While there are a number of "Steelers" bars in Fort Lauderdale, Bonefish Mac's is the only place that's a really big, dedicated sports bar. I'm not a fan of the other "Pittsburgh" establishments in town (Primanti's, East Side Pub, Wayward Sailor), but this place is a big space with an extensive menu. I'd been here a couple of years ago, intrigued by their jerk wings, and I wasn't very impressed. Of course there were no sports to watch at the time, and a sports bar without sports (and with bad wings) isn't going to make me very happy.
I thought I'd check the place out when the Steelers were playing and try something else from the menu.
From the outside, Bonefish Mac's looks like a pretty fancy place. Its a very nice strip mall and they have an attractive outdoor patio.
Inside is a bit different. There are 2 sides to the place; one is a big octagon shaped bar with an open kitchen, and the other is a dining room with booths and tables. Both sides have a lot of TVs. The bar area is a bit strange; TVs are put up randomly; the ones that can be viewed easily from seats at the bar a small and far away. There are a bunch of big TVs on the wall; most people are watching the bigger sets.
Bonefish Mac's Inside
With the Steelers playing, 80% of the sets where on the Steelers game. If you want to watch more then 1 game here when the Steelers are playing, you'd have to get a seat at the bar and watch the small sets on the far wall. I guess there aren't that many Steelers fans around, because the place wasn't packed. I got a seat at the bar mid 1st quarter.
My first time here I wanted to try their jerk wings, and I was very disappointed. They're billed as "grilled", but they braise them after grilling so they're wet and not very jerky. This time I ordered a wedge salad. They have a small for $5.99; the regular size is $7.99. I made a mistake by ordering the regular sized salad.
Bonefish Mac's Full Size Wedge
I guess I've been eating at too many fancy restaurants, where for $10 or more they give you half of this amount. This is actually 2 wedge salads; 2 big wedges of iceberg lettuce drenched in blue cheese dressing, bacon, tomatoes and green onions. The dressing was good if not anything extraordinary, plenty of bacon and chunks of blue cheese; this salad defines value. I think that the half salad would have been more than enough. This is a salad for 2.
I saw a few other things come out, some that looked interesting and others that didn't look so good. So I think the food is hit or miss in this place. Service is kind of slow; there's a lot of chatting going on. Many of the people in here are regulars.
I ran into some people from Pittsburgh over the weekend and they couldn’t say enough about Bonefish Macs. I’m not a fan of the other “Pittsburgh” establishments in town (Primanti’s, East Side Pub, Wayward Sailor), but its a pretty big sports grill so I figured I’d check it out.
From the outside, Bonefish Mac’s looks like a pretty fancy place. Its a very nice strip mall; so nice that there are “Keep off the Landscaping” signs. They also have a nice outdoor patio. It was raining pretty hard so I left the good camera in the car.
Inside is a bit different. There are 2 sides to the place; one is a big octagon shaped bar with a big window to the kitchen, and the other is a dining room with booths and tables. Both sides have a lot of TVs. The bar area is a bit strange; from some seats you can barely see 1 TV. Its a bit messy even though the crowd is scarce. There are TVs on the wall that don’t have any seats that can view them comfortably. It seems very random. Also random is the programming. Every TV is on a different station, many of them are not sports programing. At 4pm on a Saturday, the only thing on was golf; and golf was only on one set.
Bonefish Mac's Interior
The first impression of the service wasn’t positive. My server asked what I wanted to drink, and I said that I wanted to see what I was ordering first. I had trouble getting her attention after that; long after I’d decided. She served people who arrived after I had closed the menu. Finally I ordered a beer and the Jerk Wings. The menu says that they are “grilled first and then sauteed with onions and jalapenos”. I asked if I could just get the grilled wings. My server initially said “ok”, but then the kitchen said that they’re marinated in onions and jalapenos so there may be some in there. That was fine; I just didn’t want them the way Anthony’s served them covered with onions.
While waiting my server’s main focus was on going home, providing a regular countdown of how much time was left in her shift. It was all very professional.
After a short time, the wings arrived. Not exactly what I expected.
Bonefish Mac's Jerk Wings
Clearly from the markings the wings were grilled; I’m just not sure when. These wings were braised; so tender that the meat was falling off of the bone as I lifted them to take a bite. With no fork provided, it was a bit difficult eating them. There was quite a lot of liquid. There was no heat in the grill marks; the wings were not very hot. I suspect that these are pre-prepared. They weren’t bad, but i felt like I was eating something other than chicken wings. The sauce provided was like a BBQ sauce. They just didn’t seem very Jerk-like. Onions and jalapenos aren’t main parts of jerk seasoning; I assumed they’d been marinated in authentic Jerk seasoning which uses Scotch Bonnet peppers and scallions, so I don’t think leaving that out made the difference. They just weren’t what I expected when I ordered grilled jerk wings. I really don’t want my wings sitting in a pool of liquid.
All-in-all, not such a great experience. With nothing watchable on the many TVs in my viewing area (even though Baseball Tonight was on right behind me) and a server who you couldn’t get to change anything, I didn’t get anything that I want from a sports bar; sports and good wings. So I’d have to call this visit a bust.