They should take away my restaurant reviewing privileges. Luckily, no one is paying me, so they can’t, muwahahaha! But I do feel so depressed when I do Eugene restaurant reviews, because I *want* them to be good. I really do.
That said, I’m happy to report that Billy Mac’s on 19th and Jefferson is not terrible. (And Molly, I agree with your comments on my earlier post 100%.) It’s a burger joint. Do we need another burger joint? Eh, maybe. The burgers are pretty good. And the fries are a world better than the jo-jo monstrosities at Mac’s at the Vet’s. The fries are, I’d venture to say, quite good. They are still battered, but thinner than jo-jos and done with a light hand, and served in rather appealing cone cups with ketchup and fry sauce (= vinegary Russian dressing). The pizzas weren’t so good, but they were still edible. I had one with gorgonzola and fresh tomatoes that was swamped with mozzarella so you couldn’t really taste the gorgonzola. Was it supposed to have herbs? I don’t remember, but if so, they were buried under the cheese. The crust was crispy, but oddly tough and overbearing.
Other people seemed to be enjoying their food. I actually almost ordered a fried calamari “tapas” when I saw it come out, because it looked as if it had been fried perfectly. But since I was already taking a bath in cheese, I refrained. Someone else ordered a milkshake, touted on the menu as something very rare and special. It’s ice cream and milk blended up, and not even top quality ice cream. But different strokes.
As for ambiance, the airflow on the otherwise congenial deck overlooking the parking lot is a problem. Some dude nursing a soda decided to smoke two cigarettes while everyone else was having their supper, and made us all inhale his carcinogens. Rude. Not the restaurant’s fault, but I wish there were another place for smokers. I had momentary Bay Area dreams, where one can sit outside at a café and drink a cappuccino with a pretty girl and not be choked with cancer stick. Ahh…
Meh. Another minus is the service — it’s that over-friendly, chatty, ignorant-as-newfallen-snow, customer-is-always-right, folks-next-door, scatterbrained service so many places in Eugene urge upon their poor service workers. Please, please, Eugene restaurants: train your staff about the specials and make them taste everything on the menu and even form an opinion about things on the menu…or at the very least tell them to pay attention to what people are ordering so they can at least point to some popular choices. When we were there, the waitstaff was limited to one person, and we came just before a freak rush, so we were largely forgotten, but I forgive this situation, especially in a new restaurant.
For me, the worst thing about Billy Mac’s is the use of the word “tapas” to mean “standard mediocre pub grub appetizers like chicken fingers and cheezy toast.” Just. Don’t. It’s annoying at best, and at worst, it reminds us that we don’t live in a place that has a Spanish restaurant and thinks it can cover it up by pretending we do.
So…go to Billy Mac’s and enjoy a burger.