New downtown macaroni and cheese, Mactory, invites the imagination | food drink

ByShannon J. Cortes

Aug 10, 2022

The remarkable Birria Mac: deliciously unrealistic.

Do you think you make good mac and cheese?

Do you believe him enough to take the plunge and build a restaurant around him? That’s what Alton and Maria Blue did at Mactory, a little restaurant all about creamy, gooey goodness, customizable pretty much any way you’d imagine.

For years, Alton and Maria brought their mac and cheese to parties and potlucks, where it was always the first course devoured. (To be fair, the original recipe was Maria’s, but Alton helped tweak it to perfection.) While on a trip to Los Angeles, they tried a macaroni and cheese restaurant and thought, “We can do better.

So they took the plunge this year and opened Mactory Gourmet Mac N Cheese. I can’t reveal exactly what’s in Magic Cheese Sauce, as it’s a closely guarded secret. But I do know that it consists of four different cheeses, special seasonings and the highest milk fat cream they can get. No simple milk here. In fact, there is nothing “simple” about any of their offerings.

The aptly named Macnificent combines cavatappi pasta with an incredibly rich, velvety and robust sauce in every nook and cranny. Start here. It is the base on which all other bowls are built. The little crispy crunch of breadcrumbs and herbs on top gives a delicate contrast. It’s simple and sublime, each bowl baked to a beautiful crust. You can order a 6-inch pan or an 8-inch pan, and for most options, a kid’s pan.

The Chili Mac layers classic on top of classic. The basic macaroni and cheese is topped with a mild but savory homemade chili, crumbled fritos and a mix of three cheddars. The beef chili with beans and onions gives the dish a kind of Mexican lasagna vibe. Note: If you get this to go, the Fritos will mellow out a bit on the way to your destination.

The Angry Buffalo features deep-fried chicken tenders tossed in a classic Buffalo sauce (pickley tangy, not too hot), sprinkled with Pepper Jack and mild cheddar cheeses. On the spot, you get a drizzle of ranch dressing; takeout, you get the ranch on the side. Note that the chicken, well fried, remains crispy, its texture dancing with the creamy sauce.

Try the Birria Mac, which absolutely stands out. Tender and spicy braised beef comes with a drizzle of this aromatic consommé on top, along with cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro and onions. It was incredibly delicious. If you like their birria, know that it will soon be present on the menu of tacos, quesadillas and ramen.

The most comforting bowl for me: The Godfather. One of them could soothe a broken heart. Or cure a hangover. The glorious basic mac gets a ladleful of good herbal marinara. Next comes a layer of crumbled Italian sausage and thick slices of pepperoni. It’s all topped with mozzarella, and you can add sautéed mushrooms and peppers to the mix, which I highly recommend.

For my taste buds, combining a rich cheese sauce with a sweet element doesn’t work as well. Your mileage may vary. At the Steakhouse, neither the steak sauce nor the aioli paired well with the other flavors. Same with the barbecue sauce in the Pig Out, although the smoky sauce complements the bacon, sausages and ham. Ditto the Samurai teriyaki sauce.

If you want to compose your own combination of toppings, go for it. There’s a long list of cheeses you can add, from cheddar to provolone to Havarti. All the meats I mentioned, plus steak, shrimp, lobster, and grilled chicken, to name a few. If you have vegetables in mind, you can add broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, grilled mushrooms or peas. For a crispy finish, your options include Fritos, Cheetos, and Doritos. You can also add any of these options to already established signature macs.

If you’re craving potatoes instead of pasta, Mactory recently added fries to the menu, and you can get a 6-inch or 8-inch skillet with all the same glorious toppings you can get on mac and cheese. . Tip: If you’re getting your fries to go, request the toppings in a separate container to preserve the structural integrity of the crispy fries.

Keep an eye on the store’s social media. Alton is still playing in the kitchen, tasting and testing. Soon you’ll probably see a mac burger (a breaded macaroni and cheese patty with a beef patty, as soon as he finds a patty he likes), and a grilled cheese mac and cheese sandwich (as soon as he finds a patty he likes). will be able to obtain fairly large bread).

By the way, I don’t make good macaroni and cheese. And now I don’t have to.