For as long as I can remember macaroni and cheese has been a staple in my life so it comes to no surprise to me that there is now an entire festival dedicated to this delicious, all-time comfort food. Destin’s 5th annual Mac & Cheese Festival is returning March 5 at Destin Commons, benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast.
Pasta and melted cheese, what’s not to love? Growing up, it was all about that blue and orange box with a packet of orange powder that magically turned into creamy cheese when mixed with milk and butter. We’re not sure exactly how, but never mind that and give me another serving. For my brothers and I, this was a 5-star dining experience.
As we grow and mature, our tastebuds tend to do the same. While I still am down to get down on some bagged cheese and noodles, there are some elevated versions of this childhood favorite that have caught my attention in Pensacola. If you can’t make the Mac and Cheese Festival in Destin this weekend, you can check out these local spots that are serving up some decadent versions of our favorite side dish.
Hot Spot Barbecue — made with smoked ham, its smoky, cheesy and the perfect pairing for BBQ.
Five Sister’s Blues Cafe — named after the founder’s mother, “Jeanette’s Mac & Cheese,” you know this Southern side is a special one.
Crabs on the Beach — when in doubt, add crab. And shrimp for that matter.
Melt Food Truck — they have a dedicated Mac N’ Cheese menu which includes a Sloppy Joe Mac…that’s two kid classics in one.
The Dog House — when in doubt again, add truffle and a deep fryer. These bite sized fried mac and cheese balls are crispy, creamy and cheesy.
Know some hidden gems? Let us know in the comments. Stay cheesy, ya’ll.