in his eye. Then I saw a woman send her burger back.
“Let’s go,” I said.

We ended up going to another cozy pub, Fireside. However, I’m looking for a place with better-quality, healthier food, so a week later, we returned to Mackenzie’s. I saw cars heading down to the parking lot in the back and thought, Oh man, this place is gonna be full. Fortunately, our friend had gotten there already, so we sat down and felt luckier than everyone else.

I perused the whole list, passing over the expensive (19-30$-ish) fish and beef entrees. If I’m paying that, I want to be in a nice place like Siena or Ocean 211. Salads were under 9 $, but you can add meat for an extra 5 or 6 bucks. They have a little section called “comfort food,” with pot pie, fish and chips, etc. We all got soup, the boys got burgers, and I went for the fish and chips. Why not, I’d just had Colony Pizza and two beers for lunch!

Well. I can wholeheartedly recommend the New Eng Clam Chowder. The fish and chips were a disaster. The burgers: one undercooked, one overcooked. The worst part? Our fries were soggy.

However, I have big hopes for Mackenzie’s. This area needs a pub. That’s obvious; Mackenzie’s is overrun with a variety of people who are eager to be there. I saw families, couples, friends, and lots of guys. I wish entrees were a little cheaper, but that’s life in Fairfield County, I suppose.

I think Mackenzie’s will improve if we give it feedback. They need to realize they are dealing with a clientele that expects good food, and they need to up their game. I’d like you all to go try Mackenzie’s and report back to me. Try the entrees and let me know if they are worth it. If you don’t like your food, tactfully/surreptitiously let them know so they can make it better for the rest of us. That’s what I did, and they replaced it with an OK little salad. Mackenzie’s just needs more practice. They need us, but we need them, so we need to go there, and soon, so they can get better sooner.

I googled this Mackenzie’s and only found it in craigslist ads for cooks. It turns out that it’s “*not affiliated with Mackenzie's Grill Room in Old Greenwich.” I question giving this bar the same name as one five miles away, but hey, if his name is Mackenzie, more power to him. Whatever. I just want good food that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. And by that, I mean over 20 bucks.

I’d definitely take a friend there for a salad and clam chowder, but see, then we’re already running to 15 bucks. Add protein, we’re over 20. Fine. I’ll take under 22 $. But it needs to be good.

You know, maybe Mackenzie’s Stamford needs to visit Mackenzie’s Old Greenwich. But you shouldn’t, because we should be eating in Stamford. I’ll post some more restaurant reviews here. I really, really like food, and I’ve been forcing my friends to eat at new places with me in the name of Stamford Talk research. I’ve hit Brasitas (new to me), Tawa, Fiesta, and Galangal. I’ll be trying somewhere else on Tuesday if my friend agrees.

Grammar note: I know I’m interchanging it/they when referring to Mackenzie’s, but that just feels right. It’s both a business and a group of people. So take that, pronouns!

UPDATE: I went back in January and was pretty happy with the meal.
Cobb salad was huge, which made it hard to eat, but hey, I have no problem with big salads. Husband got the clam chowder (he thought it was too chunky, and I had to agree, but I'd eat it no complaints) and sliders, which were a bit dry. Overall, though, a good place to go for cozy pub food. We went there on Sunday at 430. Giants game was on the screen, table of well-behaved high-schoolers, football fans at the bar- really, what a pub should be.
My one big complaint: the place is a bit small, but I think it's our only pub other than Black Bear, right? I'll deal with M being small.


Anonymous said...

I had been wondering. Now I know. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Check out MacKenzies website