The Ultimate Comfort Food: Mac & Cheese in Metro Detroit

By: Toni Cunningham | February 21, 2013
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Whether it’s cold and dreary or warm and sunny, mac and cheese is bound to make your waking hours better.

While you could stick to the comfort of your own kitchen and whip up the box variety with powdered cheese, you could also step away from the strainer and experience something new.

Clarkston Union, 54 S. Main St., Clarkston, is home to “the most-macked mac & cheese.” It comes in two delicious variations—the standard Mac & Cheese (Canadian sharp cheddar, mild Pinconning cheeses, penne rigate, topped with a crunchy crust) and Lobster Mac & Cheese (Maine lobster, roasted jalapenos, scallions, sweet peppers and pepper jack cheese). FYI, you can get the very same mac & cheese recipes served to you at the Union Woodshop in Clarkston and Vinsetta Garage in Berkley!

Town Tavern, 116 W. 4th St., Royal Oak, serves Lobster Mac & Cheese (with creamy mascarpone) and Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese (with bacon and sharp cheddar). The Roadside B&G of Bloomfield Hills also has the Lobster Mac & Cheese on its menu, so depending on your location, you’ve got two options to sample this cheesy goodness.

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Twisted Rooster, 9729 Belleville Rd., Belleville, has four varieties of cavatappi cheese-laden noodles on its menu. Among the offerings are Housemade Mac & Cheese (white five cheese blend, fried parmesan), Lobster Mac & Cheese (Maine lobster, asparagus, baked cheddar bread crumbs and fried parmesan), Buffalo Mac & Cheese (smoked chicken, tomatoes, bleu cheese, scallions and Red-Hot cheese sauce), and Twisted Mac & Cheese (white five cheese blend, chicken, sweet peas, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, baked cheddar bread crumbs and fried parmesan).

Small Plates, 1521 Broadway, Detroit, is the place to go if you’re looking for lots of cheese. The restaurant’s Mac & Four Cheese Gratin includes aged white cheddar, Gouda, pepper jack and Parmesan cheeses. You can add pancetta or grilled chicken to the dish, too.

Slow’s BBQ, 2138 Michigan Ave., Detroit, serves a mac and cheese side dish that is so well loved, it’s also served as an entrée. The giant portion of creamy, cheesy noodles is full of spices that you just can’t quite decipher well enough to replicate at home.

Zingerman’s Roadhouse, 2501 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor, is the holy grail of mac and cheeses. The menu features not one, but six variations of the stuff, including Pimento Bacon Macaroni; Macaroni & 3 Peppercorn Goat Cheese; and Roasted Heirloom Pepper & Anchovy Mac. It would be wrong to sample one and not the others, right?

Mac Shack, a Metro Detroit food truck, puts on the parking brake and sets up shop around Wayne State University and Eastern Market. The menu features seven varieties, including The Bacon Made Me Do It! (a five cheese blend with applewood smoked bacon, fresh tomatoes and green onions). This sounds so unbelievably good that it looks like I’ll be embarking on a little road trip tomorrow. But wait, it gets better. The truck also serves… fries. Mac and cheese and garlic parm fries will surely make you dip into a carb-coma, but well worth it in my book.

I can’t speak for everyone, but all of the aforementioned mac and cheese dishes have officially been added to my bucket list. Now, where to start…