Friday, March 3, 2017

Food for Thought: Mac & Cheese

Mac & Cheese from Vanbarry's 
My seventh grader has long since outgrown Kraft Mac & Cheese and has developed a more discerning mac & cheese palate.  That being said it can be tough going out to eat with her because she veers more on the cheese and carb diet aka cheese quesadilla, cheese pizza, cheese ravioli or any pasta shape, grilled cheese and on and on and on. She is currently in the kitchen engineering her pizza cheese ball in which she takes pizza dough, puts cheese in the center, rolls in into a ball and bakes it. I am waiting on one right now  She does, however, love her fruits and veggies, but proteins other than cheese don't whet her appetite. I have worked hard to expand her palate and she has developed a taste for seafood and chicken  also, but most often when we go out to dinner she wants mac and cheese.

Thankfully the two best places to order mac & cheese are in Orlando. Our number one choice for mac & cheese is the skillet mac & cheese at Vanbarry's pictured above.  What make this special is that the mac and cheese is creamy like it was made on a stovetop, but then the top is finished with a "brulee" of cheese, delish.  This dish is appropriate for kids and adults alike and if you are in the mood bacon is part of the deal. (She obviously doesn't have it).  Her second favorite is the smoked gouda mac and cheese at the Artisan Table.  It too is creamy, but the smoked gouda brings a more subtle contrast to the rosemary panko crumb topping.  The Artisan Table is a great pre-show dining place if you are heading to the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center.  The mac and cheese is just one of the many fabulous items of both menus.

If you aren't up to leaving your house, I make this mac and cheese when we stay in or have family get-togethers.  Remember that Kraft Mac & Cheese still works in a pinch- I just make it with half and half and butter to adult it up a bit.


  1. Your post made me smile, because as a mom of four children under 8, you better believe we consume all kinds of cheese products in this house on a daily basis. Thank you for the mac & cheese recipe-I'll have to give it a try for our family! Funny, I now suddenly feel hungry... ;)

  2. Pizza cheese ball? That might merit a post of its own!
    You made me want to come to your town, your restaurants, and sample your favorite mac and cheese delicacies. And like you, I still love a box of Kraft neon cheese powder stuff, and I also use real butter. Confessions.

  3. "Adult it up" made it me chuckle. Good food and good food writing! Oh how I love Vanberry's and Artisan's Table! That seventh grader might enjoy exploring recipes on the Mac and Cheese Chick's blog:

  4. OMG! That looks soooooooooo good! I love a good mac and cheese. Unfortunately, I cannot eat gluten any more (2+ years now) so I have to make my own. I have found a good corn-only pasta from Wegman's that I use with this recipe, If you ever want restaurant-quality mac and cheese at home (but not Kraft), then you must try this recipe, Beth!


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