Maybe it was the fact that most of the patrons were wearing shorts, and smoking, outside. Or that a guy was weed-eating fifteen feet from the patio. But we should have taken the first five or six hints that Mackenzie’s was not what we were looking for and left. But we didn’t. After all, 400 million radio ads can’t be wrong, can they? Oh yes they can, big time.
Mackenzie’s is – to the letter – exactly what a bigger-city guest would expect out of Columbia. Good-intentioned but helpless service. Lame and error-ridden wine list. Mostly mediocre food. The one thing they might not expect – a hefty price tag – Mackenzie’s pours on in spades. Seriously, we spent marginally more money at the justifiably hyped Niche a few weeks back, and everything was wonderful. Mackenzie’s was laughable. I felt jobbed by the end of dinner.
A pathetic appetizer of grilled oysters consisted of six puny, pathetic specimens in various states of disrepair. One was good, one fishy, and one so gritty I had to do the wait-till-date-averts-eyes-and-spit routine. Not so much. Lobster bites were weak too; both were $10.
Later came boring vegetable beef soup and Caesar salad. Meanwhile, the service jagged wildly between well-meaning but inept to just inept. Wrong wines came out, then were served poorly, awkward plate removal, didn’t know the food…the whole thing was pretty bad.
Then came entrees. Being at a steak house, I’d ordered the ribeye, medium rare. Mrs. Show Me Eats, the filet, med-rare. Mine was moderately overcooked and flavorless, a true feat with the noble ribeye. Mrs. SMEs had scored the one true victory of the evening. The filet was outstanding. Naturally, this excellence couldn’t stand, and so the scallops she’d been clumsily goaded into adding on were smoky as promised, but otherwise unremarkable.
All of this for nearly two bills – not something most Columbians are going to put up with. And judging by the nearly absent dining room (save the obnoxious, mesh-shorts-wearing regular), they aren’t. Mackenzie’s isn’t the worst place in town to eat, but it might be the worst value.