“A Hidden Gem”
By Edita McQuary
Tucked away between the towns of Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley, MacKenzie Bar & Grill, is a lovely casual dining restaurant. Named in honor of the legendary golf course architect Alister MacKenzie, it’s located within the clubhouse in the middle of the famous and historic Pasatiempo Golf Course, this unique, spacious restaurant with a friendly ambience is worth a visit for a delicious lunch or for a “Happy Hour” unwind.
Although a part of Pasatiempo Golf Course catering to its member community, non-members are invited to enjoy the delicious food and on clear days the outstandingly beautiful view from their wrap-around balcony looking out over the Beach Boardwalk across the Monterey Bay to the cities of Seaside, Monterey and Pacific Grove. (By the way, the balcony is dog friendly.)
Food and Beverage Manager Jacquiline Johnstone started working at MacKenzie Bar & Grill five years ago in 2012 as a waitress, and then in the tried and true American way, worked her way up to supervisor, then to lead person before leaving for another opportunity only to be hired back in 2014 in her current position. She loves her job and the staff she supervises. She believes in teamwork and wants to learn from the staff as well as share with them her knowledge of the industry.
Our friendly waitress, Ali, has been working at MacKenzie since last August and loves to see her “regulars” come in as well as greet and serve new diners. She is working her way through graduate school for a degree in child psychology.
Ali’s recommended daily special, Chicken Stir Fry Bowl with rice, bell peppers, red onion, zucchini, yellow squash, green onion, cabbage, cilantro and sesame seeds, was absolutely delicious for a diner to keep the New Year’s resolution to eat healthier in 2017! The menu has a good selection of sandwiches, including a “Build Your Own,” as well as a choice of appetizers, salads, soups, and a children’s menu. Vegan options are available.
They are also open for private party events. The restaurant is constructed so that it can be closed off into three smaller venues, if necessary. They are happy to cater business meetings, weddings, high school reunions, dinner parties, bar/bas mitzvahs, christenings and other social events.
MacKenzie is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Breakfast is served all day. Lunch is served from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. “Happy Hour” is 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. with a special menu of discounted appetizers, house wines, well drinks and local draft beers. For sports fans to enjoy their favorite games, there are seven flat screen televisions with a state of the art sound system.
For a peaceful, get-away-from-it-all, casual dining experience with great food, good service, an outstanding view, and an almost Zen-like experience, visit MacKenzie Bar & Grill soon. Exit Highway 17 on Pasatiempo Drive, turn left, enter Pasatiempo Golf Course on the right and drive up the hill.