Get your comfort-food fix around the clockColumns Foodie Fare
May 10, 2015
Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
With multifaceted dining atmospheres in which patrons may overlook a garden or enjoy their meal at a lively bar, MAC 24/7 offers a little bit of everything, all the time. Like its name suggests, the eatery never closes its doors.
“One of the original tag lines was, ‘We only close when it snows,'” says Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel director of restaurants Mark Nelsen with a laugh.
With a moniker that originally stood for Modern American Cooking, MAC 24/7 specializes in what Nelsen describes as gourmet comfort food for a variety of palates.
“Not only do we have some of the standards, like the chicken fried steak with the country gravy, a fantastic chicken and waffles plate, the best macaroni and cheese you’ve had and the best pancakes that you’ve had, but we also have a local twist and use a lot of local products,” he explains. “If you are coming with a group of people, there absolutely will be something for everybody.”
One of the restaurant’s most popular items is Chicken Fried Steak, which you can eat for breakfast and dinner. Both versions are topped with two eggs and feature country gravy. The dinner dish ($18) comes with a side of seven-cheese mac’ and cheese and braised island greens, while its counterpart ($15) is served with breakfast potatoes.
“It’s just one of those dishes that sort of harkens to fond memories. It’s comfort food — it tastes good, and you feel good eating it,” Nelsen says.
For a taste of MAC 24/7’s local flavors, Ahi Salad ($18) features Vietnamese papaya salad, sugar snapped peas, watermelon radish, Molokai potatoes, candied macadamia nuts, Ho Farm tomatoes, ‘Nalo spicy greens, fried wontons and yuzu-wasabi vinaigrette. The star of the dish is blacked ahi sashimi that tops the salad.
Whatever you choose for your entree, you can finish it up with MAC 24/7’s recently unveiled dessert, Grilled Apple Banana Cobbler ($9). The decadent treat features locally grown apple bananas and homemade salted caramel, and it is topped with Tahitian vanilla ice cream. “It’s to die for,” Nelsen says.
Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel
2500 Kuhio Ave., Honolulu
Open 24 hours daily