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Discussion

Best Mac & Cheese

So we've covered the best burgers, best sandwiches and best pizzas quite well, but for winter nothing beats M&C! In your opinion, who has the best mac & cheese in town? I am obsessed with anrheim's lobster mac & cheese and am also a fan of Bukowski's broccoli version.

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  1. For my money the Mac & Cheese at the Publik House is the best. Add some sausage and a few Bear Racer #5's great meal.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ChickenBrocandZiti

      I second the Publick house, it is a bit mild on it's own but with some caramelized onions and mushrooms the mac and cheese is to die for! I will admit that it has come out a bit on the dry side from time to time, but last snowstorm I went down there and it was fabulous! I think the high volume of people ordering comfort food ensured that it was fresh and gooey.
      On the other hand, Roadhouse's mac and chee was generic and uninspired.

      1. re: NoAddedSweetener

        Fully agreed, though the Roadhouse's is just a side dish isn't it? I like the PH version with mushrooms, spinach and scallops. The habanero tuna sounds like it might be good but I got virtually none in there when I ordered. Just a few flakes of canned tuna, it seemed. For $3 as a topping, that was poor -- but the scallops, at the same price, work well.

      2. re: ChickenBrocandZiti

        While I find Boston Magazine more the voice of the suburbs and not a pantheon of culinary critique, I thought I'd mention that the December 2009 issue, released today, they call Publik House's macaroni & cheese the best.

        I have yet to enjoy it, but the accompanying photo is enticing.

      3. I have yet to try it myself, but I hear that Zon's in JP has some of the best mac n cheese in town.

        6 Replies
        1. re: cambridgejen

          Second Zon's. Excellent, and yes, the best I've had in Boston.

          On a side note, we just came back from Pops where I was very disappointed with the mac and cheese I ordered..recommended by the waiter but it was really just a bowl of mush. Sure, it was rich, and somewhat flavorful, but I like to actually be able to taste the individual pieces of macaroni. This version came to the table bubbling hot but it just felt like a big cheesy mess. Oh well.

          1. re: twentyoystahs

            Re/ Pops, we have eaten there a few times and quite honestly do not think that it is that good (food has been just ok). Service has always been very good though. The last time we went (@ 2 months ago), we sat in the back room (the fabric draped on the ceiling was stained with condensation from the glass ceiling (the room seemed cold). It was odd, because tthey were seating people there while the front room was just about empty. I do not think i will be going back.

            1. re: stradacouple

              I guess there's endless room for opinion. I've eaten at Pops at least once a month since it opened, and thereby you can guess I really like the food. A couple of recent menu standouts: an app of squash ravioli with a fried egg on top, pork en adobo, spicy lamb Bolognese, a really fine fish and chips (their fries are outstanding), and that mac and cheese, in which the mac is actually a light, fluffy gnocchi, the cheese sauce is terrific, and the dish is loaded with leeks and excellent smoky bacon. I also really like the sandwiches, which make for a reasonable weeknight meal: a fine burger (though I'm not in love with the roll), shrimp or oyster po' boy, pulled chicken. Some reasonable wines, and they can make good cocktails for you if you're ready to explain how (servers mix the drinks).

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                I agree that the service is excellent at Pops. And I have also had some excellent dishes there --the fish n chips is a standout, the fried oyster/spinach salad is tasty, the burger is good (agree on that bun though), but that mac n cheese --one big congealed mess. It's true that the mac is a light fluffy gnocchi, but gnocchi is delicate and should be treated as such ---not broiled in an oven smothered with cheese, overcooked till it blends in with everything else. Agree that the bacon was tasty, and I suppose so was the overall concoction. Just not how I like my mac and cheese...

          2. re: cambridgejen

            Zon's is among the best, for sure, but lately there have been problems with consistency. A few times I've had it, the pasta has been way overcooked. When it's right, it's *really* right, though.

            1. re: purple bot

              Zon's has been going through some changes and has had a lot of inconsistency lately. The last time we were there, the Mac Daddy (mac & cheese with sausage) was still outstanding. They have, however, swapped out the mac & peas for mac 7 edamame - a sacrilage IMO, but I guess it must appeal to someone.

          3. The Ashmont grill does a good mac and cheese

            2 Replies
            1. re: stradacouple

              I second this. The Ashmont Grill's Mac and Cheese is a really good flavorful baked Mac and Cheese that's just a bit crunchy on top. Just the way I like it. On the other hand Silvertone's Mac and Cheese is not the way I like it at all. I found it to be bland and the sauce was too soupy. I had heard such great things about their Mac and Cheese and was very disappointed.

              1. re: MarsGirl

                Amen! I felt the same way about Silvertone's Mac N Cheese. Very bland tasting. Definitely not the best.

              1. re: cookiezim

                I love Silvertone's version too!

                1. re: kobuta

                  sadly, i've gotten the Mac and Cheese a couple times and it has just been on the bland bland bland side. I've had to add pepper and salt, just to bring a little life to it :( That being said, the price is pretty sweet, and it's nice it comes with a side salad!

                  1. re: mollyditty

                    Me too! I find it too bland. Not sure if they're using a super mild cheese blend in there but you can't even taste the cheese. I've always had to add salt & pepper to get some taste. It's creamy no doubt, but if I can't taste cheese, it's no good. I've given it chances so many times, but alas, it's never been that good.

              2. For lunch yesterday I had a Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese at Max & Dylans on West Street downtown. Really, really, really good. I thought it was better than Silvertone's. Other variations on the menu were:
                Plain;
                Lobster;
                Prosciutto,
                and Pearl Hot Dog.

                I work close by, and would occassionally go to the West Street Grill, but had no idea this place even opened and took over the space. I have mixed feelings on their decor changes, but the food we had (which also included steamed shrimp dumplings, and cheese steak spring rolls) make me anxious to return. Definitely worth checking out.

                7 Replies
                1. re: StevieC

                  Is this the same place that just opened in Charlestown? If so I see some lobster mac n cheese take out in my very near future...

                    1. re: heathermb

                      Yes, in the old Mezza/Copia space.

                    2. re: StevieC

                      I'm curious to know how expensive the mac n' cheese is at Max n' Dylan's? Are we talking $10, 15, 20? There are no prices on the website.

                      1. re: anais_in_waiting

                        I believe it was $12 or $13. The basic and hot dog versions were cheaper and the lobster version was a little more expensive.

                        It was the spiciness of the buffalo chicken that created a very unique taste/M&C experience.

                        1. re: StevieC

                          Went to Max and Dylans to check out StevieC's rec today. Orderer the lobster mac n'cheese ($15.00) Kitchen was really fast, it came out in less than 10 minutes. Cavetelli pasta in a cheddar sauce that was kind of thin at first, but thickened as it cooled down .(kind of reminisent of an easy-mac) Lobster meat was mostly knuckle and claw. It was tasty, but IMO still can't beat the richness of Amrhein's baked version, which is chock full of tail meat.
                          Service was quite good. They were short staffed so bartender was working the door, the lounge, the bar and helping out upstairs, but he was attentive, efficient and polite.

                        2. re: anais_in_waiting

                          Mac n Cheese is $9.50 to $15 for the lobster.

                          I haven't had the mac n cheese but I've enjoyed the meatloaf and crabcakes there.

                      2. I've had a pretty darn good plain ol' mac n cheese at Summer Shack (Cambridge location). Not sure if anyone else has tried it.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: RandyL

                          Just got back from Eastern Standard a few minutes ago. I had the Mac & Cheese and it was pretty good, nice flavor, but a bit dry.

                        2. Coda has great mac n cheese. As does Stephanie's on Newbury (I'm not a fan of the place, in general, but the mnc is good).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: SpicyBoston

                            I'm not a big fan of Coda's mac. I've tried it 3 times and it's pretty much always the same: melted cheese on pasta. Bleh. I really want to like it, I keep trying -- I love the idea of pancetta, but sadly, it never delivers.

                          2. I'm torn between the lobster mac & cheese at Amrheins and the lobster mac & cheese at Fat Cat in Quincy. Fat Cat may have a slight edge because of the toasted panko breadcrumbs on top. Zon's is another favorite. I tend to go for the more creamy saucy versions.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Pegmeister

                              Lobster Mac at Fat Cat is extraodinary. Silvertone is decent as is coda. I also like the mac with a side of Pulled pork at Tenessee's in braintree.

                              1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

                                Agree with Silvertone and Coda. Both good versions.

                              2. re: Pegmeister

                                Just came back from a dinner of lobster mac n cheese at Fat Cat. It was delicious, perfect comfort food for a cold slushy night. Lobster portion was quite large, with chunks from all parts of the body. The crusty top was a nice touch. Cheese sauce was creamy and did not overwhelm the lobster.

                              3. Shout out for the mac and cheese at the Winthrop Arms in Winthrop! Creamy, crispy and super rich... it's good for splitting. Not always on the menu but (I believe) always available.

                                1. Georgetown Grille for the mac and cheese with grilled chicken on top - nothing fancy but sooo good!

                                  1. I'm a big fan of the mac and cheese at Zon's and Harvard Gardens, but I also like the versions at lesser-known spots such as the Winthrop Arms in Winthrop, Tennessee's in South Braintree, and Grumpy White's in Quincy.

                                    1. I second Harvard Gardens' Mac & Cheese. And Silvertone. Look forward to trying Max & Dylan's.

                                      1. I must mention Olde Magoun's Saloon in Somerville which has the best mac and cheese in a skillet served with a choice of sausage or shrimp and other things. It's a gem of a neighborhood restaurant with a really great chef, generous helpings, good prices and friendly service. Chk out their menu online: http://www.magounssaloon.com/menu.aspx

                                        -----
                                        Olde Magoun's Saloon
                                        518 Medford St, Somerville, MA 02145

                                        1. Lucky's has fantastic Mac & Cheese.

                                          1. I enjoy Stephanie's on Newbury, but I tend to go to Z Square when I'm looking for mnc. I've got to go to Zon's!

                                            1. Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington. Not always available, alas. It's almost as good as their mashed potatoes and baked beans.

                                              1. Tried the Twisted Mac, Chicken and Cheese at Hard Rock Cafe a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. It had a great flavor and was cooked just right. Clearly a "homemade" cheese sauce. I would recommend it!

                                                1. Add another vote for the lobster mac 'n cheese at the Fat Cat in Quincy -- although I get it without the tomatoes, they take away from it somewhat.

                                                    1. re: rebeccacceber

                                                      Oooh, I agree. Thick (which is my personal preference) and gooey and wonderful.

                                                    2. Out with some friends last Friday, both couples split orders of mac & cheese at Parish Cafe and loved it! Topped with Gruyere (can't spell...) it was HOT, pasta cooked just right and cheesy without being super greasy. Yummmm :)

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: bbkatiebb

                                                        Cafe on the Common -- it's absolutely delicious.

                                                        1. re: hdb

                                                          Where's Cafe on the Common?

                                                          1. re: bear

                                                            I know of one in Waltham on Main Street, but I didn't know that place did hot entree-type food; I thought their menu was mainly coffee-shop food, pastries and breads and some simple sandwiches to go with their coffees and teas.

                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                              That's what I was thinking. I haven't been in at least a year or so, but it wasn't a mac and cheese kind of place back then. It was as you described, with George Howell coffee.

                                                            2. re: bear

                                                              It's on Common Street in Cushing Square, Belmont.

                                                              1. re: hdb

                                                                Thanks for the reply. I think you are thinking of Kitchen on Common. Have to give their mac and cheese a try. I enjoyed my one meal there a while ago.

                                                          2. re: bbkatiebb

                                                            A DC and I split an order of the mac and cheese at Parish a couple of months ago, and we both thought that, while it looked like it would be great, it was lacking in flavor. It wasn't cheesy enough. I didn't like Redbones' either, so I guess I'm hard to please mac and cheese-wise. My favorite was at the B-Side, and I'm looking forward to trying Figs'.

                                                          3. I just got back from Zon's where I had the mac n cheese and it was excellent. Flavorful, bubbling hot, really delicious.....and not a big pile of mush!

                                                            1. I know I posted earlier, but with all this talk about mac & cheese it got me in the mood, so I tried the lobster mac and cheese at Finz in Dedham. It was good, very, very rich but not a lot of lobster. I think the Salem location does it better, so I was a little disappointed. I ended up taking it home and steaming up a lobster the next day, adding some broccoli to make it more to my liking. Guess, I have to stand by my original recommendation of Fat Cat in Quincy.

                                                              1. Try Picco's Mac & Cheese!!! It's soooo yummy... they use a combo of white cheeses, and you can add sausage, mushrooms etc if you please. BY FAR the best in Boston...

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: jodes

                                                                  Yes, Picco's mac & cheese is really good. I forgot about that.

                                                                  Good call,

                                                                  1. re: jodes

                                                                    Ooh that sounds great! What cheeses do they use, if you remember.

                                                                    1. re: BackBayGirl

                                                                      Their menu says cheddar, gruyere and taleggio. I've heard their ice cream and hot fudge are great, too. See you there.

                                                                      1. re: pollystyrene

                                                                        Oh, yum! I'm DEFINITELY going to have to check their mac n cheese out then!

                                                                        1. re: BackBayGirl

                                                                          Agree, their hot fudge is homemade and really deep, dark, & chocolately. Their ice cream is good, (and also made on the premises) but not my favorite in town. Can't quite put my finger on why, but I feel Toscanini's and Christina's are miles better.

                                                                          1. re: BackBayGirl

                                                                            Save room for their chocolate calzone - UNbelievably decadent.

                                                                    2. ok honestly i have found bostons best lobster mac n cheese in the northshore! Finz in salem gives u so much lobster and it's mix of cheeses and penne pasta can't be copied- ive tried @ home and decided I'll just go there when craving it. The portion is enormous and almost every bite you get a piece of lobster! I 've had capital grilles which is good, but small and pricey this beats any lobster mac n cheese! now im craving it!!! haha

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: eatincourses

                                                                        Hi eatincourses,
                                                                        I've only been lurking on this thread until you moved the discourse north of Boston.
                                                                        I been to Finz many times but somehow have never had their Lobster Mac 'n Cheese.
                                                                        I will make a point of it after your posting. The one go-to that I have tried in the area repeatedly, and has never disappointed, is The Loft of N. Andover's version. They sound like mirror images of each other with four cheeses and bountiful lobster meat including claws. They make another excellent version, according to DW, called The Green Monster with broccoli sans the lobster. And speaking of comfort food, they're also one of the few non-diners around that features American Chop Suey as a regular menu item.

                                                                        Harp

                                                                        BTW, both links below also include their websites.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Loft Restaurant
                                                                        1140 Osgood St, North Andover, MA 01845

                                                                        Finz Seafood and Grill
                                                                        76 Wharf St, Salem, MA 01970

                                                                         
                                                                      2. If you want a delicious mac & cheese that's a little different go to Chicken Bone in Framingham. It would be a great homemade tasting mac & cheese even without the surprise in the bottom. Underneath the mac & cheese are pieces of boneless Buffalo chicken - what a delicious combo. Perfect after a round of their near perfect wings.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Chowzmeister

                                                                          Now that the thread is out of Boston: If you're ever in LA try The Curious Palate near Venice Beach.

                                                                        2. I thought I would resurrect this, given all the new restaurants opening recently and lately... I just had the mac & cheese with crumbled ritz crackers at Trina's Starlite, and while not in my top 3 list, it was pretty darn tasty. Sauce could have been just a touch thicker, but it was quickly devoured (with a grilled dog on the side)

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Trina's Starlite Lounge
                                                                          3 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Wannabfoode

                                                                            You are right! I have not been in a bit but I do appreciate the food and service I have gotten at Trina's Starlite Lounge

                                                                          2. Ok, comin' to Boston March 1st barring bad weather. Where is the best Lobster Mac&Cheese these days?

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: tieflyer

                                                                              I will stand by my post from 2009 and say that Fat Cat still has one of the best lobster Mac and cheese dishes I would also add Inn at Bay Pointe to the list although they only have it at dinner. Both these restaurants are in Quincy.

                                                                              1. re: tieflyer

                                                                                Cognac Bistro in Brookline has, imho, the best lobster mac and cheese.

                                                                              2. We have become quite familiar with standard mac & cheese having a toddler in tow. Her, and our, favorite over the past year has been at The Boathouse in Cambridge. As I posted in a thread specific to that restaurant recently, the mac and cheese is served in a cast iron dish and has a nice crumb topping. It is creamy and tasty without being gloppy.

                                                                                I'm not a fan of lobster mac. Cheese and seafood in a hot dish really don't work for me (at all). The lobster, burrata, eggplant and mushroom dish at Marea is quite a different story though.

                                                                                1. I've recently discovered the mac and cheese at Wilson Farms. Wonderfully cheesy!

                                                                                  1. I have yet to find a mac & cheese I like. I find most places make it too bland and dry for my tastes.

                                                                                    For no good reason it
                                                                                    also bothers me when the menu says mac & cheese and they use gemelli or some other kind of pasta besides macaroni.

                                                                                    The best I have had I made a few years ago we had a lot of local dairy milk, cream, butter and some gouda we had picked up from visiting family in the Netherlands. I still dream about that mac & cheese.

                                                                                    1. Highland Kitchen has added "Quack and Cheese" to their everyday menu. It's great. Orchiette pasta, tasso ham, confit duck, parmesan - friggin a!

                                                                                      1. Mmmac & Cheese in Faneuil Hall and The Regal Beagle in Coolidge Corner have got to be my faves. Mmmac & Cheese has extremely cheesy and creamy macaroni, and with every bite there is a burst of Vermont Cheddar and Swiss cheese flavor. And I love how they make it right in front of you! The Regal Beagle's mac is famous for its Ritz Cracker crust. Its beautifully sprinkled on top so all the flavors harmonize perfectly. I bet all this talk is making you hungry ;)

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: olivias02

                                                                                          You created an account to post just about Mac-n-cheese? You must really like it!

                                                                                        2. This is 1 of 2 old mac n cheese threads. It's interesting how many of the restnts mentioned- are gone now. I'm intrigued by it when it's 4 cheeses, pref w/ mushrooms or lobster. What are people's current experiences w/ Publick House, Anrheim's (I've never heard of this place), Magoun's and Picco? (I don't think we'll ever get to Fat Cat). Thx much.

                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                              nope. where/what is it? Man, ellis island must have messed up on their paperwork....A m r h ?? ever seen another name with that spelling?

                                                                                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                Southie. Broadway and A. Been there since 1655 or at least a hundred years I think.

                                                                                                For a long time it "was" the sit down restaurant in Southie.

                                                                                                1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                                  Lobster Mac n cheese at Amrhein's - oh yeah!

                                                                                                2. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                  It's a German name. Two syllables, silent H, long I sound in the second syllable. Am-rine's.

                                                                                              2. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                I don't like Picco for anything else, but their mac & cheese is sublime. It's a creamy-but-not-runny consistency, and they seem to have hit on the perfect combo of cheeses, achieving uncommon tang. I wasn't crazy about the versions at Green Street, Figs, Parish, or Redbones, mostly because they lacked flavor. I would have liked Highland Kitchen's but it was too peppery (haven't had it in a long time, though).

                                                                                                1. re: pollystyrene

                                                                                                  I agree that most MC are too bland and creamy, artificially or not .

                                                                                                  I want some tang too.

                                                                                                  I had some of the touted mac and cheese at the NE Soup Factory 's roto chicken place the other night and it tasted good but was ridiculously dry.

                                                                                                  Excellent roto chicken, however.