Food & Drink
by Lea Faminiano
Macaroni and cheese is my addiction and I’m just getting over the step of denial. I am embarrassed (or proud, not sure yet) that in the past week, I have consumed mac & cheese four times. I can’t stop. The instigator? S’Mac.
There are twelve takes on mac & cheese here, and you can get them in various sizes – there is even a Sampler Plate with triangles of eight different mac & cheese styles. A Nosh (small) generally runs from $5-7. In my indulgences here, I have tried the Cheeseburger (cheddar and American with ground beef), Napoletana (a Margherita pizza style-mac), and Alpine (Swiss cheese and slab bacon). All are extremely rich in flavor and cheese, of course, which is to be expected and also praised.
The buffalo chicken mac topped with blue cheese and breadcrumbs (cornflakes) is my signature go-to, because…how can you say no to the beautiful marriage of two comfort foods in one plate? This is the meal I ask for when I’m feeling sick, or depressed, or need a friend. It’s the food equivalent of a hug.
Each dish can be made with multi-grain pasta, gluten-free pasta, reduced lactose cheese or even vegan style. There is literally no excuse for anyone to not come here.
Warning: trying to get a table here is like signing up for the Hunger Games. The type of Hunger Games where you eventually get so hungry that you really might kill everyone in S’Mac. There is no hostess, so you have to fiend for yourself. Luckily, two doors down is S’Mac Out, where you can order at the counter, call ahead and pick up, or get delivery. Usually, I call ahead and pick up, so by the time I get back home my mac is cool enough to eat (and I can pretend to justify that eating this much mac & cheese is okay since I “exercised”).
If you want to dine in, you can avoid all of the above by visiting S’Mac on off hours such as 4 PM on a hot Sunday afternoon, or during the Super Bowl (yes, I traded the Super Bowl for food, judge me).
I’m not sure if I even want to get over my macaroni & cheese addiction. Maybe I won’t eat mac & cheese for a week, maybe more. There’s only one thing that I am sure of: if I ever end up falling back down into the mac & cheese spiral, I know that S’Mac will always be there to catch me.
345 East 12th Street
(between 1st and 2nd Avenue)
New York, NY 10003