On October 21, you’ll have the chance to satisfy your cravings at NOLA Mac N’ Cheese Fest. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., head to Armstrong Park to choose from 15 restaurants serving mac n’ cheese. If you can’t decide which dish is the best, leave it up to the experts judging the competition for the titles of overall winner and kid’s choice award winner. There will also be other food available, along with music and free admission. If you just can’t wait to get your hands on some mac n’ cheese at the fest, check out our top five spots in NOLA to snag some. Whether you like yours fancy, or you keep it classic strictly with cheese, these spots will have you coming back for more.
1. Cowbell – Brack May knows what’s up when it comes to this decadent side dish. Cavatappi pasta (fancy for “spiral-shaped and awesome”) is tossed in a cream sauce of Gruyere, Parmesan, and aged white cheddar. Roasted poblano peppers (which are more smoky/sweet than hot), fresh thyme and shallots are also added along with a sprinkling of crunchy herbed breadcrumbs before serving. This shareable side will run you $8.95 but for those looking for something extra special, the lobster mac and cheese is available for $13.95. Kids will love the Kiddie Mac for $6.95, served sans peppers and breadcrumbs.
2. Capdeville – If you’re looking to make mac and cheese your main, then look no further than the truffled mac and cheese from Capdeville. Peas, pancetta, sage, browned butter, Parmesan cheese and white truffle oil come together in rich harmony – and the only instrument you’ll need is a fork. $8 small/ $14 large
3. High Hat Cafe – If you’ve spent any time in the south, then pimento cheese has found its way onto a sandwich or two in your lifetime. At High Hat, they traded in their white bread for a pimento cheese vessel worthy of awards. Macaroni-shaped pasta is stirred into a pimento cheese sauce and individually scooped into bowls for serving. A blanket of cheese tops the hot macaroni and then it goes for a quick trip under the broiler. The bubbling bowl of creamy pasta and pimento cheese is featured as a side but somehow manages to steal the spotlight. $4 for a single serving
4. Cochon Butcher –If you like spicy, try Butcher’s version with sharp white cheddar cheese and a generous seasoning of salt, pepper, cayenne, and hot sauce. A panko/parsley topping acts as a crunchy outer shell. $6 for a single serving
5. Blue Oak BBQ – You know it’s good when they sell it by the pint. In addition to some of the best barbecue New Orleans has to offer, Blue Oak BBQ impresses us with their roasted garlic mac and cheese. $4.25 for 1/2 a pint and $7.25 for 1 pint.