Several weeks ago, I wrote an article on a meal I had delivered by GrubHub. In it, I said I’d write an article on the experience of going to the restaurant itself as well, in an effort to fully observe both GrubHub and Mad Mac’s.
Mad Mac’s is a restaurant specializing in—you guessed it—mac n’ cheese. It’s clear that they make each batch from scratch by the complexity of flavors in each bite of cheese sauce, not to mention the delightful consistency. After it’s done cooking, they put it into the bowl with a fresh layer of cheese and bread crumbs. This new layer is crisped until the whole top of the bowl is a crunchy, brown shell that offsets the inside’s gooeyness perfectly. I got Cajun Shrimp n’ Crab Mac, and the spice blend was absolute fire (which is not to say it was unbelievably spicy. Just delicious). I was surprised at how quickly I got to the bottom of my bowl, but didn’t really have any room for more.
But what about non-mac-n’-cheese? No restaurant, with a few notable exceptions, should be able to stand variations of a single dish. Thus, I brought Morgan, who dislikes dairy in all forms. After sharing a bowl of truffle fries (they’re just tossed in truffle oil and Parmesan), she got the mahi tacos, which are seasoned with “black magic seasoning” and served with lettuce, corn salsa, fresh avocado, and lime-cilantro crema. That crema sauce is normally a topping like the rest of them, but for previously discussed reasons, she ordered it on the side so I could try it. There may be some of you out there that are skeptical about the wisdom behind ordering tacos at a mac n’ cheese joint. I’d call you people rather astute; the hamburger at a falafel restaurant is unlikely to be groundbreaking at best, and at worst… well, I’ll let your imagination wander with thtat one. Mad Mac’s mahi tacos are no such risk. They were cooked properly, built well, and plated beautifully despite their lack of macaroni or cheese. Vegans out there, you’re not out of luckhere. While I cannot speak to their execution of the portabella burger, if the dedication to their craft exhibited by the two menu items we did order is any indication, safe isn’t strong enough a word for how much I think you’ll enjoy it.
Food isn’t the only thing drawing me back to Mac’s; their specialty drink menu is full of both classics with a twist and signature cocktails that sound both delicious and delightfully alcoholic. There’s even a section called “Adult Milkshakes.” I honestly want to try everything on that cocktail list, but I can say with certainty that the Bloody Mary and the Pamatini are both excellent and plenty strong.
Comparing my in house and GrubHub experiences, I’m very impressed by both. I’ve already harped on the craftsmanship that was evident in each piece of our meal, and I saw it when that buffalo mac was delivered to my apartment as well. Naturally, the mac was better sitting in the restaurant’s dining room, but the overall quality did not suffer from the time it took to be delivered (and it was still warm). However, I absolutely prefer the ambience of a restaurant to my living room when I have the time and energy to leave my cave. Mad Mac’s is a really nice place, too. It’s divided into two halves (a bar area and a dining room) with the kitchen and bathrooms in the middle. Friday nights, a live band plays in the bar area, and although we sat in the dining room, we could still hear them perfectly clearly. However, my biggest problem with loud music is the fact that it tends to come between me and the people I arrived with. Sitting in the dining room, we could enjoy the entertainment without conversation being hindered. That’s a rare treat.
I can’t wait to go back to Mad Mac’s. The prices for specialty food and drinks (that are plenty strong) while not low, feels fair for what you get. The craftsmanship and portions are such that I didn’t mind paying a little over $40 for two entrees, an appetizer, and two cocktails (after tip). Next time I have a group looking for an interesting place to go, I’ll tell them Mad Mac’s is the place.