You may or may not remember Patrick's $100 Mac & Cheese Challenge...
... which of course started with a visit to Saranac. The downtown eatery recently added another mac and cheese to their menu, though it's for a limited time only. The Beer Mac & Cheese is, at least going by our memory, similar to their original dish, but with the addition of -- surprise, surprise -- beer.
And then again, why not? The mainstay is great, and it deservedly topped the readers's Best of... poll last year. (Which, incidentally, meant Patrick did not have to cough up $100.)
The added beer is only described as a "domestic lager", and we had our doubts something that's traditionally flavorless when imbibed would make much of a difference when used in cooking. Yet it does. The cheddar cheese sauce feels like it has just a little bit more depth here, and a little bit of smokiness makes an appearance toward the back.
In that sense, this might all be very similar to the original mac and cheese, but just a little bit better. A little bit is, in our minds, enough to push it over the edge.
This is decidedly something we all should approve of, and a reason to head down to Saranac to try out the Beer Mac & Cheese. It's listed on the weekly special menu, so this a limited engagement kind of thing, and pleasantly priced at $10.
So do we have a new winner of the $100 Mac & Cheese Challenge? Well, maybe, but that is up to you to decide! Go give it a shot, and, as always, feel free to Tweet us your impressions.