I know it is an absolute cliché, but macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods. I also like bread. It is no surprise then that one day when I was trapped in a waiting room, my attention was drawn to a television show with a chef making a macaroni and cheese sandwich. Huh. Why had I never thought to do this? My two favorite foods. Together. Before I tried making my own version, I decided to head out to the Appleton Beer Factory and try the one I saw being made on television.
When you enter the Appleton Beer Factory, stainless steel, brick and shiny aged wooden surfaces greet you and create an instant industrial vibe to the place. Converted from an old auto shop that was built in the 1940’s, many of the buildings original features were repurposed into new table tops, bar tops and glass windows.
I started the meal with a Spicy Bloody Mary. The beef snack stick was a unique touch but I only had a bite. The pickled mushroom garnish was the most interesting as it elicited the response, “it tastes kind of gross but really good at the same time” from my daughter. It was an interesting take on the traditional Bloody Mary and I would definitely order one again.
It seems like every restaurant I go to lately is offering a pretzel stick appetizer so I have sampled quite a few. I am not a huge pretzel eater but the Fresh Pretzel sticks at Appleton Beer Factory rank high on my list of best warm pretzel sticks appetizers. The Ale Mustard pairs really well with the pretzel bread and it was quickly gobbled up as we waited for our main dish.
The moment of truth arrived and I tried my first ever macaroni and cheese sandwich. Surprisingly, the macaroni and cheese tasted a lot like my homemade one even though I know how different the ingredients are. At the Appleton Beer Factory they use an APA, bacon, eggs and sour cream in their recipe, but I use none of those in my own recipe. The French Peasant bread, from a local breadmaker, is toasted and the mac and cheese is placed in between. The mac and cheese was creamy and the cavatappi pasta held together well in sandwich-form.
I still maintain that the true star of the meal was the Ale Mustard dressing which I used on my salad and with the fresh Pretzel Sticks we ordered for an appetizer. Yes, I will have bread, then some pasta and some more bread please.
I will be trying my own version of a macaroni and cheese sandwich sometime soon. Have you ever come across a sandwich with unexpected ingredients? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.