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Toronto's Best Mac and Cheese?

foxymoron Aug 10, 2008 07:42 PM

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,

  1. h
    Hungry30 Aug 10, 2008 08:08 PM

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hungry30
      Yongeman Aug 10, 2008 11:43 PM

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

    2. n
      Negaduck Aug 10, 2008 10:17 PM

      Rebel House

      5 Replies
      1. re: Negaduck
        foxymoron Aug 11, 2008 11:33 AM

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

        1. re: foxymoron
          Negaduck Aug 11, 2008 12:14 PM

          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
            hungryabbey Aug 11, 2008 06:01 PM

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

            1. re: hungryabbey
              sugarcube Aug 12, 2008 05:43 PM

              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
                hungryabbey Aug 12, 2008 06:43 PM

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

        2. s
          smr714 Aug 11, 2008 11:49 AM

          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
            ndawg Oct 7, 2008 04:11 PM

            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
              Chester Eleganté Oct 7, 2008 09:21 PM

              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
                TorontoJo Oct 8, 2008 05:01 AM

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

                1. re: Chester Eleganté
                  ndawg Oct 8, 2008 10:29 AM

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

                  1. re: ndawg
                    Chester Eleganté Oct 8, 2008 11:22 AM

                    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
                      foxymoron Oct 9, 2008 09:53 AM

                      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. Food Tourist Aug 11, 2008 12:36 PM

              I'm going to try Carens' version tonight.

              Have you tried Tundra or Weezie's?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Food Tourist
                foxymoron Aug 12, 2008 05:26 PM

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

                1. re: foxymoron
                  Food Tourist Aug 13, 2008 10:19 AM

                  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
                  MeMeMe Nov 12, 2010 09:48 AM

                  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. TorontoJo Aug 12, 2008 04:48 AM

                  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.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: TorontoJo
                    Chester Eleganté Oct 7, 2008 01:41 PM

                    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
                      pinstripeprincess Oct 8, 2008 07:18 AM

                      mm... smokey meat + cheese = absolute deliciousness

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

                      1. re: pinstripeprincess
                        Chester Eleganté Oct 8, 2008 11:24 AM

                        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. jeninewsbite Aug 13, 2008 10:35 AM

                    Best I've ever had was at Toast, but it looks like it's no longer on the menu. Which is a damn crying shame because it was incredible -- al dente pasta in a sharp yet mellow sauce, creamy and crispy at the same time. Boo.

                    1. p
                      Pincus Oct 7, 2008 04:58 PM

                      I'm craving a good baked mac and cheese, with the crusty top. Can anyone suggest a place?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Pincus
                        Oxtail Oct 7, 2008 07:53 PM

                        Avenue Open Kitchen, a popular diner off of Spadina, just South of Queen, has a nice crusty Mac 'n' Cheese. But it's not offered every day.

                        1. re: Oxtail
                          ba8y6irl Nov 12, 2010 08:55 AM

                          They only have it Fridays... It's incredibly greasy and not in a good way. Just my opinion :)

                      2. BokChoi Oct 7, 2008 06:26 PM

                        Would have to say I really enjoyed Weezie's version, contrary to some earlier opinions. Absolutely delicious - the cheese combination (parmesan and asiago) was really eye-opening. $14. Interested to try the other suggestions on this board though.

                        1. s
                          Sooo Goood Oct 7, 2008 07:50 PM

                          Mortons has a good one ;)

                          1. deelicious Oct 26, 2008 05:42 PM

                            Mitzi's Sister - top notch Mac N Cheese.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: deelicious
                              foxymoron Oct 29, 2008 04:09 PM

                              Yes! Mitzi's is #2 on my list.

                            2. s
                              stephintoronto Oct 30, 2008 09:27 AM

                              Amazing Mac and Cheese at Bymark. I think that it has lobster in it. Soooooo good.

                              1. Chester Eleganté Nov 11, 2008 09:01 AM

                                Gotta say it's Weezie's now!

                                1. t
                                  Trimalchio Nov 17, 2008 10:39 PM


                                  Fran's Diner makes a fantastic Mac and Cheese, as does Victory Cafe. Other than those two, I cannot think of any.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Trimalchio
                                    foxymoron Nov 21, 2008 08:58 AM

                                    I tried the Victory's a couple weeks ago. I think it's a great value for what you pay (two plates of food!). Taste wise, I'd list it behind Frans, Mitzi's and Harlem's.

                                  2. l
                                    lecanadianfoodie Nov 12, 2010 10:20 AM

                                    I've got to agree with the other people who mentioned Mitzi's - they have a great Mac and Cheese for sure - I love everything they serve there :) Their nachos are to die for! But back on topic...

                                    I know it's not in Toronto, but Harbour Diner in Hamilton has an incredible Lobster Mac and Cheese. YUMMM!

                                    And finally, Reggie's on King Street West has deep fried mac and cheese, which was good, but not great. I really expected more.

                                    Harbour Diner
                                    488 James St N, Hamilton, ON L8L1J1, CA

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: lecanadianfoodie
                                      Moonsammy Nov 13, 2010 05:32 AM

                                      I was really impressed with the mac and blue cheese at Harbord House (not to be confused with Harbord Room, which is good for other things).

                                      Harbord House
                                      150 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H2, CA

                                      1. re: Moonsammy
                                        MargieEv Nov 13, 2010 05:48 AM

                                        I had a great mac and cheese at The Blake House on Jarvis.

                                        The Blake House
                                        449 Jarvis St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA

                                    2. Googs Nov 13, 2010 06:22 AM

                                      Get thee to Weezie's. One bite is enough to make a body swoon.

                                      354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

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