The ultra-creamy Mac & Cheese from Somerville favorite Trina’s Starlite Lounge combines shell pasta with sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, and cream cheese. A topping of crushed-up Ritz crackers adds satisfying texture to every bite. It’s nearly perfect as-is, but you can add mix-ins like a hot dog or a dish from the sides menu.
Macaroni and Cheese
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We may take food seriously, but we’re not food snobs. Case in point: our undying appreciation for childhood’s MVP dish, macaroni and cheese.
The South End’s Picco swaps out elbows for twisty gemelli pasta in its Macaroni & Cheese, which blends cheddar, Gruyère, provolone, and gorgonzola. You can keep it vegetarian while adding in roasted garlic or mushrooms, or beef it up with bacon or sausage. It’s available as an entree or a side portion, so you can size it to save room for a pizza or homemade ice cream.
Available as a “hot scoop” side and served in a mug, the Mac n’ Cheese at Sweet Cheeks Q uses curvy cavatappi pasta to soak up a cheese sauce made with American, Monterey Jack, and sharp cheddar. Mozzarella, provolone, and even more sharp cheddar are added to finish the dish, and a topping of garlic butter panko crumbs, Ritz crackers, and parmesan rounds out its down-home appeal.
Highland Fried uses the same Mac & Cheese recipe as its older sibling restaurant, Highland Kitchen. It’s a creamy and classic elbow-pasta rendition prepared with cheddar, Monterey Jack, and smoked gouda. It makes a fine accompaniment to a Pulled Pork platter or a Half-Rack of St. Louis Cut Pork Ribs but might just save your life if you’ve ordered their Fried Chicken with Nashville hot sauce.
The carby delights served at the Kendall Square location of Area Four transcend wood-fired pizzas and garlic knots. The Macaroni & Cheese, prepared in a cast iron skillet and topped with crispy focaccia crumbs, is worth ordering as a side and can be bumped up to entrée status with the addition of chicken or bacon.