The Magic Time Machine is the place that I always bugged my parents to go to (when we lived in San Antonio–there’s a location down there as well). They never brought me, but I was always intrigued by the concept that the waiters dress up and act as different characters. Now that I’ve grown up, frankly I’m not really sure what to think about it. I’d probably give it 2.5 stars if I could. I kind of feel like a “hater” giving it 2 stars, but I think it’s just honest. Also, I’m not really sure where to start with this review. I’ll just break it down into categories.
Location: The location of the restaurant is awesome, and this actually hurts the restaurant. It’s at the heart of restaurant row on Belt Line Road in Addison, across from Kenny’s Wood Fire Grill (easily one of the best restaurants in Dallas, IMHO). It’s between Chammps and Hooters (this kind of helps, because I’d go to the Magic Time Machine before I’d go to either Chammps or Hooters, given the choice. However, those that know me know that this isn’t much of a compliment for the Magic Time Machine.)
Atmosphere: The Magic Time Machine is probably the most fitting name ever. When you sit down to eat, it’s almost like you went back to the 70’s. (At least for me, this is NOT a good thing.) Not that I was even around in the 70’s myself, but what I think of the 70’s, I think of the Magic Time Machine. It’s in an old schoolhouse building which is a neat concept, but kind of creepy when you think about it. Also it kind of smells funny. Eeew. Also… the decor of the restaurant is kind of DRESSY. What’s up with that?
Food: Okay, but not great by any stretch of the imagination. Certainly pricey, if you ask me. The salad bar in the car is kind of nasty. I don’t know why, it just is. As for the main course: the portions are fairly substantial, but the food just isn’t that good! And looking at the menu, you get the idea it’s kind of a “steak and pasta” kind of place. Again–with Kenny’s, Houston’s, and about a million other places where you can get a better steak for about the same price, I just wonder “why?”?
Experience: The servers are always very nice and funny, and act like the character they are. We’re not talking true thespians or anything. Just nice people having fun. This is the most endearing quality of the restaurant. And I say this though I’ve had pretty slow service before.
Overall: Heck–it’s been around forever. It’s extremely eclectic, and that’s usually something I like. Every time I’m here, I want to give it a chance… I want it to be a “win.” I REALLY want to like it. (In fact, I always kind of want to go back to give it another shot!) But, when I walk out, I always wonder–am I missing something? Simply put–it’s pretty much underwhelming. If this restaurant was in rural Indiana by my parents house, I may go to it more often. (Actually, I’m not sure that I would.) But this is Belt Line Road! The sexiest of sexy of restaurant eating! Perhaps the thing I’m missing is the nostalgia of the 70’s…