NORTON – Burgers & Beers. Whiskey & Bourbon. Chicken & Waffles. Shrimp& Grits. That is what you will find at Mac & Walt’s.
This is a small but mighty neighborhood restaurant and bar where the 55 seats are filled with regulars every night, because it is the kind of place the town of Norton was waiting for… if you can find it.
“On Route 123, which is a pretty busy road, but if you weren’t paying attention you would pass us pretty quickly,” said owner/operator Tony Canova.
Tony named Mac & Walt’s after two of his children, so kids can certainly enjoy a meal here. But take a look at all the bourbon and whiskey barrels lined up along the walls, and you will realize this place was really designed for adults to dine and drink.
“The vibe I wanted is when you first walked in, I wanted the room to be warm, inviting, but also I wanted the bar to dominate the space.
“I am a fan of bourbons. I’ve been a fan of bourbon for years, so we carry over 40 different types of bourbon alone here. If you include all the different types of whiskeys, we have over 100 types of whiskey. That’s what you see behind the bar. You don’t see any of the other liquor. It’s here, but we’re displaying the bourbons and whiskeys.”
Aside from all the booze, food is far from an afterthought at Mac & Walt’s. They offer a mix of comfort food and Southern-inspired favorites, all presented on mini sheet trays that are overloaded with flavor.
There are Soft Pretzels baked in small batches and served with a side of cheese sauce infused with a locally-brewed ale; sweet and spicy honey sriracha Chicken Wings; hand-cut fries soaked with apple cider vinegar and twice cooked so they’re crispy on the outside, but soft in the center; and golden onion rings that are hand-battered and ready to dip into some buttermilk ranch dressing.
There is a generous plate of Chicken and Waffles topped with whipped maple butter, and real Southern style Shrimp and Grits with Tasso ham and andouille sausage.
“Shrimp and grits are an item that you don’t really find around here. We use Gulf Shrimp and it’s a spicy combination of flavors. The grits are creamy; there’s a lot of butter and cheese in them. Quite a few customers from the South said we do a very good job of making shrimp and grits.”
It makes sense that a place named Mac & Walt’s would offer some good Mac & Cheese, and they definitely do not disappoint. The Buffalo Mac is made with fusilli pasta, a rich homemade cheese sauce, and chunks of Buffalo chicken along with blue cheese crumbles. For a mac & cheese experience unlike anything else you have ever tasted, behold the signature Back Got Mac Burger. Instead of a traditional bread bun, this baby is sandwiched between two grilled macaroni and cheese patties!
“Every single person that’s had it loves it,” Tony said. “That’s fusilli pasta that we mix with our cheese sauce and Ritz crackers. We mix that together, kind of firm it up a little bit into patties. When one is ordered, we take it, we cook it on our flattop while we’re cooking the burger.”
Top that burger patty with candied bacon, and then pile onion strings and cheese sauce over the top. You need a knife and fork to attack it.
The burgers here are always ground fresh, hand-pattied, and sourced with grass-fed beef from Maine Family Farms out of Portland, Maine.
Truth be told, there is a somewhat mixed reaction to one burger – known as the Hunka Burnin Love. It is topped with Applewood smoked bacon, creamy peanut butter, and seared bananas.
“No other item has gotten a reaction like that, from good to bad. Most people like it, but some just think there’s just a little too much going on.”
The desserts, however, are universally liked, whether it is the chocolate chip cookie sandwiches or the warm fudge brownie sundae. Order one of those babies, and maybe another sip of bourbon, and you will be macking, Mac & Walt’s style.
You can find Mac & Walt’s at 363 Old Colony Road in Norton, and online at macandwalts.com.
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