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Mr. Mac's Macaroni and Cheese - Manchester, NH ~ good, -but- ...

s
solargarlic Jan 6, 2011 06:30 PM

I had some errands to do today out in Manch, so I didn't mind taking the extra 10 min. drive out to find this place. I had read about the opening recently in the Hippo and was intrigued and then also noticed some good reviews on Yelp, so I thought it would be a worthy stop for lunch. (It is also already on NH Mag's front cover!)

This is a counter-service, eat-in/take-out place, located near the Kia dealer on Hooksett Rd. Their menu consists of several variations of Mac-n-cheese, from the traditional to Italian variations and other creative recipes (Philly Cheesesteak style, cheeseburger). You can get your choice in 3 sizes and the price varies from 4.99 to 24.99 (that's the large "Lobstah" one). They also offer pre-made salads with Ken's dressing, and a large variety of Coca-Cola bottled products.

My meal: My son got the Classic All-American; I got the Blazin' Buffalo Chicken. Both orders get prepared in the take-out dish and then put into the oven to get bubbly and browned on top. My son's for some reason, came out much hotter than mine, but in any case, a nice hot bowl of MnC is a good start. His was good; creamy, yet still stringy; cheesy tasting, but not too strong. Nice and simple. Mine was also good: basic MnC with buffalo sauce mixed in; also had chunks of chicken breast mixed in and bleu cheese dressing drizzled on top; spicy and tangy, definitely had the right "buffalo" flavor.

My only hesitation in returning or recommending is that it was not necessarily the BEST mac n cheese I have ever had. The texture of the sauce was great; I like that it was creamy but the cheese was still stringy and had "bite" to it. The browned top was also key. The part I didn't like was after a few bites, I couldn't taste anything but that pasty processed cheese taste in my mouth. After it started to cool, I wasn't as eager to go back for another bite. That being said, when my husband reheated it tonight, he really liked it, and didn't get that pasty flavor at all. It also was pretty good cold, so I must have been in some sort of processed cheesed limbo or Purgatory when I had to stop eating it.

Long story short...you might as well try this spot. Reasonably priced, the food is good (maybe I'm being overly picky?) and I like the idea. If I was nearby and was in the mood, I would go back again.

www.mr-macs.com

  1. j
    jackattack Jan 7, 2011 11:43 AM

    Interesting concept. My kid will like how they have "hot dog slices" as an add-on possibility over on the "build your own" side of the menu.

    1. whs Jan 11, 2011 05:01 PM

      and another thing--why are they closed on Sunday evening? Both times we've been in the mood, they've been closed.

      2 Replies
      1. re: whs
        s
        solargarlic Jan 11, 2011 08:06 PM

        My guess on that is that no one is in that area on a Sun. evening...between football games and nothing nearby open, I imagine they didn't have much traffic around there.

        1. re: solargarlic
          d
          djr222 Jan 13, 2011 07:53 AM

          Not sure about that! Back room is down the road and Sunday night is one of there busiest nights and that road has one of the largest flows of traffic 24/7 in Manchester

      2. s
        Skibum87 Jan 24, 2011 07:07 AM

        My mouth is watering just thinking about the Mac I had at this place! As a chef myself, I can say there is nothing processed about this cheese. Everything is fresh and the cheese tastes great to me. With 3 kids, I can tell you it is the perfect dinner spot to pick up a take and bake of build your own and load it with great veggies!

        4 Replies
        1. re: Skibum87
          g
          gryphonskeeper Jan 24, 2011 12:37 PM

          You must have gotten a different batch than I did. Mine tasted like velveta

          1. re: gryphonskeeper
            s
            Skibum87 Jan 24, 2011 12:56 PM

            Very odd! I read in an interview they use Cabot cheese and prep everything in the morning. Fresh as can be :)

            1. re: Skibum87
              r
              raff Feb 22, 2011 02:10 AM

              Recently went to Mr. Macs for lunch with a buddy-- he's been there a number of times,and he raves about it. Being a "purist", and wanting to gain measure of the "Base-Stock" -I ordered the small size "All American". He ordered the Medium "Cajun". The All American is the basic straight up version--- The serving arrived in it's cast iron baking skillet nestled in a wood trivet... it was hotbubbly, and very attractive looking. Simple but nice. The cheese was rich and creamy, but NOT too saucey... it's got a tasty cheddary flavor, and the macaroni are nicely cooked- not mushy. A solid, freshly made, well constructed Mac & Cheese. The small size was plenty to eat for lunch. My pal's Cajun (medium), came in a larger skillet--- it was really too much for one for lunch, but he plowed through it, and I had a taste. As I hinted, earlier-- I'm not a fan of "Food-fight-mixtures & Concoctions"--But this one worked! It was a nice tasty mix of Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Andouille Sausage, Garlic Celery-- Sort of a Mac n Cheese Jambalaya- (No Chix or Shrimp)... It was nice and creamy, and the Cajun "twist" really worked--- It had a nice little pop to it, as well. All that said-- The lunch was good. For me, having Macaroni & Cheese as a complete meal isn't something I would crave very often. Also, I find that foods like Mac & Cheese, Potato Salads, and the like really draw out the parochialism of individual taste buds-- If it's not your mom's it's not good... So, if you're a stickler for your moms-- go home and have her make it. If you've got a wider berth in tastes, and you have a very focused craving for a hot, bubbly, creamy, cheesey, tasty concoction-- In 14 varieties, plus a BUILD YOUR OWN option with nearly a dozen cheeses, 10 different meats, multiple veggies, & sauces -- Mr. Mac's NAILS it.

              1. re: raff
                whs Feb 22, 2011 05:11 PM

                Nice first post! They are now open Sundays, btw.

        2. h
          handfuloffood Apr 13, 2011 03:50 PM

          I've heard great things about this place. Going to have to try it out soon. Thank's for the review.

          -Cody
          www.handfuloffood.com

          1. r
            rizzo0904 Aug 11, 2011 10:24 AM

            Went for the first time today. Lots of parking, very clean, friendly staff.

            Had the 4 cheese which was delicious. Son got the Mediterranean. This had olives, artichokes, and sundried tomatoes. I don't enjoy any of those items, so this wasn't my favorite, but it did have lots of artichokes and olives so if you like that stuff, I think you'd like this. It's right across from Livingston park so it's a great place to take the kids after playing.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rizzo0904
              r
              rizzo0904 Aug 16, 2011 05:53 AM

              Just want to add...hubby ate the leftover Mediterranean and thought it was excellent.

            2. g
              gryphonskeeper Aug 15, 2011 05:39 PM

              I gave this place another try, and again it was a huge let down! They had no covers for the mac and cheese and when I got home the cheese was stuck to the top of the box, and when I tried to open it part of the box came off into the mac and cheese.... it was extremely dry and overcooked as well. I was so discouraged! This was 2 for 2 let down. I will give it one more try because I have a gift certificate, but if it is not as good as hyped I am never going back. $16(Lg Cheeseburger mac) for something that my kids call worse than Kraft is not a good sign.

              2 Replies
              1. re: gryphonskeeper
                s
                Skibum87 Aug 25, 2011 06:54 AM

                Hmm... Whenever I've gone, they've always served their to-go's in pizza boxes so in order to not spill the cheese you have to hold it like a pizza, fantastic idea! I'd call this gourmet mac... not Kraft. Much more healthier and it always makes me coming back for more! Just as Phantom Gourmet and NH Magazine said.......... A+ in my book! :)

                1. re: gryphonskeeper
                  t
                  Tante Feb 18, 2012 06:35 PM

                  Mr. Tante and I went there tonight with another couple and our rambunctious 4-year old. Having never gone before, and given that it's been a while since I've read this thread, I really wasn't sure what to expect atmosphere-wise, and was relieved that my daughter banging things around on the table and my repeated urgings to stop seemed didn't bring the place to a screeching halt. So yeah, it's kid-friendly. (And if you were there tonight, I tried to keep her behavior under control, I really, really did.)
                  Husband and a friend got the carbonara and loved it; friend's husband got the cordon bleu and was equally as happy. I got the cheeseburger and thought it was great for what it was, sort of reminded me of the way my mom would make taco meat by melting Velveeta into ground beef. (I know, this wasn't Velveeta. And those weren't tacos.) My daughter, who's been on a "I hate mac and cheese at home" kick lately, gobbled up her plain version, the All-American.
                  I do think it's a bit pricey when you consider what mac and cheese consists of, though of course I understand an increased price on something that contains lobster. Given that it's filling--I ate less than half of a small size--I guess I can look at it as having 2 meals for that price.

                  I did appreciate the cleanliness of the tables and the way the staff cleared and washed tables as soon as customers left. I also appreciated that a server stopped at each table after food had been served to ask how it was.
                  If I hadn't been trying to keep my child from destroying the place, I would have looked more closely at the add-ins and other choices. I basically decided in about 5 seconds, and would probably try something else next time. As others have said, it is what it is: comfort food, casual, the sort of place that's good for nurturing a hangover.

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