They put Mac & Cheese in What?
What do Vegas's newest food truck, a hollowed-out hotel, and a taste-off all have in common?
What’s up foodies, it’s Krager, and welcome to this week’s issue of The Foodie Maps Las Vegas! Also, a cheesy welcome to our new subs!
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👍 Mac & Cheese is for Me
This issue is about all things mac & cheese! This past week, the team stumbled across an ongoing mac & cheese taste-off which we will now be reporting on, so stay tuned for some updates!
Also for the first time, the team hit the road and visited a local mac and cheese food truck only to discover a never-seen-before cuisine. 🤭
Let’s get to it!
🧀 Vegas’s Newest Food Truck
Escalated Mac n Cheese
This past month, I had the pleasure of visiting the Mackin’ Wagon for one of their first popups. Recently, I met the owners, Matt and Lisa, on a Las Vegas Foodies Facebook group. I was interested in both hearing their story and trying out their unique lunch creations. Both Matt and Lisa are long-time bartenders in Vegas, but for the past few years, they have been steadily laying the foundations for their food truck, the Mackin’ Wagon. Although Covid slowed down their progress, the owners pushed through and were able to recently open their truck. I’m thrilled for them because the popup I visited was a huge success as the constant stream of customers for the duration of the event never quite seemed to slow down.
Now let’s get to the food. When it was my time to order, I had their signature dish: the Mac and Cheese Bomba. In simple terms, the Bomba is a fresh baguette stuffed to the brim with Mac and Cheese. When ordering, you have the choice of what kind of mac & cheese you want: white gouda, or traditional-three cheese. And, if you’re looking for a bit extra, you can add one of three meats: Applewood Smoked Bacon, Hand-Breaded Buffalo Chicken, or BBQ Pulled Pork. I decided to order the white gouda since it’s my favorite cheese. 😋
This original dish intrigued me in the days leading up to my visit and I wondered what I would think of the double carb concoction. I was thrilled to discover that my White Gouda Bomba was everything I seek when I try a cuisine for the first time. Delicious. New. Unique. The macaroni blanketed in white gouda cheese could easily be eaten on its own. However, when combined with the light flaky baguette, the dish reminded me of a lightly stuffed grilled cheese. Only replace the cheese with mac & cheese of course!
I was curious about how they stumbled upon such a unique but delicious combination, so I decided to ask the owner, Matt. He told me that the Bomba was created after much experimentation in the kitchen. I imagine they combined mac and cheese with many other different food items before being thrilled to discover the odd but undeniably delicious pairing of mac and cheese on a baguette. 🧀🥖
Other items on the menu include the Mackin’ Burger, the Mac Dog, and the Buffalo Mac Bowl. Next time I’m back in the area, I will certainly be returning to see how their exquisite mac and cheese pairs in these other cuisines.
To follow the Mackin’ Wagon’s journey and see where they will be next, be sure to:
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History & Comfort Food?
The John E. Carson Hotel was a small hotel located in Downtown Las Vegas on the corner of 6th and Carson. In 2014, the hotel was purchased and remodeled as a part of ongoing efforts to revitalize Downtown Las Vegas. Today, the once-hotel is bustling with restaurants, tattoo parlors, and other new-age businesses. Homage is paid to the original tenant by the adequately named Carson’s Kitchen.
The revitalization was a success as Carson’s Kitchen has caught on as a Downtown favorite in recent years. The restaurant features reimagined comfort food served alongside a contemporary bar, open kitchen expo counter, community tables, and an outdoor rooftop and bar. Their baked mac & cheese is quite captivating, but the only description given on the menu is “shhhh, it’s a secret” 😂
A Mac & Cheese Taste-Off? 😱
During our time in quarantine, the folks at @vegas_tasteoff were putting together a take-home kit containing mac & cheese from five local eateries & barbecues. While it may be too late to order a kit, you can still visit each of the contending eateries!
Cheesy Macaroni from Rollin Smoke BBQ (top left)
Smoked Gouda Four-Cheese Macaroni from RandBcatering (top right)
Five Cheese Macaroni from Tucky's Smokin' BBQ (middle)
Bacon and Breadcrumb Loaded Macaroni and Cheese from Smoke & Fire BBQ (bottom left)
Two Macaroni and Cheese Empanadas from Taina Kitchen (bottom right)
As of now, the results have not been announced but should be in the coming week. I guess you’ll just have to try them all and make your own decision in the meantime!
Thanks for reading this week’s issue of The Foodie Maps Las Vegas!
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