We asked you on Facebook where we could find the best macaroni and cheese in Washtenaw County and you told us! This month we visited the top five most recommended to see what makes them so deliciously cheesy. What’s better than mac and cheese for lunch on Saturday afternoon? Our kids will tell you quite simply: five different mac and cheeses!
The All-Around Favorite
304 Depot St.
With straight, short, tubular noodles and a delicious blend of special cheeses, Casey’s Tavern’s Mac-N-Cheese ($10.75) was hands-down the favorite of the ‘5 and under’ contingency. As our 5-year old commented, “it’s like they cut the curves off of the noodles!” The richness kept the adults’ forks wandering back despite some objections from the little ones. A really fantastic option for any fan of mac and cheese.
The Classic and the Kid’s Runner-Up
3035 Washtenaw Ave.
The Ann Arbor BBQ joint serves up a simple and mild version with their Mac and Cheese that our kids devoured. Soft, creamy, classic mac and cheese. As a kid’s choice or a BBQ side it’s tough to go wrong with Satchel’s. Available as a side ($1.75), pint ($5), and quart ($10).
No Moo in this Mac and Cheese
The Lunch Room
407 N. 5th Ave.
Having never tried the vegan Mac & Cheese ($8) from The Lunch Room, we were all stuck on the question of how do you make mac and cheese without cheese? Turns out a mix of butternut squash and red bell peppers creates a velvety sauce well-suited to the classic elbow noodles. This version had the most non-traditional flavor of the options we tried – strong red pepper and warm spices come through. It also came with a crunchy topping made from almonds, lemon zest, and parsley.
The All Grown-Up
2501 Jackson Ave.
Zingerman’s likes to brag about their “award winning” Roadhouse Mac and Cheese ($11.50, $15 for a large) and for good reason. Voted Top Comfort Food by Alton Brown on The Food Networks’ “America’s Best” show, this mac and cheese is really like nothing else we tried. With an incredibly rich and complex cheese flavor, this delicious option is made with a housemade béchamel sauce and Cabot cheddar. Although the kids were interested in the larger spiral noodles, the combination of flavors were more intense than they preferred. They also have a number of creative permutations which all sound mouth-watering. The fried chicken option has a cult following.
Red Rock Barbecue
207 W. Michigan Ave. Ypsilanti.
Red Rock Barbecue in Ypsilanti has a BYO (build your own) Mac & Cheese ($9-$12) on the menu featuring Cavatappi pasta tossed in a three cheese Alfredo blend. Their macaroni dish also comes with a mouthwatering caramelized cheese crust over the top which was something that we adults loved. This BYO (build your own) base mac and cheese stands on its own or as a foundation for various build-your-own options, including parmesan, bleu, tomato, jalapenos, any of Red Rock’s signature barbecue meats or even buffalo style! We added tomato which brought some coolness to this dish which we found to bear a deep smokey flavor.
On The Side
316 S. State St.
Salt Springs Brewery
117 S. Ann Arbor St.
Saline, MI 48176