Who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese? If you don’t, you clearly didn’t have a childhood. Whether you’re eating a gourmet version by one of the countless chefs who’ve put their own spin on it, or just hitting up your pantry for that box of KD, mac and cheese will bring you back to them good ol’ stress free, mushroom cut/braided pigtail, bike riding days. Every time I have mac ‘n cheese, it brings back nostalgic and sentimental feelings of my mother calling me to the table to quickly satisfy my hunger.
For this week’s Showdown, I present to you the salvation of many mothers and students– The Ultimate Comfort Food: Montreal’s Best Mac ‘n Cheese.
Griffintown Café - 378 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest
Now, Griffintown Café used to be one of my favourite brunch spots until they recently changed owners. However, they still hold down a hefty mac ‘n cheese. This dish is absolutely delicious– crispy on top, yet soft and creamy underneath, topped off with eggs and a side of mouth-watering bacon. The Swiss Gruyère cheese really adds a great balance of sweet and salty. Also, big props to them for keeping it local with the Île-aux-Grues cheddar cheese (which is an island about 4 hours East of Montreal) and Bierbrier Ale (brewed in Montreal). Check out Caitlin’s post about the restaurant.
Le Gros Jambon – 286 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest
I find mac ‘n cheese has the tendency to dry up quickly. In this case, I find the biggest asset to this plate is the consistency of creaminess. Another great thing is that you also have the choice of bacon, duck confit, lobster, ham or smoked meat as the protein of your dish. I went with the duck confit, which was absolutely delicious and participated really well in the overall flavour of this dish. Topped off with a crispy layer of Parmesan, this dish is the perfect blend of flavour and comfort. Check out Dan’s post for more on this restaurant.
A close one. Both dishes are tasty and unique in their own way, but in this battle of comfort foods, the winner is Le Gros Jambon. Mac ‘n cheese is rated one of North America’s top comfort foods and Le Gros Jambon delivers that experience. I’ll leave you with a fun info graph from friendseat.com.