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A little bit of Big Sky Country in Rapid City!



With all the new restaurants opening in Rapid City, it’s hard for Grouchy to keep up. But I will try my best. Mackenzie River Pizza Grill and Pub just opened its doors January 30. They are located at 1205 Eglin Street, at Rushmore Crossing. Hours of operation are Sunday – Wednesday 11 a.m. -10 p.m. and Thursday –Saturday 11 a.m. -11 p.m. with two Happy Hours. Mackenzie River first opened over 22 years ago in Bozeman, Mont. It was their quality and uniqueness that attracted their loyal customers. The original menu offered pizza, salads and sandwiches; now the menu offers over 70 items.

Grouchy was doing a little shopping Saturday night and decide to get a bit to eat. After driving by Mackenzie’s and noticing that it had finally opened, I thought I would stop in. There was a line at the door, but Grouchy was dining alone so thought the wait would not be too long. After putting my name on the list I was told a 45 minute wait. But it was early so I decide to stay. Mackenzie Rivers has a full service sports Pub so Grouchy took a seat at the bar and had a cold one while waiting on my table. There are big screen TV’s in several places in the Pub so you will never miss a game. The lighted bar was a nice touch. Happy Hour is from 2-5 and 8-close every day. $3.50 Craft Pints, $2.50 Domestic Pints, $3.00 Wells and $1.00 off wine.

Grouchy’s table was ready in a little over 30 minutes. I was seated next to the kitchen, so it was a bit loud. There is a full wall of windows that look into the kitchen that is a bit unusual to be able to see what is going on in the kitchen. After looking over the menu I decide on the Ol’ Prospector. A half-pound all-beef burger filled with cheddar and smoky bacon, topped with smoked Gouda, on a brioche bun and fries.

While waiting on my burger, I had a chance to look around at the décor, very woodsy. There were several huge photos of different parts of Montana and there is a wall of birch trees from floor to ceiling in the middle of the restaurant. Wood and rock walls, and beamed ceilings. Very nicely done. Sitting so close to the kitchen I had a chance to see a lot of the food going out, and every plate I seen looked yummy. There was a couple that sat next to me and keep raving about the Wings. At last my burger came out, it looked good, and branded in the top of the bun was MRP that was a nice touch. The fries were hot and crispy, lightly seasoned with a salty, sweet spicy season that was very tasty. The burger was huge, however after two bites in I discovered the burger was not cooked enough. I will eat my meat mid-rare but this was raw! After flagging down a server, I reordered a Rustler’s Reuben and fries instead of trying another burger.

They put a rush on my Reuben and in less than 5 minutes I was back in business, but I will say that the menu said grilled marble rye, and my Reuben was a Panini Reuben, was not too crazy about that but it had a nice flavor and I was hungry so I kept it. I would say though the sauerkraut was bland and I think it needed more dressing. But all in all it was good.

The menu has a wide range of dishes, from Flatbreads, Pastas, Salads and Soups, Baja Fish Tacos Sandwiches and Starters to their Signature Pizzas, as well as a kids menu. Several lunch specials. And during their Happy Hours there is a special from the Kitchen Starter menu.

They have several homemade desserts, Mud Pie, Sky High Cheesecake, and Mack Lovin’ to name a few, but Grouchy was intrigued by the Kentucky Bourbon Bits, Bourbon dipped pound cake deep-fried and dusted with powdered sugar, served with caramel bourbon and raspberry dipping sauces. So that is what Grouchy ordered. WOW! Bourbon bits ROCK. They are like little bits of Heaven. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. There are more than enough for two to share, but if you like they as much as Grouchy does you will want to keep them all to yourself.

All in all I would say that I would give Mackenzie Rivers 4 out of 5 stars. With them being very busy and still on opening week, I expect a few hiccups and this Grouchy will be going back to try a few more things on the menu, and those Kentucky Bourbon Bits. Until next time good eats.

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