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Today we're not talking about brunch. We're not talking about dinner. We're talking about the best hour in the day: Happy Hour, specifically, Bacon Happy Hour at The Macintosh on King Street in downtown Charleston. The menu is short, appropriately bar-food inspired, and has a little something for everyone's particular boozy tastes.
Naturally, I'm starting out a review of happy hour by immediately bringing up two things that aren't necessarily on the Happy Hour menu: The Mac-hattan and Witchdoctor cocktails. Why open with this non-happy hour madness? Because I've been to The Macintosh. A LOT. And I always ordered wine. always. For some reason, it just didn't seem like a "cocktail" kind of place to me. Guess what? I WAS WRONG. It is definitely a "Cocktail Kind of Place". Their cocktails are delicious, and you should know that, too. Don't make the mistake I did!
The Witchdoctor is that hauntingly green concoction pictured above, with a little guy called a "Szechuan Button" aka Buzz Button perched atop as garnish. Innocuous enough, right? Nope. That little garnish makes your mouth dannnnnnce and turns the Witchdoctor from a cocktail to an Experience.
The Mac-hattan ... I didn't know what to think about this at first. It's supposed to be The Macintosh's take on a Manhattan ( my favorite cocktail ), but it has ... all this other stuff in it. Okay Aperol, it has Aperol in it. I was skeptical. Once again, I was wrong. The Mac-hattan is my current new favorite cocktail in town. Perfectly balanced, it doesn't taste of Aperol, or even the chocolate bitters. It tastes like the perfect Manhattan. Cheers.
On my most recent visit, I asked the bartender for her favorite item on the Bacon Happy Hour menu. She said the Cheeseburger Slider, so I took that recommendation and ordered it. It was fantastic. Juicy, cheesy, topped with house made pickles, and on a fresh bun -- the Cheeseburger slider was my favorite item from the happy hour menu as well! Plus, it comes with those fabulous thin fries. It could easily be a dinner on its own.
I have this problem where I see cheesesteak and I have to order it, so naturally the pork cheesesteak was on my agenda to try as well. This cheesesteak is not the classic style, but it's still packed full of flavor ( and filling! ), and is always a hit with everyone at the table when I order it. Even though it's not the traditional choice, I do love that ooey-gooey fontina all mixed in!
Part of Bacon Happy Hour is a "cocktail of the day" for a mere $6. The last time I went, it was a Rosemary Lemon Gin Fizz that I could have easily posted up to the bar with and then had two more of.
Pork belly is one of those things that can either be excellent or go horrible wrong. The Pork Belly Banh Mi is the former. It's crisp the whole way through, and the fattiness is cut with some sauce, pickled veg, and cilantro. I tend to like a crustier bread on my Banh Mi, but I'll chalk that up to personal preference, particularly when the rest of the sandwich was perfectly on point.
Last but not least ... the poutine. All of the heart eye emojis for this dish. When it comes out, you think, "Wait, it's not smothered all over with cheese curd and gravy". Think again. It's layered, so each layer had crispy fries, mixed with melted spiced cheese curd, and this rich, decadent gravy. It's the kind of gravy that gives you emotions. It's the kind of gravy that you'll think about when you're waiting for your coffee to brew in the morning, that you'll want at 1 am while the Uber takes you home.
The Macintosh's Bacon Happy Hour ( named after Executive Chef Jeremiah Bacon ) runs Monday - Friday from 5 - 7 pm. It's an excellent value and a great way to try some of their classic fare at a great deal. Don't miss out on the cocktails, their bar service and program is excellent! The atmosphere is bustling, but not uncomfortable or painfully loud.
Cheeseburger slider, Poutine
The Cocktail of the Day! If you're willing to order outside of the Happy Hour drink specials, The Mac-hattan and Witchdoctor.
479B King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
There's a complimentary valet on the corner at O-Ku starting at 6 pm, but if you want to get there at 5, you'll have to find on-street parking, a meter, or hit up a garage ( Mary Street or John Street are the closest ).