Awesome mac and cheeses around the country

There is a fine line between pasta with cheese and a genuine macaroni and cheese, says Laura Werlin. "What distinguishes a mac and cheese is lots of cheesiness," she says. "When you lift the pasta, there are strings that attach it to the dish." She should know. The food writer won a James Beard Award for writing The All American Cheese and Wine Book, penned two tracts about grilled cheese sandwiches, and has another fromage tome, Mac & Cheese, Please!: 50 Super Cheesy Recipes, coming out in December. We didn't want to wait until then to dig in, so we asked Werlin to put her research to good use and concoct a mac and cheese tour of the country — you might want to hide the scale for a while.

Text by Molly Fergus for Condé Nast Traveler

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Dec 13, 2012 12:18PM
A little of this every now and then revives my taste for an easy to make-fast-home-made meal.
Dec 13, 2012 11:22AM

barrooman - Really. So, by "Americans" I assume you are not one of them? From from the absolute fattastic cuisines I have seen living in other countries the reason has to be that we don't exercise enough. Good lord, anywhere in the U.K. outside London and your typical meal consists of half a cow or sheep and four starches - three different kinds of potatoes and a bread stuffing of sorts, covered in gravy. And fried EVERYTHING. That's where the bloody deep-fried candy bar started. In France - cheese and bread with every meal - sometimes it is the meal.  Italy, I just wanted one thing that wasn't covered in oil or accompanied a ton of oil-drenched pasta. Granted, not everyone eats this every day for every meal (but some do), the same can be said for American cuisine. I don't know anyone who eats macaroni and cheese at every meal, every day.

Dec 13, 2012 11:11AM
The Truffle Mac 'n' Cheese at the Alden Hotel in Houston. I didn't know macaroni and cheese could taste so good.
Dec 13, 2012 10:30AM

If you start putting all kinds of meat, seafood, or veggies in it, it's no longer mac n' cheese. Don't get me wrong... some of those versions are delicious! I'm a bit of a purist though. :)


By the way, Slows BBQ in Detroit should be on the list. Their mac n cheese is legendary.

Dec 13, 2012 10:30AM
A lot of mac and cheese is very bland to my taste.  We add butter, ketchup, tobasco sauce, chili powder, and worchestershire sauce to liven it up. 
Dec 13, 2012 10:22AM
Best mac and cheese I've had was at Balthazar, on Spring St, NYC. Served in what appeared to be the bowl in which it was baked, with several kinds of cheese plus smoky bacon chunks. Team it with a Stella for a memorable lunch. Once you get a table at Balthazar, it's pretty cool, as well!
Dec 13, 2012 10:17AM
Someone forgot to tell these guys about TJ's Everyday in Paoli, PA. As a BIG fan of mac n cheese, this place tops any where I have ever been
Dec 13, 2012 10:09AM
the hole in the wall place called the tee off bar and grille has the best mac and cheese I have ever eaten, san francisco, ca, the pork chop is pretty badd *ss too, go eat drink, enjoy the bobbleheads
Dec 13, 2012 10:05AM
I do a 3 cheese mac for the holidays , but only holidays this stuff rocks , been making it for over 30 years & all the family & friends ask for it! Well that & my Turkey & cornbread sausage stuffing or my Prime rib, I have perfected over the last 30 years!..What an **** dont ya think! But it's true! Not the **** part just facts about my cooking, three generation's only what my cooking on the holidays or week end BBQ's, GOD I AM A BRAGGING ****!...LOL...
Dec 13, 2012 10:00AM
Aaaaah the iconic Mac & Cheese, what parent couldn't relate to this uniquely versatile repast, it's a stress reliever, saves us undue aggravation at certain times of day and can be made as a peace offering to the little ones, oh and adults too, I'll have a bowl. 
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