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Grab your paddle and float on down the river, Mackenzie River that is

Grouchy Gourmet

Feel like dining in the mountains? How about a charming little cabin by the river. Or nestled in the woods with a creek nearby. If you answer yes to at least one of these, then head on over to Mackenzie River, they have it all. Beautiful wilderness murals, woods décor and creek bed running through the restaurant, and let’s not forget great food.


Mackenzie River is in Rushmore Crossing on the East side of town. You have to navigate a massive parking lot, but the effort is well worth it. The menu is huge and not at all what you would expect for someone whom claims to be a “Pizza, Gill & Pub.” There is a variety of items on the menu. From fusion appetizers, complicated flatbreads, signature burgers, pizzas, pasta dishes, salads, Pub classics, sandwiches, wraps, taco’s, nacho’s, soups to vegetarian/vegan and to you gluten free diners they have a menu for you as well.


Grouchy stopped into Mackenzie River for a bite to eat after a bit of shopping at Rushmore Crossing Friday night. They were quite busy, not sure if it was because it was a Friday night, the convenient location, off I-90 next to Sam’s Club, Target and Ross’s or if it is just that good. Had a bit of a wait as it was around 7:30 so all the early birds had already turned in for the night. Unless Grouchy wanted to sit at the bar I had to wait time of 45 minutes for a table. 


After looking over the menu Grouchy decide on some good old fashion “Rabbit” food. They made their salads look so good. I ordered a Beet Salad. Braised red beets, arugula, goat cheese and candied walnuts, with an orange balsamic vinaigrette, for $8.00. No meat you say, let’s be real Grouchy likes her meat, so for an extra $3.00 I ordered black and blue bites on the side. Blackened sirloin tips seasoned with their special spices served with blue cheese crumbles and a warm blue cheese sauce. If you are not a blue cheese fan order it on the side.


The beet salad was great, I felt that it could of used a bit more beets and goat cheese, there was a lot of arugula in the bowl and they forgot the dressing, had to flag down my very busy server to get some. For $8.00 I feel it should have had a bit more substance, but overall it was good. The Black & Blue bits made up for it though. They were cooked to perfection, the mid-rear I ordered. And the blue cheese sauce was amazing.


I ordered Kentucky Toast for dessert. Deep-fired Southern butter pound cakes with Kentucky bourbon caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, dusted with smoked sea salt flakes for $7.25. The Kentucky Toast was ok, it was a bit greasy, and it had a hint of fried onion flavor to it. If they are going to have a deep fried dessert on their menu then I would suggest they have a fryer just for that. But the caramel sauce with the smoked sea salt was really good.


My total bill came to $22.84 not to bad. Over all I would say they earned themselves six and a half stars. I would go back to try some of the other things they offer. Mackenzie River is open Sun-Thru. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday & Sat. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. With a full bar and happy hour 7 days a week from 3-6 p.m. Daily specials Monday-Thursday and Lunch combo special for 11 am 4 pm daily. The environment is family friendly or if you are looking for a place to go grab some wings and a few cold ones and watch a game they can accommodate your needs.


Until next time Grouchy fans stay happy, healthy and above all good eats.

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