- Jen West For the AJC
As fall ripens, we dig a little deeper into our cold-weather wardrobe and start instinctively looking for ways to warm up. One of the most popular soul-soothing comfort foods is macaroni and cheese, of which you can find a great variety of in our Southern city. Gone are the days of fighting the frigid air to get a piping hot serving of this popular dish, because now you can make some of your favorite restaurant mac 'n cheese recipes right in the comfort of your own home.
Gulf Coast Grill’s Mac N Cheese -- Restaurant owners Amy and Mark Fitzpatrick like their macaroni and cheese sharp and creamy. With a thick soup-like texture, they make their special sauce to-order then cover the dish in a blanket of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.
OK Cafe Triple Cheese Macaroni -- This dish boasts sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Parmesan all combined to serve up one of the most intense mac n cheese experiences in Atlanta. Special seasonings and a unique cooking technique make this version stand out from the rest.
Two Urban Licks Baked Macaroni and Cheese -- Growing up on a similar version prepared by his mom growing up, chef Scott Serpas developed his own recipe by creating a creamier sauce and by adding some signature ingredients such as garlic, shallots, extra-sharp cheddar and even a hint of tabasco sauce.
Vickery’s Macaroni and Cheese -- Thick rigatoni pasta, garlic and panko (Japanese bread crumbs) give this version of mac and cheese adult appeal. The process of eating this dish is a key part of the experience, from breaking the crunchy topping to watching the gooey cheese stream between your fork and the bowl.
Little Alley Steak Triple Cream Mac & Cheese -- Need more cheese? This decadent sauce starts with a classic bechamel then incorporates four varieties of cheeses. Sophisticated seasonings, fresh bread crumbs and truffle oil are also added to finish off this luscious side dish.
Ray’s at Killer Creek Truffled Mac and Cheese -- The ingredients found in this dish are a little harder to come by, but worth the effort. The two that stand out the most are white truffle oil and 10-year aged white cheddar cheese, that when combined create a magical experience in your mouth. The process of making this mac and cheese is part of the adventure.
Whole Foods Market’s Macaroni and Cheese -- Not in the mood for a scavenger hunt? This recipe is fast & easy, only calling for cooked pasta and scratch-made cheese sauce. After this dish is baked, you get the nice crusty cheese topping that will remind you of your grandmother’s cooking.
Cellar 56’s Spicy Mac ‘n’ Cheese -- Often described as a house favorite, this restaurant uses Wisconsin sharp white cheddar and Serrano ham — a dry-cured Spanish ham somewhat similar to prosciutto. The addition of poblano adds a kick like no other in town.
Looking for other winter comfort food recipes? Be sure to check out all of the best local tips from some of Atlanta's most popular restaurants here.