345 East 12th Street, NYC

A place that only serves mac & cheese?!? Sign me up! Well that’s what I thought at first, but in really analyzing the nature of this type of “One Trick Pony”, I have had other thoughts lately. S’Mac stands for Sarita’s Mac & Cheese and has gotten a ton of press because of its all-mac & cheese menu and East Village location. The menu is interesting with a dozen or so kooky variations that are considerably more delicious and fun than the Kraft product. We had the Garden Lite, an all-vegetable, and the Parisienne, with figs, brie and mushrooms. They were a tasty snack before our main dinner an hour later.

I think the problem is that there is no heart here. It is a contrived concept that only wants to make money, not genuine grub. The counter person had the same interest in food and love for his job as your typical Duane Reade cashier. This place shamelessly self-promotes and you get the feeling that there will be one in every mall soon. It is similar to Totally Baked (see review), now that I think about it, in its distanced vibe and concept, the difference is that baked potatoes are a great, fun snack food. Don’t get me wrong, I love mac & cheese but I want it with a full meal in a comfortable setting, not in a fast food environment.

As far as these One Trick Ponies, I have been skeptical since I waited on an hour long line for BB Sandwich Bar in 2001. My feeling is that when they are fun snack foods: pudding, hot dogs, fries, knishes, they are great; when they are trying to be mass-produced and a substitute for dinner, they fall short.