Mac ‘n Cheese, Please! Guide to the Best of Memphis

Posted on February 28, 2014


By Tiegst Ameha

Memphis is known for good old fashioned southern comfort food, and nothing says comfort better than mac ‘n cheese. These five Memphis hotspots transform this classic while still maintaining all of its original glory.

Cafe Eclectic
eqerIt’s simple. The cheese is creamy in both taste and consistency and perfectly coats the macaroni to yield a savory taste without an overwhelming effect. The toppings, though, are where this dish shines, especially the smoky crispy bacon. And the bacon can also be left out for all those vegetarians out there. Plus I haven’t even mentioned the toasted ciabatta bread, feta, and parmesan. Must I say more?


Local Gastropub
afhrhryyHave you ever wondered what would happened if you combined the comfort of mac’n’cheese with the tasty goodness of lobster? Local Gastropub has your answer: heaven. I ordered skeptically, but after a short wait and my first bite, my uncertainty subsided. Nothing about this dish is traditional. The pasta is penne, and the sauce is just that; very saucy with a rich flavoring, thanks in no small part to the mozzarella and gouda cheeses that constitute it. The chef then mixes in perfectly shucked and noticeably fresh lobster and tops the whole dish with bread crumbs and garnish.
The Elegant Farmer
macThe Elegant Farmer offers country classics with a twist, and by this reputation, their mac’n’cheese does not disappoint. The small eatery shares a rustic cottage building with an antique shop, hiding in plain sight on Highland. As for their mac’n’cheese, it too is certainly hiding in plain sight, posing as a simple side item waiting to surprise you with all of the markings of an entree star. In place of macaroni, we have Penne. And in place of a basic cheese sauce, we have a three cheese sauce with a kick akin to that of black pepper. This humble side will distract any unsuspecting guest and steal the attention from any of its counterparts.

Lunchbox Eats
245245Leave it to a restaurant named Lunchbox Eats to use a simple dish as a time machine to transport you to the days of your childhood in which you wholeheartedly believed you could sustain yourself solely on macaroni and cheese. This childhood inspired restaurant, with board games littering its tables, took me back to the second grade with their Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots and equally rockin’ mac’n’cheese. It is simple, hearty, and reminds you of your mother. The only liberty they take with this classic dish is a surprise ingredient – sour cream, the only detail about the dish I could get from our waitress. As for the rest of their secrets, the menu reads “Mac&Cheese: We can’t tell, but we will sell!,” so we may never know.

At the end of this long and glorious labor of love, I’ve decided the delicious and transformative powers of Lunchbox Eats has won my heart and taste buds over. Go forth and re-experience your childhood while your taste buds experience heaven.

Tiegst Ameha is a sophomore English major on the Creative Writing track at Rhodes College

Posted in: Lifestyle