NYC Best Mac & Cheese: S’Mac is open until 1:30AM Friday & Saturday

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Since moving to the East Village, my eating to do list has grown immensely, but one place that has been on it for a while is S’Mac, on 12th street between 1st & 2nd Avenue. Sarita’s Macaroni & Cheese offers 12 standard varieties in addition to the option of creating your own. All are served in a metal skillet and you can add bread crumbs at no extra cost. And in an exciting late night eats update, they’re open until 11:30PM weekdays and until 1:30AM on Fridays and Saturdays. Each of the four mac & cheese flavors I tried were tasty, only one really shined through. Read on to find out which…

S’Mac’s 4 Cheese with Bread Crumbs is more like Mac & Cheese crème brulee.

The Answer is Bread Crumbs

I ordered 4 “nosh” sized flavors of mac & cheese, each varying in cost, only one was topped with bread crumbs and it was by far the best:

Clockwise from the left:

  1. Buffalo Chicken ($6.75) – Cheddar, American, boneless chicken, buffalo sauce, topped with crumbled bleu cheese upon request. Extremely flavorful, not very spicy. A little too intense sauce-wise to get a larger size portion.
  2. Four Cheese ($5.75) – Cheddar, muenster, gruyere and a touch of pecorino. Balanced flavor and amazing with the crispy, cheesy breadcrumbs on top. My favorite one of the whole bunch.
  3. Napoletana ($5.75) – Fresh Mozz, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and fresh basil. While the flavor was good, it was the most watery of the four, probably as a result of the fresh mozzarella and tomato.
  4. Create Your Own ($6.25 Nosh size plus $1.50 for three toppings) – Muenster, cheddar, broccoli, chicken, slab bacon. This seemed like a no-brainer combo, but there wasn’t enough broccoli to go around and the bacon was too sparse and chunky, as opposed to crumbly, to really provide the flavor kick I was hoping for. Chicken was mediocre, didn’t provide much of a presence. I think this would have benefitted from the addition of bread crumbs and the replacement of muenster with pepper jack, to add some spice.

The bread crumbs made the Four Cheese extra crispy and extra delicious. It was by far my favorite. Why?

  • Mac & Cheese’s best quality is the convergence of crispy and cheesy, the bread crumbs provided this with every bite.
  • I was expecting to have lots of burnt cheese to scrape from the skillets, instead, only the four cheese with bread crumbs offered this deliciousness.
  • The bread crumbs provided a solid wall to prevent heat from escaping the mac and cheese as we ate it. This was the only mac and cheese of the four I tried that was still hot by the time I took my last bites.

The only question remains, how good would the other flavors be with bread crumbs?

If you can answer that question, let me know in the Comments section.

S’Mac

345 East 12th Street b/t 1st & 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003
212-358-7912
212-358-7917
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30 Responses to “NYC Best Mac & Cheese: S’Mac is open until 1:30AM Friday & Saturday”

  1. Phil Says:

    Have been to this place before. Tried the Buffalo chicken, as well as the hamburger one. VERY good.

  2. kizz Says:

    i still think the mac and cheese at virgil’s bbq is the best i’ve ever had…that 4 cheese w/ breadcrumbs does look mighty tasty though.

  3. kristen Says:

    omg i am totally getting drunk tonight and going to this mac n cheesey place it looks incredible!

    it’s only 3 blocks from where i live, how did i not know about this place!??!!?

    when i was 7, my mommy used to make me mac n cheese, but it looked nothing like this!

    work cant end soon enough ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

  4. Phil Says:

    Food Guy – do you think breaking your night up to stop and devour some mac n cheese is a feasible while out getting hammered? I figure if it is open until 1:30, could go in there around 12:45-1 to refuel and then go right back out to the bars. Has anyone gotten hammered while eating mac n’ cheese as a meal?

  5. The NYC Tourette's Guy Says:

    MEN’S ASSES!!

  6. Phil Says:

    Tourette’s Guy – How old are you? Shouldn’t you be in school? Does your teacher know you are on the computer during class?

  7. kristen Says:

    boys boys boys! i am a professional working woman here, you can’t speak to a lady like that!

    Phil — is the buffalo chicken mac n cheese spicy?? i like buffalo chicken, i’m just not sure it’s gonna mix well with mac n cheesey…

  8. Phil Says:

    Kristen – wasn’t that spicy. NYCFG agrees as mentioned above in his post. Would be great if they could make it extra spicy, or if they had some frank’s red hot or tabasco on the side (i’m not sure if they do). That tomato mozz basil mac sounds incredible. Unfortunate that they made it “watery” for NYCFG.

  9. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Phil,
    The hamburger one eh? That one didnt’ sound so great to me, i’ll be honest. I’ll have to investigate next time. You raise a good point in regard to the ability to stop a night of drinking for a mac and cheese break. I don’t know if I’d be able to get back on the booze train after stopping for some rich mac and cheese. It would take a dedicated drinker.

    Kizz,
    I’ve been to Virgil’s 30 times and never had mac and cheese, gonna have to check it out. You ever have the trainwreck cheese fries?

  10. kristen Says:

    foodguy– can you explain to me how they make the bread crumbs look like that on there?

  11. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Kristen,

    Surprisingly, its all oven cooked, albeit in a super heated oven. No broiler, no torch on top. The deliciousness, however, is a credit to the fact that the bread crumbs are made from corn flakes. That’s what makes them so light and crispy without taking over the dish.

    If you get any of their dishes by deliver and it doesnt look as crispy as you’d have liked, S’Mac reccomends you heat the oven to 400 degrees and for a nosh-sized order, check it after 6 minutes to see if it’s to your liking.

  12. Phil Says:

    WOW. Do you have any idea what their delivery parameters are? I wonder if they would come uptown if the price is right?

  13. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Phil,

    Where uptown? I know there’s a S’mac/Pinch combo store on the UWS, 83rd and Columbus:
    http://www.pinchandsmac.com/

  14. Phil Says:

    im not uptown uptown, just uptown in comparison to LES. I live on 20th and 24 and lex.

    FG – I don’t think i can recall you reviewing any chinese places. Are you like a dog (no chinese food hehehe)?

  15. FN Says:

    NYCFG, I am always on the lookout for a good Mac-n-Cheese. This place looks promising. I recently tried the version at Dumont in WBurg and was completely unsatisfied, I didn’t even finish it.

  16. holy F Says:

    that is crazy

  17. Jack Says:

    I went to the UWS one, had the Cheeseburger and thought it was awesome. Hi Kristen.

  18. Before Sunrise Says:

    NYCFG,

    Have you had the pizza at S’Mac/Pinch? Wondering if it’s any good.

  19. appletini aficionado Says:

    food guy – i am OBSESSED with appletinis — where can i find the best one in manhattan?

  20. Phil Says:

    Something tells me the food guy won’t (or should not) know the answer to your questions AA. That’s just a hunch though…

    Does anyone know where Dr. D has been?

  21. Skinnygal Says:

    All i see is a heart attack and obesity

  22. Phil Says:

    Life is short skinnygal…. enjoy what you eat.

  23. AG Says:

    NYCFG, check out Almond’s mac & cheese. Just opened up this week and wow it was good. A bit more upscale than s’mac, but hard to resist. Crispy on top, nice and cheesy throughout. Oh and with bits of prosciutto and black truffles mixed within. Some other decent dishes too, but I think I’m a fan due to the pool table in back.

  24. Phil Says:

    AG – where is Almond’s? HUGE mac & cheese fan here.

  25. AG Says:

    just opened up in the flatiron district. I believe it’s on 22nd between 5th and 6th. I got a side when I was there, but easily could have put away a full order. Enjoy!

  26. Bill Says:

    I was at S’Mac a couple of months ago and loved the mac classic mac-n-cheese. I wasn’t sure about it at first as it seemed a bit oily, but I think all mac-n-cheese is like that when it’s still piping hot out of the oven. Once I gave it a few minutes to cool, it all came together, baby! I’ll have to try the bread crumbs option next time.

    I just saw a post on chow.com where someone did a mac-n-cheese toue of the city. This might be helpful for all the addicts out there:

    http://gridskipper.com/62218/the-best-macaroni–cheese-in-new-york

  27. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Bill,

    Definitely go bread crumbs next time. I was shaky on that point and only got bread crumbs on one of 4 varieties and regretted the move. The crunch, the burnt cheesey edges, it all made it so much better.

    The mac and cheese on the link you left all looks awesome. Mayrose and Eatery in particular. Definitely going to have to check both of those out.

    Where’s the best mac and cheese you’ve ever had?

  28. Purple Scarf Girl Says:

    Nice blog! I agree with your critique of the buffalo chicken mac & cheese @ s’mac. But it’s very possible that breadcrumbs would make the sauce less intense, so I vote the dish greatly improved with breadcrumbs.

  29. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Purple Scarf Girl,

    I like the way you think, thats definitely a legit strategy. Next time I go I plan on getting crumbs on all the mac and cheeses I try. The crumbs on the four cheese were awesome. What’s your favorite flavor here? Where’s your top mac and cheese?

  30. Master Says:

    Foodguy, your website is not mobile-phone friendly!! I just came back from S’Mac, but while I was there, I tried to look up these posts and see if I was missing something (such as the brownies or cookies).

    Anyways, here’s my take on S’Mac. I got the Major Munch buffalo chicken and my girlfriend got the 4 Cheese nosh (which I sampled). Both were with bread crumbs, and I must say the 4 cheese was heavenly. It was way more cheesy than the buffalo chicken, which seems more like just the ‘All American’ in terms of macaroni and cheese. Granted, the bread crumbs on top were very welcoming and delicious, complementing the mac very well.

    However, my hypothesis regarding the heat of the mac-and-cheese is that the metal saucepans kept it from getting cold. Foodguy, if you tried 4 platters while you were there, perhaps only the first one was still warm when you finished. What order did you try them in?

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