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Disney Food Trends: Gourmet Mac and Cheese

Even Chef Mickey is in on the trend...

I’ve been noticing a few food trends while traipsing through Disney parks, and I think they’re important to mention — especially since they seem to be popping up on every menu re-vamp out there.

First, we gotta take a gander at good old macaroni and cheese. When I asked Disney World’s Sanaa Chef Bob Getchell about the gourmet mac and cheese trend that seems to be taking over Disney restaurants, he mentioned that chefs like to make food they themselves love; many have fond memories of mac and cheese while they were growing up, and they want to create new and improved contemporary recipes for the dish. Here are a few of our favorite versions on and around Disney property:

Yachtsman Steakhouse
Yacht Club Resort’s Yachtsman Steakhouse gets a nod due to a relatively new mac and cheese dish I found on the menu in October. Their truffle mac and cheese uses huge orecchiette noodles and Reypenaer cheese with a touch of truffle oil and a topping of crunchy onions. It’s served in a cast iron baking dish that lends a rustic look — very fun! The best part — it tastes amazing. Rich, tangy, creamy sauce nestles into those pasta pieces and serves as the perfect accompaniment to the meal. This is sold as a side dish only, so be sure to look for it at the bottom of the menu.

Yachtsman Steakhouse Mac and Cheese Side Dish

Le Cellier
Not to be outdone, Epcot’s Le Cellier Steakhouse has also introduced some mac and cheese on the menu. Served in a cast iron skillet, elbow macaroni is mixed with creamy cheese (they don’t mention what kind on the menu, but my guess is black diamond cheddar is in there somewhere) and baked ’til the crumb topping is golden brown. This is a huge portion, so get it to share or as your entree.

Le Cellier Steakhouse Mac and Cheese

Napa Rose
Disneyland’s Napa Rose has some of the best gourmet mac and cheese I’ve tasted to date. This Truffled “Mac & Cheese” with Orecchiette Pasta and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is served in a small, personal copper pot, and the richness just doesn’t stop. This stuff is not for the faint of heart — you can check out my triplex of photos (including some graphic shots of the buttery sauce) in my Napa Rose review!

Napa Rose Truffled Mac and Cheese

Bull and Bear Steakhouse
At the Waldorf Astoria Orlando in the middle of Disney World property, you’ll be absolutely pampered at the Bull and Bear Steakhouse. On the menu here is another massive portion of gourmet mac and cheese, again served in a cast iron skillet fresh from the oven. Strong, flavorful cheeses compliment the softer cream and butter textures and flavors; and this version was extremely creamy instead of sticky or overly thick. You’ll also find that quintessential crumbly breadcrumb topping here.

Mac and Cheese with Pancetta

Les Chefs de France
If you’ve been to Les Chefs de France in Epcot and haven’t tried the Gratin de Macaroni, it’s time to go back. ;-) Yes, it’s very rich, but it’s just an incredible version of the dish and well worth ordering. This is probably a good one to share as well; it’s a large portion.

Chefs de France Mac and Cheese

Jiko
By now, we know the story of the incredible mac and cheese at Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jiko and its mysterious disappearance from the menu earlier this year. However, it can still be ordered from the kids’ menu, and I highly suggest you do so! Ask your server if you can get it with some of that red wine sauce that used to accompany the filet when mac and cheese was the side for that dish — heavenly!

Filet and Mac and Cheese at Jiko

Artist Point
While the old version of Artist Point‘s mac and cheese side dish has been rotated off the menu, they are still serving a gorgeous Black Diamond cheddar mac and cheese as a side to the Buffalo striploin. While this version isn’t as creamy and rich as the last, it’s a good accompaniment to the striploin and offers a lighter tasting mac and cheese for those who’d rather not feel the aftereffects of such a heavy meal in their bellies! You’ll find Artist Point in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort.

Artist Point Mac and Cheese Side Dish

Liberty Tree Tavern
Loads of guests tout the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Tree Tavern mac and cheese (served as a side dish at dinner), but here’s a secret — it’s actually Stouffer’s! No qualms from me, though — I love that bright yellow deliciousness! (Thanks to MFontaine for submitting this photo to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza on Flickr!)

Liberty Tree Tavern Dinner Mac and Cheese Side Dish

Have you noticed any food trends in Disney World, or have you had the chance to sample some mac and cheese yourself? Let us know what you think in the comments section below, or find us over on twitter and facebook! :-)

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22 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    This is a wonderful and hunger inducing post. I knew there were some great options for Mac n Cheese but not that many. Any idea if the box of Mickeyroni and cheese that can be purchased is worth the price? I seem to remember it being kind of expensive for a box of mac n cheese.

  2. Beth says:

    I think the Jiko mac and cheese is back–we were served it during out sunset safari in December!

  3. Kelly says:

    Oh my goodness, I love mac & cheese. This might be my favorite post yet :D

  4. EEFoster says:

    Yummy!

    We ate at Jiko on Christmas night. Our server asked me if we had eaten there before. When we said yes, she proactively told us, “We still have the mac & cheese,” before we even asked about it. She followed up with, “Do you want me to bring you one bowl or two?” I guess we had the mac & cheese look about us.

    P.S. We took two bowls and it was delicious.

  5. Janna says:

    Who knew there was so much mac & cheese at Disney? Yum! My favorite is still at Wolfgang Puck Express but I think the one at Yachtsman could convince me otherwise!

  6. Angela says:

    I haven’t tried ANY of those! I’m always tempted at Chefs de France to try it, but there are so many other tasty things and I figure I can get mac and cheese anywhere (I know I know… not THAT mac and cheese). I do always buy a thing of the Mickeyroni. I like it (mac and cheese always tastes better in shapes to me haha) and it may be a bit pricey, but its always my thing for the day when I get back and I’m reaaaaaalllyy missing the World… a bowl of Mickeyroni :)

  7. geraldine says:

    why on earth would anyone in there right mind get rid of mac n cheese @ Jiko’s?!!!! i still cant get over that and that is the dish that made that restaurant. sry i went off on a tyraid there but the fact is that that dish made Jiko’s and stood out from the rest of menu.

    I need to go around and try these other mac n cheeses though! Yachtsman Steakhouse’s mac is good but when i had it it was too greasy and to overpowering with it truffle oil. but i would try it again if i could….they could’ve had an off day ;p

  8. Alan says:

    I have to admit that Mac and Cheese has always left me cold. After about 2 spoonfuls I find it boring. And yet I make a garlic infused shrimp with bow tie pasta and cream and then finish it off with parmesan cheese for a creamy taste. I guess I just haven’t gotten the right mac and cheese.

    The Chef de France version is my wife’s favorite and I love it because it is my ticket into that restaurant with her. ( She’s an extremely picky eater. )

  9. Heather says:

    I have to be honest and say that I love mac and cheese, but the Stouffers version at LTT is terrible. I like lots of the mac and cheese around the World, but all of the family style/buffets seem to use the same Stouffers brand.

  10. Josh says:

    Interesting compilation of the Mac & Cheeses from around the resort AJ!

    When I think of “Gourmet” Macaroni and Cheese I usually think of a bread-crumbed and then baked Macaroni. The closest one would have to be the Le Cellier Steakhouse Mac and Cheese.

    Also, Liberty Tree Tavern serving Stouffer’s reminds me how most of the major restaraunt chains in the US are starting to serve Kraft Macaroni. It’s really a shame that people can’t give a try to be original, when you could just as well stay home and make it yourself.

  11. carolyn says:

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I’m with Kelly on this one!!! hehe.

    I wonder if Jiko will serve a sample size of their mac n’ cheese? I would love to try it! (is it similar to what they serve in Boma? Or is the Boma kind more Stouffer-ish?)

    Funny, I was just eating Amy’s brand of Mac and Cheese when I pulled this article up. Mine wasn’t as good as what I saw in those pictures! I think Amy’s is jealous now ;-)

  12. Bret says:

    I found a wonderful Mac and Cheese dish on our last trip at the Grand Floridian Gasparilla Grill. They serve a Lobster Mac and Cheese that was so good. It was very rich but oh so creamy. I had to go back and get it again and we were staying at the Wilderness Lodge Villas…… If you are in the area give it a try. You will have to wait on it as they make it to order.

  13. Shayne says:

    Ok, so I know what I’m fixing for dinner tonight! ;) This post gave me a serious craving!

    I am a mac & cheese lover, while my husband could take it or leave it. We tried the Yachtsman mac & cheese a year ago when we were there. My husband loved it, but, like Geraldine, I thought the truffle flavor was overpowering.

    I honestly had no idea there were so many choices for mac and cheese around the World (and Land). The ones at Le Cellier, Napa Rose and Chefs de France are now on my “to do” list!

  14. Bunny says:

    Mark – I bought a box of the max & cheese to bring home with me last time I was down there. I found it to be totally worth the money.

  15. Katy says:

    I absolutely love Mac n’ Cheese, so seeing this new trend at WDW makes me really happy! I’ve purchased the Mickeyroni n’ Cheese before and I thought it was great. Personally, I think anything that resembles Mickey automatically taste better.

  16. Sandra says:

    We had previously bought Mickeyroni for gifts and got the larger package for ourselves this year. The mac itself is Mickey-shaped and quite firm, not mushy. The powdered cheese sauce mix is a ringer for the blue box stuff. I do have to admit that we did not use the stick of butter called for on the package; 4 T. seemed quite fatty enough, with a little extra milk. Kids will love this, though my adult son and I managed to happily consume the whole thing without a crumb left for my husband.

    Is it worth $5 plus? As a gift maybe, but next time we will look for the plain Mickey mac and make our cheese sauce at home. And we are big Stouffers mac fans too!

  17. Debbie C says:

    We also had Gruyere mac & cheese at California Grill a few months ago. It was served with bison and was fantastic.

  18. AJ says:

    Ooh, Debbie C I’ve got a pic of that!! Will have to add!

  19. So dear to my heart!! I just stumbled across Napa Rose’s mac-and-cheese last week and I was back 36 hours later for an order in the lounge with a bottle of wine. Best mini-meal ever! To us, the orecchiette pasta tasted house-made with a texture that stood up to the rich sauce. I didn’t notice the truffle oil but that’s only because the selected cheeses were quite robust bathing the dish in umami! I highly recommend stopping by for your own copper saucepan’s worth.

  20. AJ says:

    Colin — We MUST get some mac and cheese the next time I’m in town. Heather Sievers and I absolutely LOVE that stuff.

  21. Mary says:

    Flying Fish Cafe also offers a delicious truffle mac and cheese side dish. I was in heaven!

  22. AJ says:

    Mary — Ooh! Yes, I’ve had it! It’s wonderful! Thanks for the reminder!

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