This week has been really busy and hence there has been a delay in getting this week’s blog posted. On the positive side, I have graduated from university with a First Class Honours and next week I am really excited because I am going to celebrate a new restaurant opening in Manchester, so keep your eyes peeled for the blog.
I recently went shopping at the Manchester Arndale, a popular and busy shopping destination. You could say a little too busy at times. Now we’ve all been there, an unsuccessful shopping trip, too many long queues, too many slow walkers, who seem to multiply in numbers every time you pass one. But there is something that can cure that frustration… Food.
Ever heard of the term ‘Hangry’? Where because you’re hungry, you start to become moody and slightly angry. Well, I probably experience that emotion 7 days a week and even more so if I am shopping. The Arndale has you covered with the food market, which is a million times better than the food court. There really are some hidden treats within and I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… Markets and pop-up events are some of the best ways to find great food.
So what did I find? A stall dedicated to macaroni cheese. It’s a dream come true!
Mac Daddies have been operating since 2015 and their food is all locally sourced. I’m a big fan of companies who locally source and I would definitely like to see more places follow suit. Mac Daddies have also proved themselves after being finalists in the 2017 British Street Food Awards and I can certainly see why!
If you’re reading this and not from Manchester, don’t panic. Mac Daddies are known to appear elsewhere; just follow their Instagram account for updates (@macdaddiesmcr).
On my visit there were five main options available:
- Virginia Housewife (Mac Daddies signature 4 cheese macaroni with breadcrumb) – £5
- July 14th (4 cheese macaroni with streaky smoked bacon & hot jalapenos, topped with crispy bacon bits) – £6
- Oh My Gourd (4 cheese macaroni with roasted butternut squash, fresh thyme & crème fraiche) – £6
- The ’77 (Chipotle infused 4 cheese macaroni with chorizo and cayenne onions, topped with rocket and red chilli) – £6
- Monticello (Basil & garlic infused 4 cheese macaroni with roasted vine tomatoes and basil drizzle) – £6
The Virginia Housewife, Oh My Gourd and Monticello are also available as a vegan option for an extra £1. You can also add extra toppings if you would like to mix and match some of the options available.
If the mains aren’t enough to fill you up, there are also sides available:
- Deep fried mac balls (Gooey, cheesy macaroni balls in a crispy panko crumb, served with a spicy sweet pepper and sage dip) – £4
- Salad of the day (See counter on the day of your visit) – £2.50
- Bread (Chunk of Pollen 28-hour sourdough) – £1… If you’re wondering who ‘Pollen’ are, see my other blog posts.
I was stuck between the Virginia Housewife and the Monticello. But the Monticello was always going to have a lot more flavour with it being infused with basil and garlic, as well as the roasted vine tomatoes and basil drizzle to top it off, which won me over eventually. Thinking back now, I maybe should have added breadcrumbs as an extra but maybe that’s one for next time.
To go alongside the Monticello, I chose the deep fried mac balls… I mean, you’d be silly not to.
The Monticello was hands down the best macaroni cheese I’ve ever tasted and that is saying something because I have eaten a lot of macaroni cheese. It was rich in flavour and the four roasted vine tomatoes were fresh and juicy, made to perfection. The added basil drizzle was coupled with the roasted vine tomatoes to top the Monticello off. It tasted fantastic and it’s actually important for the basil drizzle to be added on last, as the flavour of fresh basil is fugitive when heated. So if you’re ever using it at home for your own dishes, be sure to follow this rule.
When I say you must try the deep fried mac balls, you must. They have a crispy, crunchy, breadcrumb outer coating and once you bite through that, you get a soft, cheesy filling. This is complimented really well by the spicy sweet pepper and sage dip. I’m not good with spicy foods or dips but I actually found this dip really pleasant.
Monticello – £6
Deep fried mac balls – £4
Total = £10
RATINGS AND COMMENTS
Overall rating – 10/10
Value for money – 8/10
I couldn’t give less than a 10 overall because it genuinely is the best macaroni cheese I have had and the macaroni balls were something I had never tried before. In addition, it is all made fresh which makes the wait worth it. It is also good value for money if you are wanting a spot of lunch without paying restaurant prices.
WILL I RETURN
Yes, I’ll definitely be returning for lunch when I’m next in the Arndale.
Twitter & Instagram: @macdaddiesmcr