You may recall that I’ve already covered Murray’s mac and cheese in a previous post, but this post refers to the grab-and-go variety (not to be confused with the refrigerated take-and-bake!) that you get at the cheese shop, not Murray’s Cheese Bar, the restaurant.
Murray’s Cheese is my happy place. It is conveniently located halfway between my gym and my apartment, which means I NEVER have to go hungry on my walk back. I’m here at least a few times a week, picking up snacking cheeses, cheese for recipes, yogurt for breakfast, and, occasionally, chocolates and caramels. And, since I’m convinced that mac and cheese is the ultimate pregnancy superfood, I’ve been frequenting this spot even more than normal.
Many people don’t even realize that the shop has hot food. Apart from selling cheese, Murray’s actually has a dedicated grilled cheese counter (which, by the way, makes some of the best breakfast sandwiches in the city). In one corner of this, you will find their mac and cheese operation. You choose your size and your mix-ins, they stick it under a broiler to get nice and bubbly, and finally they hand it over to you in a portable paper cup. The whole process takes just a few minutes. Note: you CAN’T choose your types of cheese or pasta, but, they’re cheese experts; they know what they’re doing.
While their exact cheese blend is proprietary and a closely-guarded secret (I believe it’s the same as at the restaurant), it’s rich and nuanced; you definitely taste a mix of sharp, nutty and creamy cheeses. As you can see in the picture, Murray’s uses radiatori, which picks up a lot of the thick sauce. I opted for chicken and spinach as my mix-ins, which were tasty, but I would have liked a little bit more of each. Each finished product also gets sprinkled with a dusting of breadcrumbs, which lends a nice little crunch.
My major reason for loving this mac — apart from the fact that it tastes good — is that I don’t know any other place that’s churning out high-quality dishes like this while still making them portable. Sure, there’s S’MAC or Macbar, but you can’t really walk and eat those; even if you do order them as carryout.
Plus, if you eat it after a workout, there are no calories. That’s just science.
Murray’s Cheese, 254 Bleecker St, 212-243-3289