(Renamed Taco MAC in 2015) When you think sports bars in the area, you’ve got plenty of choices but not always great ones. Cary might have a great one now in the form of the new T. MAC at Waverly Place! I had gotten several invites for media events from their PR team but wasn’t able to make it to any of them except for one final preview dinner before their grand opening on October 5th. I had spotted the new construction going down at T. MAC since it’s right around the corner from work so I was glad to get a chance to check them out from the inside. And it was a very pleasant experience overall, T.MAC is one of the better dining options at Waverly Place! Here’s what happened during my visit for their preview dinner…
First of all, you’ll notice that T. MAC looks sort of small on the outside. Low-slung brick building tucked on the Tryon Road side of Waverly Place as a stand-alone. Inside they’ve got a hostess stand which prepares you for all the fanciness and space inside! For the preview dinner, the place was quite busy and of course, over-staffed with servers dressed in black. We get a couple of drink cards good for beer, wine or cocktail and get seated at a four-top in the middle of the dining room. T MAC has padded booths on the edges, a couple of large, circular booths for groups on one end and what looks like a private room behind the bar area. There is a nice divider between the bar and dining area creating more of a dining room feel on one side, beer bar feel on the other! There are new, high-def panels everywhere with a bunch slung over each booth for individual viewing, very nice. And yes, they’ve also got a nice long patio in back with more TVs.
Let’s talk about beer next! While they do have wine and house cocktails at T MAC, the beer is where it’s at. 100+ beers on tap along with another 100 in bottles. If you drink 125 different beers, you get your bachelors degree from T MAC’s Brewnversity and your own engraved 20 oz. mug which you can now use for your beers which is a 25% bump from their pints. Sounds like a fun goal to me!
For the preview dinner we can share one appetizer and an entrée each. We order up a honey-chicken, flatbread and I do the hickory burger for my main. Our flatbread shows up and it’s a good looking app. Presented on a long plate, it’s a crisp flatbread drizzled with cheese, BBQ sauce, red onion and spiked with chunks of chicken, very nicely done ($8.55). Given the restaurant is still spinning up, our entrees are late and we get a plate of house chips and salsa. The chips were very good with some toothsome bite at the end, a nice job done for a bar classic.
My burger finally shows up and it’s good but needs a bit of work. Two nice slices of bacon across a (1/3?) lb. burger patty with some BBQ sauce. The meat is excellent and char-broiled. The bun is a sweeter brioche which is also good but I think they may have missed the cheese here. No big deal since they’re in shake-down phase. The onion rings on the side are excellent, thick slices of sweet onions in a panko crumb coating which are perfectly fried. While we ordered up a burger and some wings for our entrees, T MAC also serves up chicken tenders, fajitas, wraps and sandwiches along with a short list of desserts.
Over the course of the meal, we’re served by several team members but have the spunky Andrea as our main server for the evening. They are all obviously excited to be bringing this new restaurant to Cary and I’m pretty sure it will do quite well. With the modern, sleek décor, long list of beers and good bar food, it may become and should be the best sports bar in the area. And I like how it has a split personality between bar and restaurant which should work well for family-friendly Cary. Just be aware that they are still working things out in the kitchen so service can be hit or miss. So thank you T MAC for the invite and introduction to your sports bar concept! I wish y’all luck with your grand opening but I think you’re going to do fine all by yourself!
309 Colonades Way
Cary, NC 27518