One can say Macaroni and Cheese has become as American as Apple Pie. Since the Kraft Company started boxing their instant version in 1937, you would be hard pressed not to find a box in every food pantry across the country. Sure, it’s Mom's go-to meal for kids everywhere, but let’s be honest, adults seem to love it just as much. Just boil those noodles, add milk and butter to that orange powdered “cheese” and Voilà! Dinner is served.
Let’s be honest though, as convenient and cheap as the instant version is, there is no substitute for the real deal. The decedent kind that is made with real cheese and real love.
Of course, Americans didn’t invent tossing noodles with cheese. Its ultimate origins are most likely from ancient Italy. Not a stretch, considering we are talking about pasta and cheese. But how did we get to our American creamy and cheddary casserole versions of today?
The most famous story of how macaroni and cheese made it state wide is that Thomas Jefferson stumbled upon versions of this comfort food after spending time in Italy. He even brought a pasta machine back stateside with him. His daughter Mary Randolph started out making the dish with Parmesan, like the Italians, but later she started using cheddar. Butter was also added to the creamy mix. Randolph included her Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe in her cookbook, The Virginia Housewife, in 1824 and the rest, as they say, is history. Macaroni and Cheese took off in popularity since it was an affordable and easy way to feed a hungry household.
Once Mac and Cheese became a staple on the common man’s table, the upper crust lost interest in this basic dish-for a while. Thankfully, in today’s society, Mac and Cheese is a dish that is universally enjoyed. From the high brow: Shaved truffles, artisan cheeses, lobster, and other exotic ingredients, to the most tried and true simple versions of just cheddar and butter sauce- you can find something to tempt you no matter what your hankering.
For those seeking this comforting concoction at Lake Effect you can choose from 2 types of sides of Mac and Cheese, either our Regular version or Griddled (fried) on the flat top. Both are made with our own homemade aged cheese sauce. The griddled version is tossed onto the hot flat top and fried until the cheese develops a golden crust. (Yes, you heard me: Golden. Fried. Cheese.) The Mac and Cheese is so popular at the diner, it will occasionally shown up in creative ways on the Specials Menu. Ham and Mac and Cheese Wrap anyone?
Across the way at The Steer, we also serve the same macaroni and house made aged cheddar sauce as a side as well. For me, a side of Mac and Cheese almost becomes a condiment: Add it to your burger. Top your steak or sandwich with it. Yum.
At The Steer, Venture over to the entrée section of the menu and be tempted by the Lobster Mac and Cheese: Succulent charbroiled lobster tail atop a large bowl of this already satisfying dish.
Vegan? No problem. We got this. Check out the Vegan Mac and Cheese entrée: gluten free pasta with “cheesy-less” creamy cashew sauce. (vgn/gf/df)
So next time you are in the mood for some soul satisfying macaroni and cheesy goodness, step outside the boxed version. We have a few options to enjoy over at The Steer Restaurant And Saloon and Lake Effect Diner.