Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I can't quite get over the fact that the latest GFRAP restaurant in New York City specializes in mac-and-cheese. Mac-and-Cheese, people! But I'm trying my best, and I'll continue to visit l'il ol' S'MAC as the unbelievable truth sinks in.

S'MAC really seems to have its act together in terms of serving its gluten-free items. Over the counter you can see an advisory about what is and isn't gf, and how much it'll cost.

Out of the six items I've enjoyed off the S'MAC "recommendations" menu, my favorite is the Cajun: cheddar, pepper jack, andouille sausage, green pepper, onions, celery, and garlic. Each bite of sausage yields a distinctive burst of flavor that still manages to complement the rest of the dish.

Out of the eleven other "recommendations," the choices include 4 Cheese (cheddar, muenster, gruyere, and pecorino), Napoletana (fresh mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and fresh basil), Masala (cheddar, American, tomatoes, ginger, onions, cilantro, cumin, and Indian spices), and Buffalo Chicken (cheddar, American, boneless chicken pieces, and hot sauce with bleu cheese optional). But more variations are possible, as you can "build your own" by choosing among 14 cheeses and 17 mix-ins, including tuna, slab bacon, shiitake mushrooms, kalamata olives, and fresh rosemary.

Consider rounding out your mac-and-cheese order with a mixed green salad. (Gluten-free desserts are not yet available.) And even though you might not be able to resist digging into your dish when it's served hot and bubbly, remember that there are rewards to letting a portion of the dish cool down, allowing the cheese to regain its substance and distinctive flavor.

My only wish at the moment is that the dishes come more clearly marked as gf or not gf. I've been told that the gluten-free elbows are small compared to the gluten elbows, but it'd be great to have a clearer indicator of which orders have gluten and which don't. (If you just walked into the restaurant for the first time, ordered gf elbows, and somehow got the wrong order, how would you know? Or if someone forgot to specify gf for you, how would you know?) Not that I've seen or heard about any screw-ups while sampling dishes on three recent visits. I'm just sayin', is all. And remembering a mishap at Jules Thin Crust Pizza.

Read more about S'MAC from CeliacChicks and Gluten-Free Guide.

Photo: David Marc Fischer


Erin said...

I live in NYC and went to S'Mac. I agree with what you are saying that I should have let it cool down some! I didn't realize at the time. Maybe I'm just mac and cheese deprived and don't remember what it's supposed to taste like, but I didn't love it at S'Mac. It was so heavy and rich for the sake of being heavy and rich. I think I could make it at home without all the bechamel sauce and be happier with it. A great idea though and I love the variety. I'll give them a second chance.

David Marc Fischer said...

Thanks for the feedback, Erin! A-and remember: You can take home leftovers and/or balance the meal with a salad.

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Spider63 said...

That may be gluten-free but it sounds very fattening!!!

David Marc Fischer said...

It does, but portion control might be a good way for weight watchers to enjoy this new option. That's one reason I've mentioned the salads and the leftover option.

myra said...

if i got the non-gf mac, you'd be able to see the size difference!