Sunday, January 29, 2012


Is it just me, or is macaroni and cheese getting a lot of attention in the media these days? Every time I check out at the grocery store, I see some other cooking magazine touting its unbeatable macaroni recipe. Maybe it is just me, because macaroni and cheese is probably one of my favorite foods, and when macaroni is mentioned, I am bound to take notice.

And lately, I've been trying a lot of macaroni. When I went to visit my friend in New York City and was asked what I wanted to eat (because that's basically what people go to New York City to do: sightsee and eat), I said "cookie dough. And macaroni and cheese." So we tried several macaroni-serving establishments (we failed to find many cookie-dough-serving establishments, but did locate some cheesecake, which was an acceptable substitute). When I go out to eat, and macaroni is available, it's almost always what I order.

Since I have become such a macaroni connoisseur, it is time that I add "Macaroni Reviewer" to my list of accomplishments. From now on, whenever I try a macaroni and cheese dish – be it homemade, frozen, or served fresh from a restaurant menu – I will share my opinions here on this blog. I'll even include photos—though since I'm not in the habit of carrying my bulky camera everywhere I go, you'll have to settle for out-of-focus cell phone pictures.

Let the MacaroniQuest begin!

With the restaurant I visited yesterday: Eatonville, in Washington DC.

As you can see from the photo, my macaroni had to share a plate with my boyfriend's nasty fried chicken and collard greens (one thing you learn quickly as a Macaroni Reviewer is that your favorite entree is rarely ever presented as an entree, but rather a very costly side dish), but the delicious biscuit serving as a divider between them made up for it.

The macaroni and cheese was a delight as well, with nice chewy spiral noodles and a coating of melted cheese on top. Since (even though I claim to be a connoisseur) I can't really tell one good macaroni from another, I will only rate them as Siskel and Ebert (used to) do: Thumbs up or thumbs down.

I give this one Thumbs Up.

And since that's such a lame rating system, I'll add a factor: Presentation Value. Since I didn't order this side a la carte, I don't know how it looks when it comes a la carte. But I have to say the cheese topping and the spiral noodles were a good choice. So I would probably rate it highly.

As an added bonus, the ambience inside Eatonville was kind of fun. Though it took me a while to realize the restaurant was inspired by Zora Neale Hurston, it was easy to pick up on the Old South vibe, what with the leaf-shaped fans on the ceiling, and the fact that all the waitresses wore little hats! I think, now, that that was some special event they were holding, and not a regular thing. But cute anyway!