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Donnie Mac's Trailer Park Cuisine

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While working in Appalachia, the locals called me Wally, killed a pig on my behalf and took me to cock fights. Inevitably, I learned a thing or two about real rednecks. But post-modern rednecks are different. They live in mcmansions, and like to propel themselves through God's decreasingly green Earth on snowmobiles, skidoos and dirt bikes. They (we?) have come to live a life of affluent parody of the poor—like Britney Spears or Bill Clinton. Donnie Mac's plays on this romantic, contemporary notion of "trailer trash," and succeeds with satisfying food and good humor.

But I'm not sure everyone gets the joke. I observed as one guy surveyed the lounge area, and casually told his gal-with-a-tattoo-on-her-breast, "This would be like eating in our living room," and sat elsewhere. Said lounge is carpeted in fake grass, utilizes a crushed car for a coffee table, and is defined by a gold-colored, semi-circular couch that would make Liberace purr like a newlywed registered at Pottery Barn. Go figure.

Or don't go figure, and just sit yourself down and raise your cholesterol in a place that looks like a junkyard that got hit by a twister—twice. There is entertaining stuff all over the place, like truck tailgates that double as a bar, shower curtains that provide romantic, semi-private dining and seating for four in an old sedan.

The menu delivers horrific American favorites like meatloaf, SpaghettiO's, mac and cheese, corn dogs, PB and J, and finger steaks. You may be asking, "Why should I go out and eat what I already feed to my kids and the feral neighborhood cats?" Because Donnie Mac's puts their own tasty twist on these classics, and also offers a big variety of salads, and many delicious mesquite-grilled items. My cheeseburger on focaccia carried a heavy, seductive, smoky scent that nearly made me cough—I like that. The onion rings are made from a local recipe, and I would like to ask their author to adopt me. But if gourmet fast food and carnival-like surroundings aren't enough, Donnie Mac's will draw you in with what I am proclaiming without equivocation is ... The Best Damn Milkshake in Town!

Yes, you read me right, they have the best milkshake in town. Imagine a sweet, dear and plump grandma. Now, stuff her in a blender, puree and add Reese's peanut butter cups. That's about what my milkshake tasted like, and I have absolutely no doubt you will arrive at the same conclusion after tasting one.

So even for those who never used a Confederate flag for a window shade, or willingly watched competitive bass fishing, Donnie Mac's has a seat for you.

—Wally Nasser beats his dog when Dale Jr. doesn't win.

Donnie Mac's Trailer Park Cuisine, 1515 W. Grove St., 384-9008. Mon.-Fri.: 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat.-Sun.: 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

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