Plating It Up: It’s Not Just a Side Dish

Bacon, crostini, East Village, Lower East Side, Mac 'n Cheese
Crostini

Mailiano

The common side dish is no longer playing second fiddle. What was once considered just a side dish on menus has slowly grown into the focal point of some entrees. The trend in food culture of upgrading the side dish has been especially popular with macaroni and cheese, with portion sizes that create this childhood favorite into an adult meal.

S’mac (Sarita’s Mac ‘n Cheese) has has created a meal with familiar combinations like cheese burger and buffalo chicken and some exotic spices with their cajun and masala versions of the mac ‘n cheese which are served in your own individual cast iron pan. Another favorite, that’s also good for kids, is Brooklyn Mac in Greenpoint. With similar dishes as S’Mac but with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. There’s even a kids menu with smaller portions, making Brooklyn Mac a perfect family destination.

Another favorite, especially for the late night crowd, is the Mac Bar in the heart of SoHo. It’s modest size with its yellow walls and curved interior makes you feel as if you were standing inside and elbow macaroni noodle. The Mac Bar’s menu of playful and rich version of classic pasta dishes, including the Margarita Mac, Mac Stroganoff and Mac Lobsta will make you forget you’re eating a bowl of mac ‘n cheese!

Trending Bites: Did You Say Bacon?

Food Trends

What’s trending in food? Lately, it’s all things bacon! It’s addictive with the perfect ratio of salt to fat.

One of my favorite taste combinations is salty and sweet. I’m not a fan of bread pudding, but the Dessert Truck makes an award winning (via the Food Network’s Throwdown! with Bobby Flay) Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding with a bacon crème anglaise – sweet chocolate with a creamy bacon sauce. It’s changed my view of bread pudding for the better…but it’s the only place I eat it. On the other side of sweet, Sir Francis Bacon has a Bacon Peanut Brittle that has a sweet and smoky taste; it’s more on the savory side. I have found memories of peanut brittle. It brings me back to the days of sitting in front of the television with my grandmother as she watched her favorite show, All In the Family, while nibbling on some peanut brittle. I think she would have enjoyed this bacon and peanut brittle combination.