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Aug 10, 2008 07:42 PM

Toronto's Best Mac and Cheese?

Hello Chowhounders,

Last week, I had what I think might be the best mac and cheese in Toronto. It was at Harlem where it was merely a side dish, but my was it delicious! The noodles were perfectly cooked, the sauce was creamy and bursting with cheese flavour. I'm now on the hunt to find out if any one else can top this dish. Where have you had great mac and cheese?

Thanks in advance,

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  1. where isHarlem? The one at Caren's wine and cheese is pretty good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hungry30

      Harlem is on the south side of Richmond, near Church.

      1. re: Negaduck

        I almost always order the mac and cheese at Rebel House, but it lacks a zing I want. Where's Trevor?

        1. re: foxymoron

          Although Rebel House's mac and cheese is more the "dry" version, it's a welcome change sometimes to the heavier creamy versions.

          Trevor is on Wellington, next to Solferino.

          1. re: foxymoron

            yah I was a bit disapointed by the mac and cheese at the rebel house.

            1. re: hungryabbey

              I agree with you hungryabbey. When I had the mac and cheese, it was much too dry-- I was expecting moist, tender macaroni, with creamy sauce. Perhaps they left it sitting out too long (or I suspect in a low temp oven to keep it warm)

              1. re: sugarcube

                exactly. I found it very dry and not "cheesy" enough. It was more like a watered down and then dried up cheese sauce.

        2. The mac and cheese at the Harlem was good when ordered, but I had some left-overs and grabbed a people bag for it and my porkhock, and the Mac and Cheese did not last well.

          6 Replies
          1. re: smr714

            Agreed, Harlem has great mac and cheese, and with another side it's enough to be a meal.

            Friend of mine bought some 'grown up mac and cheese' at pusateri's pre-made counter and was quite fantastic... the little bits of bacon in it probably helped. I found it a little too liquidy but more time in the oven would probably fix that.

            1. re: ndawg

              Harlem's is good, but it's not nearly the best side there! Hmm for me it was actually a really small portion, dang.

              1. re: Chester Eleganté

                What's your favourite side at Harlem's, Chester? I'm thinking of going tonight...

                1. re: Chester Eleganté

                  I'm sure they won't hesitate to make that an entree portion ;)

                  1. re: ndawg

                    nd- no doubt :)

                    tjo - The cornbread was certainly the standout for me. Plus, the hardest to replicate yourself at that quality. Mind you, I enjoyed all of the sides, in the order of the collard greens (which is sided with certain dishes; ask which ones), the mac'n'cheese, and the candied yams. I'd like to try the lunchtime biscuits at some point as well. Out of the mains, the fried chicken was tops.

                    1. re: Chester Eleganté

                      A lot of people LOVE the fried chicken at Harlem but I only found it so-so. I liked that it wasn't very greasy but I found it lacked flavour overall. I much prefer the blackened catfish dish, but it was much better the first time. It was over salted the second time. Perhaps Harlem is a little inconsistent.

            2. I'm going to try Carens' version tonight.

              Have you tried Tundra or Weezie's?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Food Tourist

                Nope, I've not been to either...worth the trip?

                1. re: foxymoron

                  Tundra has a pretty decent version with lobster. They used to have it on the bar menu but I don't see it online anymore except for the pre-theatre online menu. I was there last November I think.

                  Weezie's was pretty good, not mind-blowing but decent.

                  Carens involved al dente penne and a 4 cheese blend...not really creamy but quite tasty nonetheless. Not a traditional mac'n'cheese. Also had some red chilli flakes for a tiny kick. Kind of expensive ($16), but hey, it's in Yorkville.

                  None are worth a long drive, but if you're there already...

                2. re: Food Tourist

                  I love Caren's but their Mac and Cheese was so over the top I could barely eat any of it. Too rich for my palate. I'm a fan or ordering any Mac and Cheese side and eating it as my main - the Drake, Rushton both have great sides...

                3. I have a soft spot for the mac and cheeze at Oliver & Bonacini Cafe in Bayview Village Mall. It a fairly thin sauce, which I prefer over the really thick goopy stuff, and is made with a sharp white cheddar and goat cheese. Has a few bits of cauliflower and chicken to round it out as a meal rather than a side dish.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: TorontoJo

                    I'm also a fan of the Oliver & Bonacini version, particularly for that thin sauce that pools around the dish. However, what would really elevate this version is if they were to use the superior smoked chicken from their fusilli dish and drape the mac'n'cheese with that instead of the standard chicken breast they currently use!

                    1. re: Chester Eleganté

                      mm... smokey meat + cheese = absolute deliciousness

                      may have to do this with smoked turkey leftovers for thanksgiving! thanks for the inspiration.

                      1. re: pinstripeprincess

                        Good call. If you ever order it at O&B, ask them to substitute it for you. Perhaps if enough people request it, they'd consider a change!

                      2. re: Chester Eleganté

                        The O&B at Blue Mountain does this. The mac and cheese with smoked chicken is awesome.