Medium Rare: Mackie’s and the Return to the Steakhouses of My Youth

My parents never went to a “good” restaurant, at least as long as I knew them.


Instead, they would typically settle for steakhouse buffets, eating more than their fair share for a very low price. Places like Sirloin Stockade, Western Sizzlin’ and K-Bob’s were on the weekly rotation every Saturday after church in Waco, Texas, and continued on into my chubby teenage years here in Oklahoma City, with the long-demolished Smorgasbord on Northwest Expressway making plenty of appearances.


My family never looked at food as an actual experience and, you know, they still don’t. As a matter of fact, when Golden Corral recently opened select locations back up from their Covid closures, you would have thought my mother—a slim Mexican woman, mind you—had won life’s lottery, eager to pick up a dinner plate with a selection of culinary choices that should never, ever be mixed.


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