The blingiest mac and cheese at Mac Daddy

by foodhoe on June 2, 2016

1453 18th Street, SF  94107 | 415.872.6670 | website


Well, hello there!  First I took you to grilled cheese heaven, and now it’s time for mac and cheese heaven, which can be found at Mac Daddy, a cool new spot that opened recently in Potrero Hill by restaurateur Jocelyn Bulow (Chez Maman, Papito) .  It’s a tiny cafe with only 14 seats, most of which are along the counter, (which gives you an excellent view of the chefs in action), with one table inside and a couple of small tables outside.


On the back wall of the narrow interior is a slightly freakish looking image of Uncle Sam encouraging everyone to eat.  And eat we do…  Mac Daddy chef Brandon Peacock (previously at Lungomare and Chapeau in the Richmond), is serving up 12 versions of mac and cheese, from garlic mac, south of the border mac (with chorizo, chipotle adobos and fritos), to a decadent truffled mac, all very reasonably priced at $12-$15 and can be made gluten-free.   Also on the menu are soup, salads, vegetable sides, and a few entrées such as cassoulet, fried chicken, and fish and chips.


My friend Chris joined me for dinner there recently where we dined as guests of the house.  It was one of those rare warm sunny days so we sat outside and we were treated to what is definitely not yo mama’s mac and cheese.  Just look at the Short Rib Mac ($15) below which was highly recommended  by our server.  It is made with mushrooms, rosemary, crispy onions, and rich Mt. Tam triple cream cheese.  The elbow noodles are dramatically large with fine ridges and cooked to a perfectly chewy texture then mixed with a rich cheesy sauce which filled the hollows of the macaroni.  Nestled within the mixture are tender pieces of short rib, succulent slices of mushroom which are topped with a tangle of crisp fried onions, crunchy toasted bread crumbs and bright fresh herbs.  The first bites were like an amazing pasta dish, but over time the noodles softened as they absorbed the sauce and I have to say that next day, the leftovers were the perfect gooey texture of the classic baked mac and cheese.


Our favorite was the Truffled Mac ($14), a fragrant earthy dish with a rich, creamy sauce made with truffle brie cheese, perfumed with thyme and truffle oil, thin slices of velvety shiitake mushroom, topped with shaved black truffle and crunchy bread crumbs.


We shared a side of Grilled Asparagus ($7) bright with the flavors of lemon, truffle oil, shaved asiago cheese.  This was an excellent side to go along with the rich mac daddy’s.


I couldn’t resist ordering the Rootbeer Float for dessert, it was light and refreshing.


The couple at the table next to us were regulars, the kind of regular who gets air kisses and quick hugs and they both raved about the fried chicken, which is apparently one of the chef’s specialties.  Our server had also recommended it saying it is one of their most popular dishes, and so I was compelled to go back with Mr. K a few days later for a fried chicken lunch.  We shared a salad called the Gouda ($12) made with shaved romaine, corn, pistachio, gouda cheese, chive vinaigrette & paprika crouton.  It sounded promising but was kind of gloppy and heavy and way less interesting than the other dishes, so I’m going to focus on those…


This is a closeup of the chef’s signature Fried Chicken ($16), which was graced with a beautiful savory skin that had been fried to a delectably chewy crunch and I am not ashamed to admit that I gnawed every little piece off the bone.  Our server gave us a tiny cup of housemade hot sauce that was quite incendiary, a little went a long way.


The fried chicken is quite a meal and comes with a side of sautéed collard greens with bacon, which had an addictively chewy texture,


along with a dish of Mac Daddy Classic, a mac and cheese made from pecorino romano cheese, 2 year aged extra sharp cheddar and topped with crunchy panko breadcrumbs.


I wish this was in my neighborhood so I could be a regular blowing air kisses and hugs, and be able to check out their daily specials.  Of course, I’m in the East Bay where we have Homeroom for our mac and cheese fix, but aside from the salads, I really dug the elegant and tasty version served at Mac Daddy in the city.

Mac Daddy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brenda Ton June 3, 2016 at 8:55 am

Oh my, everything looks absolutely delicious! What a dream combo- fried chicken and mac & cheese. I wish this place was closer too, getting over to that part of SF is such a trek.


grace June 6, 2016 at 8:56 am

oh man, i haven’t had a root beer float in AGES! nice finish to a rich meal. 🙂


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