I’ve been hesitant to share anything with you fine people about Mac’s Local Eats because, frankly, I don’t want you there.
To be clear, I’m writing this because I need you to go to support it and the bar that houses it, Tamm Avenue Grill, because I alone cannot cover their rent—but I’d really rather you stay away. I want to keep this gem hidden. I am Gollum, it is my precious. You are Frodo (or, more likely, the annoying Samwise Gamgee).
Like all human beings with fine taste and a zest for life, I am particularly fond of the ultra-smashed patty that one finds at establishments like Carl’s Drive-In and literally nowhere else. However, I am not a patient man, and with only 16 seats and a following 50 years in the making, getting a seat at Carl’s can be difficult. I am also afraid of the women who work there; I’m still recovering from the glare I received when I made the foolish mistake of asking for my check before they were ready to give it to me.
Contrary to the name of this website, I am not much of a drinker, which has kept me out of Tamm Avenue Grill for years. I was told by a chef friend that Tamm was a place for cooks to get ‘Tammered’ after their shift and, frankly, was not my kind of place. He was right.
Perhaps it was due to my notable absence in the bar, but the decision was made to remodel Tamm just under a year ago by co-owner Bob Brazell (Byrd & Barrel), and with that came the addition of a kitchen: Mac’s Local Eats.
There’s seating in the bar area, as well as a more family-friendly side room. Currently, the restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday, starting at 3:00 PM on weekdays and noon on weekends. Fingers crossed they start opening earlier for lunch during the week.
Mac’s is literally a hole in the wall of Tamm.
Chris “Mac” McKenzie has been known in the St. Louis food world for years thanks to his CSA, Mac’s Local Buys. If Mac signs off on something, I trust that it’s high quality.
The Mac’s menu changes a bit week to week, but two things remain constant: the smashed burgers and the fries. And, honestly, these smashed burgers are far better than one would expect or need in a Dogtown dive bar. Here comes a bold, controversial statement: I like the burgers at Mac’s more than the burgers at Carl’s.
Don’t @ me. Mac is dry-aging entire cows and making the patties out of them. Let that sink it. That is insanity.
There’s always a beef burger (obviously), pork burger, and veggie burger. I personally have not had the veggie patty yet, but all reports so far are that it gets an A+. The beef and pork are just perfection, plus they’re crispy AF.
My favorites so far:
The Pimento: two beef patties. Pimento cheese. Fried green tomato. Bread and butter pickles.
The Dirty Sancho: two pork patties. Pepper jack cheese. Shaved onions. Pickled jalapenos. Chipotle-garlic aioli.
The Captain: It’s just a normal cheeseburger, except for the fact that it’s four patties tall.
The patties are only 2 oz each, so plan accordingly. If you’re feeling hungry, I’d do a double cheeseburger, then a double of of one of the specialty burgers.
You’re also going to want an order of their fries—and if you really want the full experience, you’re going to get them as ‘Rip fries’ (tossed with Red Hot Riplets seasoning) and a side of their bacon onion dip.
So there. I’ve revealed my secret to you. Mac’s Local Eats is a treasure that will forever change your burger eating in St. Louis. Now go, and make sure to report back what you think.