Thursday, January 22, 2009


4.5 out of 5 stars

I just saw the folders of restos I would want to write on, and it's still so numerous :o At the risk of delaying some work, I decided to write on my New York line-up since it would be harder going back to these places unlike the ones in Manila.

I'll start the line-up right with this cute little place called S'MAC. It's a quaint place in the East Village that serves nothing guessed it, macaroni and cheese. It's been featured in several shows and magazines for being a restaurant with such a specific niche. Nothing intimidating about it when you enter, at all. The interiors are small but sunny, literally, since the furniture is all in yellow, except for the red brick wall to one side and the red trimmings on the wall. The decoration is modern, yet kitschy to the point of being cute. Wired chandeliers, inverted cone lamps, those kinds of things.

It's called S'MAC cos it's owned by Sarita Ekya. Her recommendations are posted along with the rest of the menu on the counter, and you place your orders here like in fast food joints or a canteen. Actually, her recommendations make all of the menu, but there's another section where you can build your own mac and cheese and you just tell them what toppings to place. The great part is, they have take and bake, where you can order then bake and eat your S'MAC later at home, as well as delivery. They're also considerate enough to provide you a choice of regular, multi-grain or gluten-free elbow macaroni, with or without breadcrumbs on top.

My friends and I got a nosh (being the smallest serving, then major much, mongo and partay! the last one serving aroun 8-12 people) of Buffalo Chicken, Parisienne and Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese. You know it's American sizes because when it came to us, our noshes still looked huge, and we regretted getting three servings because we were still up for brunch (which became a 3 pm brunch, the line was that long) at Prune later.

All three of them looked the same, the sauce slightly differing in hues of yellow. But once you bite into it, it's a world of difference! The Cheeseburger ($5.75) is for the hearty meat eater. As described, it's "ground beef done to perfection with onions, garlic and a hint of ketchup and mustard. Don't forget the best part - a combination of American and Cheddar cheeses." It honestly tasted like a cheeseburger, and I liked it out of the three because of it's mild but beefy taste, and is likeable to most palates.

The Buffalo Chicken (&6.75) is basically "cheddar & American cheeses with boneless chicken pieces and buffalo wing sauce. We’ll even top it off with crumbled blue cheese if you’d like!" This had the most zing and spice, and I had to reach for my soda several times because my mouth tingled after (but in a good way, of course :) The taste of this mac and cheese actually grows on you as you get accustomed to its bold, chili-barbecue flavor.

Lastly, the Parisienne ($6.75) is written as "mac-n-Cheese for the "upper crust". Creamy brie, roasted figs, roasted shiitake mushrooms & fresh rosemary. It's addictive!" I liked this the least, though my friends love it. I guess I'm not used to my mac and cheese, which is usually savory, being somewhat sweet due to the figs and brie. I love brie, but alone or baked by itself in philo. The shiitake was a brilliant addition, though, and I could really taste the flavor of the rosemary permeate the entire dish.
From top to bottom: Parisienne, Buffalo Chicken, Cheeseburger

Even if we said that the servings were big (considering that we're still going to eat less than an hour later), we gobbled everything down it was that good. Creative concept, fairly quick service and easy on the pockets...It's a great hole-in-the-wall that is truly unique to NY.

Click on the MENU to magnify.

Manhattan's East Village
345 East 12th Street
between 1st and 2nd

Monday- Thursday and Sunday: 11 am - 11 pm
Friday - Saurday: 11 am - 1 am

Delivery is available for free, on orders of $15.00 or more, from Houston Street in the south to 23rd Street in the north, and from Broadway in the west to Avenue D in the east.

There is no minimum for delivery if you live on 12th street between 2nd avenue and avenue A, or on 1st avenue between 11th and 13th streets. Otherwise the minimum order is $15.00 with no exceptions.


meow. said...

wow, the mac and cheese looks amazing! I have been craving for mac and cheese for weeks! haha. i bought the instant one and will be having it for dinner.

graey eats said...

And to think it actually looks better than it tastes!

but yeah, I also love getting some instant mac n cheese at home :)

graey eats said...

haha, i meant taste better than it looks :P

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