#FULCRUMFOODREVIEW

Hungry crowds enjoy cheesy creations at inaugural Mac My Cheese Fest

Photo: Marta Kierkus

At Ottawa’s first ever Mac My Cheese Fest by St. Albert, city hall was filled with an eager crowd, live music, and tons of cheese, as food trucks from all over the city put their own unique spins on this well-loved classic. Yet the question remained—how does one pick from over 16 “mackers,” all offering creative twists on everyone’s favourite comfort food?

My samples were chosen based on whether the line was decently long, implying what was being served was in demand, and the reaction from the people taking their first bite as they were leaving the truck in question. With this criteria in mind, I chose The Great Canadian Poutinerie Snack Shack and Smokin’ R&R’s BBQ for comparison.

The Wolf, offered by The Great Canadian Poutinerie Snack Shack, was comprised of cheddar cheese, macaroni, ground beef, bacon and pulled pork, all for $12. The Wolf was by far the superior dish, as the sweet pulled pork melded beautifully with the sharper taste of the cheese.

Upon first bite, it took some restraint to not demolish the plate and go back for another. The ground beef and bacon added more texture and body to the macaroni, which definitely took a back seat to the meat and cheese.

Although the price was a bit steep, its not abnormal for festival food, and the dish was tasty enough to make it worth the money.

At Smokin’ R&R’s BBQ, the dish of choice was the Double Smoked Bacon Mac and Cheese, featuring double smoked bacon bits, cheese curds and macaroni, for $8. Although The Wolf won out in taste, the Double Smoked Bacon Mac and Cheese was bigger and cheaper, and featured chewy cheese curds, something absent from The Wolf. The price difference of $4 definitely reflected in the quality, but was much more student budget-friendly.

The festival also offered gluten-free options to accommodate for those with specific dietary needs or preferences. The Mac My Cheese Fest came out strong in its first year, with thousands in attendance, and is promised to return next year for those who missed out. Can’t say we’re sorry, as any opportunity to gorge on mac and cheese is a welcome one.