Thursday, March 15, 2007

What IS Mack Daddy's, anyway?

My commute takes me along Indian School Road from central Phoenix to Scottsdale on an almost daily basis. As such, I'm always on the lookout for new things to eat in between here and there. One that I've noticed (and noticed that they're taking their sweet time to get up and running) is Mack Daddy's 3-2 Gourmet To Go, over on 32nd Street and Indian School. I looked around for it online, and found their website to be almost impossible to find. Eventually, I found out that the eatery is run by the same guy who owns Newton Fitness next door, Mack Newton. Further poking on the website revealed that the 3-2 in the name is the name of Mack's diet plan. The 3 is for the three things you can eat (lean meats, vegetables, and fresh fruit), the 2 for the two things you can drink (water and fruit juice). That's right, it's a low-carb diet restaurant! If they opened this seven years ago they would have lines out the door. These days, I'm not so sure. And yes, Mack, it IS a diet, despite what your website claims.

The mentions of the food on the website leave me utterly cold. There's no mention of using truly high-quality ingredients, except that they call higher qu
ality food "that which is served closer to the natural state in which it occurs." When one is working with a simpler ingredient set such as this, everything has to be absolutely the best it can, preferably something locally produced, or at least in season. Add to this a complete lack of salt in the kitchen. Yes, that's right, no salt at all. While this is good news to people with high blood pressure, for everyone else it means the food is going to be utterly bland. According to the website, salt is a "powerful flavorizer" with a "sharp, acidic taste". Flavorizer? Why must they make up words? And salt is not acidic, it is neutral. A little bit of salt can heighten the flavor of just about any food; if you have ever tasted baked goods that someone forgot to add the salt to, surely you noticed it just didn't taste right, that the flavor of the food just fell flat. More worrisome is their testimonial section, which has several mentions of weight lost, but not a word about what the food is like. I have a feeling that about the only people who will frequent Mack Daddy's are the ones already on Newton's program; the rest of us don't have much to hope for there.