Vegan MoFo Day 16! We’re already half way through this fabulous month!
This past Saturday I was one of the lucky 100 people that got to taste test (and vote on) five different mac and cheeses from local LA restaurants. Get ready to be jealous, because I’m about to recap this showdown.
The first Mac and Cheese is from Hugo’s Restaurant and happened to be my favorite from the event (and the #1 pick of the judges). I had had their mac and cheese when it was a special at the restaurant and didn’t really like it – I thought it was a lot of crap with a little bit of mac and cheese. At the competition, however, it was mac and cheese with a little bit of crap in it. The Hugo’s team serving up this deliciousness described the dish as their homemade noodles with a sunflower and nut (cashew?) cheese mixed with peas and mushrooms and topped with crispy onions. I absolutely loved their cheese sauce. It must be the sunflower part. I thought it tasted very similar to the mac and cheese at Sugar Plum in Sacramento (which also uses sunflower cheese). You can get this at their restaurant – just hope that they prepare it with more parts mac and cheese than the stuff they mix in it.
My second favorite was hard to choose. I thought it was a toss up between Doomie’s and M Cafe. Doomie’s was definitely the most like a traditional mac and cheese from your childhood. It was a creamier version of the kind you can get in their restaurant (and is currently on their secret menu). I definitely like it better than the one they have been serving on the menu. The thicker consistency makes a big difference. My one problem was that I was tasting a certain flavor. As described in a previous post on the Mac and Cheese by Daniel’s Choice sold at Follow Your Heart, it had this flavor that reminded me of having mac and cheese as a child with gross hot dog juices. Did Doomie’s add some kind of roasted red pepper? It tasted like it and I wasn’t a fan. That’s my own weird thing, though. The people didn’t think there was anything weird about it – Doomie’s came in second place in the People’s Choice prize.
My other second favorite was the Mac and Cheese from M Cafe. To be honest, it didn’t really taste like mac and cheese – more like a pasta with creamy white sauce. It was really good, though. It was gluten free noodles with a cashew cheese and mixed with sun dried tomatoes and asparagus and topped with arugula. I thought the sun dried tomatoes were a little overpowering and would have preferred just the noodles with sauce.
Coming in at third place for me was the #1 pick for People’s Choice and #2 pick from the Judges. A Mac and Cheese from SunCafe. Described as gluten free noodles with pecan garlic cheese and nacho cheese. I liked it, but something about it just didn’t sit right in my throat. One of the flavors was just overpowering and I kept having to drink some water to wash it off the back of my throat. Is that weird? I guess so, since everyone else seemed to love it.
And my least favorite was from Southern Fried Vegan. It looked like there was Daiya in it, but it didn’t really taste like it. I’m not really sure how to describe the flavor. Honestly, I didn’t get the comforting mac and cheese flavor out of it.
Here’s hoping they do this again next year and bring on more vendors! Although, the portions were big for sampling (I’m not complaining!) and I’m not sure how much more mac and cheese I could have eaten.