I’ve already extolled the virtues of New York City’s smash hit macaroni and cheese factory S’Mac in my post 11 Most Memorable Meals of My Life, but I don’t think once was enough.
S’Mac was opened in 2006 by wife-and-husband team Sarita and Caesar Ekya. The Ekyas had already had success with The Peanut Butter Co. and decided to expand their comfort food empire. S’Mac in the middle of the East Village and is perpetually filled with students. It has a very simple premise: claim the market by only serving European-themed macaroni and cheese dishes and glass bottled soda. You can also pick and choose your ingredients if you’d like. Your macaroni and cheese comes in these four ascending sizes: Nosh, Major Munch, Mongo, and Partay! I order Major Munch. It comes in the pan it was cooked in, and they’ll ask if you want breadcrumbs. Get them.
I’m the kind of person who sticks to what I like, so I can only remember having tried 2 of the dishes: Parisienne and La Mancha.
The Parisienne has brie, figs (figs!), roasted shiitake mushrooms, and rosemary. It was delightfully heavy on the gooey Brie, and the sweetness of the figs and the earthiness of the mushrooms counterbalanced it and each other. I could taste the hearty dose of rosemary too. La Mancha has manchego cheese, fennel, and onions. I like strong cheeses, so I didn’t like it as much. Other dishes include the Cajun, Cheeseburger, Alpine, Masala, and other combinations that other restaurants wouldn’t think of. I also recommend getting a mac-and-cheese with goat cheese, cheddar, broccoli, tomatoes, parsley, and garlic.
You can also order delivery or carryout, so S’Mac can replace Chipotle as your go-to lunch.
My Rating: 10
Recommended Dish: Parisienne
Atmosphere: Small, crowded, and the color of macaroni and cheese.
Price Range: $10-18 per person
345 East 12th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues
212-358-7912 or 212-358-7917
Kiosk at the corner of 1st Avenue and Houston street
157 East 33rd Street between Lexington and 3rd avenues
212-683-3900 or 212-683-3915