S'mac! Not really, they actually say "smack" but I was pleased with myself on this one, so I had to go for it.
Bruni blogged about S'mac, which is a small eatery in the East Village which specializes in macaroni and cheese, a few weeks ago. As a mac & cheese lover, I was intrigued. Luckily for me, Jeeves had just returned from his European vacation and had time for some dinner in between being a law nerd and.... being a law nerd. We had narrowed down the contenders to a variety of selections from New York mag's 101 cheap eats issue, and S'mac. I chose the winner.
And a winner it is. As I find woolgathering about food to be a suitable way to make it through a day of blah work, I perused the menu and decided the best plan of attack was for each of us to order two nosh sizes and share all of them. This way we could try four different varieties of mac & cheese.
I arrived first, and Jeeves was, per usual, late, which gave me enough time to stand outside the orange and yellow restaurant and get antsy as it filled up and there were fewer and fewer tables available. But he arrived and we got on line while I told him my idea. Jeeves is almost always amenable to a plan that allows for more food, so he agreed. We selected the all-american, gruyere, cheeseburger and cajun, and we requested breadcrumbs on all of them.
After about a five minute wait, the waitress brought us our skillets of mac and cheese. We had made a mistake in our calculations - what we had assumed were the medium-sized servings were, in fact, the small. Four nosh-sized (the smallest) provided way too much food for two people. We dug in, regardless.
As Bruni has suggested, the gruyere, which includes chunks of slab bacon, was our favorite. It was lighter than the others and the gruyere went great with the bacon. But the all-american (just your traditional mac & cheese) was not to be discounted. Bruni complained that there were no burnt edges, but I personally feel that there are many ways of making mac and cheese, and while burnt edges are tasty and that is one way of making it, Sarita's (the owner) way is pretty great too.
The cheeseburger (which Jeeves likened to The Dude from Two Boots Pizza) was absurdly heavy and kind of like a really delicious serving of hamburger helper. As for the Cajun, well, in typical Megan fashion, I couldn't eat too much of it before the jalapenos got the best of me, but mac & cheese definitely benefits from being combined with pepper jack and andouille.
I kid you not, we had to take every single one home, which actually worked out well for the splitting - I took the gruyere and the cheeseburger, and let me say - the cheeseburger was fantastic reheated. But this meal was not without its casualty - Jeeves came down with a serious case of the cheese sweats. I didn't know it was possible to get the cheese sweats, but it is and he did.
On the whole, an inexpensive and delightful experience. I'll be headed back, but I'll just get one nosh sized next time.