We'll take mac ‘n cheese in just about any shape or form imaginable—whether it comes in those little blue boxes at the supermarket or in the cheffed-up restaurant versions involving four kinds of fancy cheese. But lately, the old reliable dish is getting brilliantly reinvented with all kinds of creative new spins. Check out these six totally irresistible riffs:
Lobster Trap Truffle at Barton G. - The Restaurant, Los Angeles
Don't be surprised if you spot Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Charlie Sheen, Drake or Will Ferrell at L.A.'s Barton G. Celebs routinely head to the hopping restaurant for its over-the-top takes on comfort dishes, like the Lobster Trap Truffle. The theatrical dish is essentially a posh take on mac 'n cheese, made with black truffle cheese, white cheddar, Colby-Jack, and Gruyere. But that's not all. In typical Barton G. fashion, the presentation is show-stopping: The dish is served inside a whole one-pound Maine lobster.
Mac ‘n’ Cheese Croquettes at The Industry, Philadelphia
At The Industry in Philadelphia, the Mac ‘n’ Cheese Croquettes are an insanely addictive way to get your mac 'n cheese on. Aged cheddar cheese and elbow macaroni are fried up in a breadcrumb coating and served with a side of kimchi puree to spice things up.
Mac & Cheese Attack at Rockit Burger Bar, Chicago
Rockit Burger Bar, across the way from Chicago’s Wrigley Field, has made a name for itself with its creative burgers, not least of which is the Mac & Cheese Attack. This monster starts with a quarter-pound black angus patty, which is then slathered in sriracha ketchup, topped with lettuce, tomato and scallions, and—wait for it—stacked between two buns made out of fried mac 'n cheese. Photo courtesy of Rockit Burger Bar Facebook.
Buffalo Mac ‘N Cheese at Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Chicago
At Chicago's Honey Butter Fried Chicken, you can get your favorite comfort-food standbys in one culinary mashup. The Buffalo Mac ‘N Cheese is a deliciously meaty, cheesy carb-bomb combining fried chicken, fusilli, pimento cheese sauce and buffalo sauce. Crunchy fried-chicken breadcrumbs on top seal the deal.
Crab and Aioli Mac 'N Cheese at The Cellar, New York City
The Cellar in New York City serves its mac 'n cheese in a range of luscious, extra-gooey variations, from the one that's loaded with juicy pork belly and flavored with fennel stem, to the standout version studded with chunks of crabmeat and spiked with old bay aioli (pictured above).
Mac Daddy at The Melt, San Francisco
You know you’ve made it when you're cooking for everyone from Iggy Azalea to Jay-Z and Beyonce. Bey and Jay recently called up The Melt, an all-natural comfort food joint, to cater for their crew while on tour in San Francisco. We hope they sampled the Mac Daddy: The irresistible creation is actually a mac 'n cheese sandwich, involving two slices of artisanal white bread holding together a flavorful combo of aged sharp and mild cheddar, macaroni and generous amounts of bacon.
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