We went to support a struggling, starving artist… and he also a great musician with thoughtful lyrics and a sweet voice- at Mac! Mac & Cheesery. It was a beautiful summer afternoon, with sunshine but a nice cool breeze so it was perfect in the shade. Even though I had to spend the entire time working on my laptop on a document, hearing his sweet crooning made it easier to work through the 50 pages I had left to review.
The cheese certainly didn’t hurt either. When you enter, you can start your order there at there at the counter, including starting a tab. I started out with fried mac and cheese balls (which tempted me more than the other guilty pleasure options for appetizers of poutine), which are 4 to an order and served with marinara sauce. I ordered the original, but if I had known the vegetarian was going to not eat any I would have paid the extra 50 cents to get them with bacon jalapeno.
Meanwhile, F went with the Tabetha & Karssa’s Spinach and Artichoke mac and cheese, winner of the Make My Mac! contest in which fans submitted their own tasty recipe ideas for mac and cheese. This version has chopped spinach, artichoke, and garilc with swiss cheese. This was pretty rich, as you can imagine. I went with Mac! Mac & Cheesery’s Cheeseburger mac and cheese with natural local seasoned ground beef, crispy bacon, onions, cheddar, and topped with crushed bbq flavored chips. Based on the ingredients, it sounded quite savory, but the ground beef didn’t seem to have enough seasoning to make give the dish its burger-y tone that I was expecting, and I found myself trying to scoop carefuly to distribute the chips for some crunch since the bacon wasn’t really to be found. So the winner between the two was the Spinach and Artichoke mac, although with many places around PDX offering lots of great mac and cheese, it’s surprising that this place that specializes in them isn’t up to par: lots of combinations on the menu, but seemingly not a lot of complexity in the flavor, a gooey promise unfulfilled. It seems they need better cheese and additional seasoning.
At least as a consolation, these cheesy dishes are huge- so you getting two servings worth with each dish. And, it as a great clean open atmosphere, sitting outside listening to the musician, watching all sorts of interesting people walk by or listening in on other trendy people talking while they were also eating in the outdoor area at Uchu or Mee-Sen. It still made for a wonderful evening.