Mazen calls. Due to the time of day and amount of booze consumed the previous night, little has to be said. My crew scoops me up, grubbin clearly in our immediate future but destination as of yet unknown. When I ask what's on the brain, I see the look in Ethan's eyes and can hear the words before they come out of his mouth: Mac Attack. I feel as if I've been hit over the head with a brick; I knew grubbin was about to go down but had no idea shit was going to get so serious so fast. Ransford is shaking.
DAMN, these brahs are looking to double up.
5412 W Madison St
This legendary soul food establishment likely needs no introduction to the serious HG practitioners out there. Strategically positioned in an unquestionably fucked-up area, MacArthur's is best for your health when visited during daylight hours. This particular section of Austin cannot be technically referred to as a "neighborhood" due to most of the houses being empty lots filled with garbage, and most of the neighbors being homeless brahs filled with Night Train. The immediately adjacent parking lot is key.
Once entry is gained, depending on what time and day you visit you may have to wait in an insanely long line. The after-church rush on Sunday, for example, would be an unwise choice. The line snakes along a long wall covered with photos of famous celebs risking both their personal health and that of their expensive automobiles for the sake of some serious down-home grubbin. If candid shots of T-Pain and Monique don't convince you (take a look at that shirt and you'll see this broad knows what's up), maybe the approval of a certain Barack Obama will. The fantastic southern-style food is dished up cafeteria-style from behind a long counter, served by refreshingly demeaning/sarcastic employees dressed in throwback lunchlady garb. CASH ONLY.
The first order of business is the meat selection, otherwise known as the moment of truth. The portion sizes are truly something to marvel at, making the controversial "Double Meat" method that much more of a feat. On this particular day, we stand side-by-side, each brah taking his own destiny by the horns and stepping up to the plate.
Only one thing left to do. Double up.
Heaping mounds of fried chicken, dark meat is the consensus of the day. Mazen truly goes out on a limb and doubles up with fried chicken and a large mystery sausage smothered in barbecue sauce, an arrogant choice that will soon pay off pleasantly. This is what is referred to as gambling and winning.
Next come the sides. Steaming trays of collard greens, cornbread muffins, mashed potatoes with gravy and the ghetto-tastic mac and cheese, appropriately topped with melting square slices of American cheese. Beverage of choice is a can of 7-Up on the rocks, hits the spot.
I gleefully add a regular-size container of the delectable banana pudding with vanilla wafers to my tray; Ethan has apparently opted for the large container and an additional regular-size for good measure.
At the table, the mood is much less ominous. Conversation is limited, there is work to be done. Ransford remains quiet but now visibly relaxed; he knows now the road before him, and with the help of plentiful hot sauce will tackle his task with grace and ease.