I call them “comfort foods” others might call it a “food trend” — both are correct. It seems to me that comfort foods have been popping up on menus for several years now, but individual restaurants are now putting all of their concentration on one specific comfort food and selling it pretty darn well. When I say “one specific comfort food” I mean they are specializing in a type of food like, grilled cheese, cupcakes, popsicles, and mac & cheese.
This weekend wasn’t the first time I went to S’MAC, although it was my first time at the Murray Hill location. I headed to this spot with my out-of-town friend, Brittany.
After eying-down the menu for several minutes we couldn’t seem to pick what we wanted — then the guy behind the counter suggested that we do the sampler which would allow us to taste 8 of the mac & cheeses on the menu. We were also told that this was perfect to split between 2 people… SOLD!
We paid, and the guy behind the counter handed us a laminated piece of paper that told us exactly what we would be eating and where it was in the cast iron skillet our mac & cheeses would be served in.
We couldn’t help but study the menu to see what exactly was in each and every one of the 8 samples we would be eating.
We were lucky enough to have gone to the restaurant during a slow time of day, because our skillet came out so quickly! After we pierced the surface of each section and let the mac & cheese cool off, we were ready to dive in. We decided to go section by section together so we could sample the same thing at the same time. (Wouldn’t this be such a cute lunch date?)
We started below the handle with the All-American — which I was surprised at how delicious it was. I thought it was going to be the most boring, after all it was made with only cheese… no herbs, no vegetables… I admit it, I poorly judged this basic cheese combo thinking it was going to be the same-ol’ same-ol’ sort of thing. What was even better? The Four-Cheese mac & cheese. Made with cheddar, muenster, gruyere and pecorino — this was probably my favorite out of the 8 samples we tasted.
Another favorite was the cheese burger. I am always impressed when a dish can hold the same flavors a completely different food owns. Like Serendipity’s frozen hot chocolate, or Empanada Mama’s Cheese Steak empanada. Yum!
Over-all, S’MACK has a very casual atmosphere and very tasty mac & cheese. It’s an experience to go to any restaurant that only offers one type of food on the menu in numerous ways. Would I go back? Maybe for lunch with another out of town friend, but most likely not with a local friend who wouldn’t think anything of a restaurant dedicated to mac & cheese.