Comfort Cuisine That’s Lips-Mac’n GoodFeatures Inside Feature
March 23, 2015
Story By: Andy Beth Miller | Photos by: Tony Grillo
In the lobby of renowned Waikiki Beach Hotel, MAC 24/7 daily delivers a myriad of meals more than worthy of its moniker. A clever acronym for “Modern American Cooking,” the fare found at this Waikiki eatery may as well stand for Modern American Comfort, as the selections are inspired by time-honored comfort food classics — each given a modern twist — and then infused with the familiar flavors of home that everybody (and heart) hungers for.
Perhaps best known for its MAC Daddy pancake challenge, MAC 24/7 reminds Dining Out that it’s far more than your standard breakfast stop, embodying a diverse dining establishment that’s no amateur when it comes to creating just the type of comforting, classic cuisine its customers crave. And just like its 4-pound pancake tower, palate-pleasing menu picks are piled high and near endless in abundance at MAC 24/7.
“Dining at MAC 24/7 is all about embracing and enjoying the experience,” explains Mark Nelsen, director of food and beverage. “We really focus on not just the great food, but also how you feel.”
Gazing at the menu, one can’t deny that the cuisine listed is just the kind of feel-good food your mom used to make when you were a kid, but with a decidedly sophisticated slant. Nelsen further comments on the type of distinguished yet down-home indulgences one can enjoy as part of the MAC 24/7 experience, explaining that, “We’re really getting back to the core of what we do — and that’s gourmet comfort food.”
It almost sounds too good to be true, gourmet feel-good food with a bit of frou frou, yet not too much unnecessary hullabaloo. So, are you ready to get your MAC on? If so, these nosh-worthy nibbles offer the ultimate in comfort cuisine, and a healthy serving of satisfying nostalgia too.
Mac-Aloha ($25) proves that we really can have it all with an ultimate Hawaiian combo platter consisting of huli huli grilled chicken, fall-off-the-bone kalbi short ribs, seared ahi tuna, fried rice and wakame garnish.
Nelsen’s personal favorite, the generously portioned plate also is “the top-selling dinner item by far.”
Chicken Fried Steak ($15 breakfast; $18 dinner) is a carnivore’s dream, presenting a huge slab of chicken fried steak topped with two fried eggs, braised island greens and a side of warm and rich, house-made country gravy. Also included is a choice of 7-Cheese Mac and Cheese (dinner) or breakfast potatoes (breakfast).
Lobster BLT ($20) leaves nothing to be desired, tempting diners with its golden-toasted French baguette bun piled high with chunks of succulent lobster, smoky cherrywood bacon strips, local ‘Nalo greens and Hauula tomatoes. Served with MAC’s signature sweet potato fries, the secret to this sandwich is its accoutrement of wasabi aioli, making for one “saucy” BLT that‘ll truly blow your mind.
And what gourmet comfort food experience would be complete without a sensational dessert to sweeten the deal? MAC 24/7 has just what you’re looking for with Lynn’s Famous Ooey Gooey Mac Nut Brownie ($7). Sure to please, this mouthwatering mountain of homemade brownie just begs to be devoured with its warm, molten caramel center perfectly paired with a cool super-sized scoop of vanilla ice cream.
“Our caramel is made on site,” says Nelsen. “It’s a time-intensive process, but well worth it.”
With such comforting cuisine, and $3 valet parking available to all diners, there just is no excuse to miss out on MAC 24/7.
Mac 24/7 Bar & Restaurant
Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel
2500 Kuhio Ave., Honolulu
Open 24 hours daily