Monday, May 23, 2016

Mac’s Macaroni and Cheese Shop – Wisconsin Dells, WI

D.Rough and I were driving to Chicago when we got hungry near the Wisconsin Dells exit. We saw some signs for Mac’s and thought it sounded interesting. If you’ve never been to Wisconsin Dells (or haven’t been recently) on a Friday night, it’s …. Interesting.  There are thousands of what appear to be high school and college kids driving up and down the main street in souped-up, tricked-out pick-up trucks and cars, drinking cans of “something” in koozies, waving American flags, and yelling out their windows at people on the street and in other cars. They drive to the end of the populated walk-able area, then turn around and go back the other direction. For hours. It’s like an all-night red-neck parade. And this happens every weekend. I’m not judging (I’m TOTALLY judging, by the way), I’m just letting you know what you’re in for if you roll into Wisconsin Dells on a weekend after 6pm.

Mac’s is directly in the center of all this activity, so we found ourselves a spot right in front of the window and watched it all happen. The concept of Mac’s is pretty simple, they have Melts (sandwiches with cheese), Salads (various greens with cheese), and Signature Mac and Cheeses. The melts all sounded interesting, as did the salads, but we were there for the Mac and Cheese, obviously. They’ve got 12 different kinds on the regular menu. All of which sound pretty delicious. D.Rough got the Buffalo Chicken Mac and I got the Hangover Mac.  We sat down to watch the weekly parade.

D.Rough’s Buffalo Chicken Mac was pretty fantastic. It’s got provolone, mozzarella, blue cheese, chicken and buffalo sauce on it. The cheese itself was really good, and surprisingly not soupy with cheese – just the right amount. The chicken and the buffalo sauce went well with the cheese flavor and I honestly liked D.Rough’s choice more than mine. Here’s why:

The Mac that they brought me wasn’t what I ordered. I ordered the Hangover Mac, which had ridiculous amounts of bacon, hot dogs, green peppers, sri racha, and a bunch of other things. What I got was clearly the Loaded Baked Potato Mac – cheddar, mozzarella, baked potato slices, bacon, and sour cream. I didn’t say anything, since I was starving, and I  just dug into it. I was surprised again, by how non-soupy the cheese was. I think they’ve got the ratio dialed in pretty well here to keep it from being cheese soup with a couple of noodles. Well done, Mac. The bacon and potato were delicious together in this things, and the toasted baguette pieces were also really good. I really can’t complain, other than I got the wrong item (tat just means I have to go back, right?)

Overall, the Mac and cheese lived up to our expectations, although the ambiance is impressively weird in the Dells at night. And this is late spring – imagine what the peak of summer would end up like. Yikes. Thankfully, the food here made this little detour NOT a waste of time. There’s a small distillery next door to Mac’s that has a patio overlooking the street. I can’t imagine the lunacy that happens up there, based on the amount of yelling to the people driving their cars that was happening. But there’s only one way to find out, right?

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