Macaroni and Cheese is often referred to as the mother of all comfort foods, a title justified by the 3.2 million boxes of Kraft Dinner eaten on average by Canadians every year. Questionable eating habits aside, it’s hard to explain the feeling of satisfaction overcooked macaroni and orange cheddar sauce can evoke in us. The fact is, we crave it, and we crave it often!
As one of the owners of Poutineville, Kosta Kariotakis long understands the powers of delicious comfort foods. What surprised him and his brother Manny, however, was the lack of Mac and Cheese-focused restaurants in town. So, the brothers, together with co-owner Costa Andrianos, set out to fill the niche: Macbar et Fromage was born, just down the street from Poutineville’s Ontario location.
At Macbar et Fromage, the popular comfort food leaves behind its usual side dish-status and rises to the star of the menu. The restaurant’s chefs pride themselves in using only the freshest ingredients, creating gourmet dishes at a very reasonable price. The Mac and Cheese here have very little in common with their blue-boxed colleagues: the pasta is cooked on point, the cheese is never neon orange, and the variety will blow your mind!
Guests can either choose the trusted classic mac and cheese ($9) or try something new with any of ten colourful variations. Favourites include the Honey Smoked Bacon Mac ($12.50) made from creamy cheddar cheese, homemade hickory honey smoked bacon, caramelized onions, and fresh herbs, and the fiery MacVolcan ($12) featuring the restaurant’s addictive habanero honey sauce and spicy jalapeños.
The Cheeseburger Mac ($12.50) is what every BigMac lover dreams of: cheddar cheese, seasoned minced hamburger beef, lettuce, red onions, and their mustard Mac sauce. It’s an explosion of hamburger goodness that is very reminiscent of the burger you’ll find beneath the golden arches.
The cheese-loving theme is further continued in a variety of appetizers, such as the deep-fried Mac and Cheese balls ($6) and the crispy house Bruschetta ($6), culminating in the ultimate marriage of comfort foods: the Le Smack ($12), a Mac and Cheese grilled cheese sandwich.
The restaurant also offers a long drinks and cocktail list, including a delicious Lychee Martini ($8) and pitchers of fruity Sangria ($25 pitcher, $15 half pitcher). For dessert, don’t forget to check out the Gonza, a delicious sweet treat reminiscent of a cannoli, stuffed with ricotta and cinnamon and served with ice cream.
As co-owner Kosta says, “We want Macbar et Fromage to be a place where you can have fun, indulge, and have an all around good time. What more could foodies ask for?” And with prices that good, it’s definitely easy to indulge!
To make the Mac and Cheese experience accessible to even more of us, the Macbar et Fromage team is also working on introducing gluten- and lactose-free menu options in the near future.
1345 Rue Ontario E, Montréal, QC H2L 1R8