Pimped up Mac N’ Cheese… that stoked my imagination as Joan-Paula invited me to try her series of macaroni and cheese concoction which she has been selling at the Sugbo Mercado since September of last year. But it wasn’t the first time I heard about it. A friend, Dave, recommended it to me last year, before spending a night at Pillows Hotel where she also manages the operations.
Ah, mac n’ cheese, the quintessential American comfort food popular in North America that has an English origin. Traditionally, it consists of macaroni and cheese sauce, usually cheddar and baked as a casserole. With developments in food technology, it’s now easy preparing one on top of a sauce pan or from a package mix. But frankly, it really hasn’t become a a favored pasta dish as here in the country, popular pasta dishes are spaghetti with meat sauce, lasagna, versions of carbonara and other dishes but for mac n’ cheese, not as popular.
After receiving the invitation, it was only when I was enroute to Incheon in South Korea, with a flight at around 1 AM that I decided to drop by at the now popular Sugbo Mercado, in IT Park which is patterned after the night food markets in Metro Manila. Joan-Paula’s mac n’ cheese stall is also present at the night food market at the Cebu Business Park where the Ayala Center Mall is located.
It’s actually not hard to find as I saw Joan-Paula and the familiar logo at her stall. After a quick chitchat and photos, I got my small bowl. Okay, for food at Sugbo Mercado, it might be a little expensive compared to regular food outlets but for most of the independent food entrepreneurs who are also first timers in this kind of food market, it’s the only outlet. A small bowl costs P100 and already includes a small, wee cup of apple iced tea. After going over the menu, she told me that the Mexican Nacho Mac N’ Cheese is one of their popular items. I got one which is freshly prepared, the assemblage and mixing, infront of you.
The Mexican Nacho Mac N’ Cheese has ground beef, tomato salsa, pieces of nacho and instead of the traditional cheddar, it uses colby jack cheese. I love the al dente macaroni. Not soggy or overcooked but just enough. The tomato salsa lends a flavor contrast while the colby jack cheese has a mild flavor, never overpowering. In just a few minutes, I already finished my bowl. If not for the time constraint, as I was worried I might be stuck in traffic in going the airport, I would have gotten another bowl, this time, another flavor.
Should you try it? Yes! Please do, its delicious and tasty, flavorful. But if they have a bigger bowl size, I would opt for that one. Other flavors include bacon and mushroom melt, bacon mushroom truffle, four cheese, bleu cheese and bacon (wow!!!), bacon pesto, and the ranch. I am very much interested to try the one with the blue cheese! Soon.
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