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!

Finger Licking Good

Chelsea, Chicken, Mac 'n Cheese, West Village

Dirty Bird

The other day, a friend complained to me about how food trucks serve such small portions. I explained that it’s because the food is meant to be eaten “on-the-go”. In most scenarios, you won’t have a place to sit and eat. So most people eat the food right outside the food truck or take it directly back to their office for lunch. Also the trucks are limited to the amount of inventory they can carry to serve the lunch crowd; too large of portions and they’ll run out of food while the lines are still long. This conversation had me thinking more and more about one of my favorite finger foods, chicken wings. A chicken wing is the perfect finger food, no fork required!