White is the New Orange

Welcome to the long over due episode 2 of Unscripted Foodiecast!!

mac

Photo credit and recipe: MarthaStewart.Com

 

For the first installment of the Southern Comfort Food series of the Unscripted Foodiecast, we will be featuring macaroni and cheese. We will highlight and give you our reviews of all of the macaroni and cheeses that we have tried from various eateries around our city. Some of these places are locally owned and some are not.

Now before we get into it, let it be known that we have a certain expectation of mac ‘n’ cheese as a southern comfort food. We are looking for traditional macaroni and cheese and therefore, we are basing our opinions on that expectation. The characteristics that we look for are creaminess, “doneness” of pasta, texture of the cheese, and flavor. Also, we judge whether our family would eat it at a gathering (their hungry asses will never turn food away) and would they complain. We will rate these between 1-5, 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. **In the podcast we quote 8 restaurants, but that is a bold faced lie, as we only went to 7. We told you from the jump that we are not professionals:)**

Based off of feedback from friends, these are the places that we tried and our opinions on their macaroni and cheese.

Keep in mind that these reviews do not reflect on our overall opinion of these restaurants, nor is macaroni and cheese the premiere dish at any of these places.  We encourage you to patronize each one of these establishments and try some of their awesome menu items.

This list is not in order of best to worst.

Mommas, Mustard, Pickles, & BBQ

Cost: $2

Creaminess: 3

Doneness of Pasta: 3

Texture of cheese: 2

Flavor: 3

Would my family eat it at a gathering: Yes

Would they complain: Not to my face

This was not the worst macaroni by far it was just very basic. It tasted like they only used 1 kind of cheese and baked it. It was a little on the dry side and it also had a slight taste of possible imitation cheese and/or butter. Also, it was too salty and no browned crust.

What else we had: The wings were good and were a good size for the price ($1.15 each).  The rub was perfect and the wings were very juicy and tender.

Manny and Merle’s

Cost: $5

Creaminess: 5

Doneness of Pasta: 1

Texture of cheese: 2

Flavor: 2

Would my family eat it at a gathering: Yes but there would be leftovers

Would they complain: Absolutely

Per the menu, it takes 5 cheeses to make this macaroni and cheese. We are willing to bet that one of the cheeses was out of a jar or can. The cheese was very waxy and the flavor was neutral. It did have herbs sprinkled on top but they were not over powering in taste. There was no sharpness or tang and also, there was little to no taste of butter. It was extremely creamy and to their defense, the color of the cheese was a derivative of orange. -_-

What else we had: Hot Chicken Southern Style quarter with spiked honey. It was DELICIOUS! The spiked honey seems to be honey with hot sauce, and it was really good. The skin was fried to perfection and seasoned very well.  Also, we have had their El Jeffe Nachos, which are a favorite because of the simple deliciousness. They don’t do anything special with the nachos; they are just consistent and good.

Ghyslain

Cost: $4.50

Creaminess: 1

Doneness of Pasta: 5

Texture of cheese: 3

Flavor: 4

Would my family eat it at a gathering: Yes

Would they complain: Yes, and say, “I thought you said you was making macaroni??”

First off, this is on the menu specifically as macaroni and cheese. This is penne pasta. Anyone who eats pasta knows that penne and macaroni are completely different in dishes. Besides that, it lacked creaminess and it was not very cheesy. There were more bread crumbs on top than cheese. It tasted good as a pasta and cheese but it was not anything close to a home-style traditional mac n cheese.

What else we had: The California Salad was really good. There are thin slices of pear with strawberries and candied pecans. The quiche is delicious! The crust is perfectly crisp and buttery. The the filling is very smooth and delicious with cheese, ham, and caramelized onions.

Feast BBQ

Cost: $3

Lindsey:

Creaminess: 4

Doneness of Pasta: 4

Texture of cheese: 3

Flavor: 3

Lish:

Creaminess: 3

Doneness of Pasta: 4

Texture of cheese: 3

Flavor: 1

Would my family eat it at a gathering: Yes

Would they complain: Yes

Lindsey liked it. Lish did not.

What we agree on: The presentation looks is great! There is a nice amount of cheese melted on top that leads you te believe that this is about to be the macaroni like your grandmother’s.  The pasta was not overcooked; it wasn’t as al dente as we would like but the texture was not bad at all. Also, the macaroni and cheese was very filling and heavy with garlicy peppery after taste.

What we don’t agree on: Lindsey thinks it taste bearable, Lish does not…neither does her daughter lol.

What else we had: The bourbon slushie is a local favorite and seems to be one of the main reasons to go. Orange Dreamsicle bourbon slushie is a very popular flavor amongst fans. The salted caramel banana pudding did not disappoint. It comes in a shooter glass so the portion size leaves something to be desired. However, where the dessert lacks in size, it makes up for in taste. The pudding is presented like a layered dessert with a whipped cream on top and we must say it was one of the best banana puddings from a restaurant.

Doc Crow’s

Cost: $4

Creaminess: 2

Doneness of Pasta: 4

Texture of cheese: 3

Flavor: 2

Would my family eat it at a gathering: Yes

Would they complain: Absolutely

This mac n cheese tasted like thyme.  Also, there seemed to possibly be some onion and or garlic in it as well.  The cheese was not very creamy and it was also a bit dry. The pasta was cooked to al dente which was nice; it was just weird eating herb flavored mac n cheese.

What else we had: Sautéed Salmon was to die for! The salmon was perfectly flaky and seasoned very well. The salmon was nowhere near being over cooked like so many other restaurants do. The cornbread stuffing was moist and very flavorful. The greens were ok but they has a lot of vinegar in them. Also, they cook the stems in the greens.

J Alexander’s

Cost: $5

Creaminess: 5

Doneness of Pasta: 5

Texture of cheese: 4

Flavor: 3

Would my family eat it at a gathering:  Yes

Would they complain: Absolutely

This held true to its name, Not Your Ordinary Mac & Cheese. This was basically cavatappi pasta with Alfredo sauce. The sauce was very creamy and tasted like an Alfredo sauce made from parmesan. It was not nasty at all, it was just definitely nowhere near what you would expect if you order mac n cheese.

What else we had: The chocolate cake alone is a legit reason to go. Unlike many other restaurants desserts, J Alexander’s always have fresh, moist, and delicious cakes. The serving size is big enough to split between 3 people and it also comes with a huge helping of vanilla ice cream.

Troll Pub

Cost: $3

Creaminess: 5

Doneness of Pasta: 5

Texture of cheese: 4

Flavor: 4

Would my family eat it at a gathering:  Yes

Would they complain: No

While it was not the best mac n cheese that I have ever had, it was by far the closest to the traditional dish. It had all of the elements that you would expect when ordering mac n cheese, but it did not have a very complex taste. The advantage was the crusted top actually having that sharp contrast against the creamy pasta. You can also taste the butter and cream, which is always a plus.

What else we had: Chicken wings with honey chipotle sauce. The wings were overcooked but the sauce was really good. If we go back we will suggest that they do not fry the chicken wings for 30 minutes.

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