by Kate Steadman
As a kid, I really hated cheese. Kraft Mac and Cheese was acceptable; Velveeta sent me running. Frankly, I was afraid of it. And Kraft singles seemed like the devil’s work.
Eventually I grew up and became braver; I forced myself to try things because darnit, I didn’t want to be a picky eater anymore. These days my childhood aversion results in eager sampling of homemade Mac and Cheese at restaurants around DC. Below, some recent tries:
- Laughing Man Tavern: this new bar opened a couple doors down from my office (hallelujah!). It has a good beer selection, plenty of space and nice staff. Its macaroni and cheese, however, is teh suxx. Noodles are slathered in one of those velveeta-style sauces (the kind with an eerily smooth texture.) Also, it’s bright yellow.
- Ben’s Next Door: the sit-down, alcohol-serving companion to Ben’s Chili Bowl. Great bar, huge space, average beer selection, wonderful mac and cheese. The sauce was full of flavor but not too heavy and topped with bread crumbs. The down-side? About a half cup serving that costs $8. I’m miffed about the price.
- Chix: this mostly organic roasted chicken eatery is a couple blocks from my house. You can order a whole, half or quarter of a chicken in one of a few marinades. It’s decent but nothing to rave about. The sides are the stars. And you would be crazy to get anything other than the noodles and cheese. You get a slice (actually, you could order a whole pie if you wish) of chicken-soup style noodles baked with cream and a bit of parmesan, then topped with a perfectly browned layer of cheddar. See below:
It’s earned the IFA deliciousness stamp of approval, and is recession-ready at $2.50 for a huge slice.