Back to the Mac
Naturally, it makes sense for the town to have a popular, local sports bar.
Mac & Bob’s Restaurant has been that place for over 25 years.
From its iconic spot on Main Street in Downtown Salem, Mac & Bob’s has served as the main restaurant in town for Roanoke College students, teams, and families looking for a good meal from somewhere local.
It’s won numerous awards for being Salem’s best family restaurant and does a great job of supporting the local community through different sponsorships and partnerships.
Until recently, it had been years since I’d last had a meal at Mac & Bob’s. I remember going a few times as a kid and once when I was in high school, and I hoped the food was what I remembered it being.
After going to a Salem Red Sox baseball game, Nicole and I decided to have a late dinner at Mac & Bob’s on a Friday night. As it often is, the restaurant was full of high school students, football players, college students, and families. I was surprised at how great a sports bar it is. The restaurant featured tons of seating and an impressive assortment of flat-screen TVs. On a college football Saturday or NFL Sunday, it’d be easy to go to Mac & Bob’s and watch every game being televised at the moment.
I was also surprised at the variety on the menu. They offered an extensive selection of salads, sandwiches, burgers, entrees, pizzas, calzones and much more. The bar was also fully stocked with plenty of options for craft beers, many of them being locally made.
As big as the menu was, I didn’t have any trouble with knowing what to order. I tried a calzone many years ago and was in the mood for another.
I ordered my Boston Zone without the chicken tenders being basted in hot wing sauce. I’m not a fan of wing sauce and figured the fried chicken, mozzarella, & marinara sauce combo would work better without the wing sauce. I’d say it’s the equivalent of a chicken parmigiana calzone.
It was just as good as I’d remembered.
There were large chunks of chicken tenders stuffed into the calzone with plenty of mozzarella cheese and the sides of ranch dressing and marinara sauce were the perfect condiments. And the dough that’s used to make the calzone is what really makes this all come together. The dough has a hint of sweetness and develops a nice crust that helps keep all the ingredients from falling out any time you take a bite.
This is more of a fork-and-knife experience because the calzone is too big to pick up, but the crust keeps everything from becoming soggy, which happens with calzones from many other restaurants.
I enjoyed as much of it as I could at the restaurant and then I took it home and ate it for the next two days.
For Salem to be known as “Virginia’s Championship City,” it’s appropriate for them to have calzones fit for champions.
Mac and Bob's Restaurant
316 East Main Street, Salem, VA 24153