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Delta Grill’s Mac And Cheese Is A Poem

February 1, 2011

Walking into the Delta Grill.

In the heart of Hell’s Kitchen is the Delta Grill, a New Orleans-infused restaurant with a pleasant bar (offering, among other things, several varieties of Abita) and dark dining area. There’s also a working fireplace(!) in the dining area, which of course is a very nice thing, especially in the middle of winter.

As far as the food goes, they offer some sexy sounding stuff: alligator sausage (from time to time), crawfish etouffee and so forth.

Hoo boy... .

Skip all of that, and head straight for what I consider to be the star of the show: Randall’s mac and cheese.

I prefer the appetizer portion (which you can get at lunch). It comes in a small bowl, but the portion is frankly ample. You can feel yourself getting fatter as you eat it.

One thing I love about their mac is that it comes with an excellent crust on top. It is not, however, a crunch bread crumb crust. Rather it is a baked coagulation of the cheese, a bit like a skin, and even though that may sound disgusting, trust me – it’s delicious.

Digging into the mac... .

Another thing Delta Grill gets right about their mac n cheese is that they understand that it is primarily a butter delivery system. Even better than that, they don’t muck it up by making it a soppy, gooey, runny mess of a mac – rather it is well baked, with dangling strings of cheese hanging low from your fork. Not goopy – just right. The crust is crunchy, the macaroni twisty with plenty of give. It’s wonderful. Won’t somebody tell me where to get a better mac and cheese in New York? Please?

The Delta Grill po' boy. That's a very big bun... .

The shrimp po’ boy, which I share with someone to round out the meal, is nothing special. The tiny shrimp are fried up, their flavor present but inconsequential, and there’s a lot of bread. The mayo is generous, the shredded lettuce nothing to write home about, and all in all it feels like a tasty bulk to back up the truffle-like excellence of the mac and cheese. By “truffle-like” I am referring to the things their mac has in common with a chocolate truffle – it is a small(ish) portion, it is insanely rich and may stop you in your tracks, and it makes you want to eat more of it.

Om nom nom nom nom

Even though my bottom line is “just get it,” I feel duty-bound to tell you about the Delta Grill mac and cheese variation many would swear by. They make a cajun mac(!), which has all the basics mentioned here, plus some adouille sausage and other cajun fixins. It is an excellent variation. But too me, it interferes with the purity they understand so well.

So go twice, and get one each way, and let me know what you think. I think their basic mac is excellent.

Delta Grill

700 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10036
212.956.0934
www.thedeltagrill.com

 

 

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