A tiny outpost of Brooklyn Mac has opened inside one of Dumbo's mini-malls on Pearl Street. The takeout-only counter at the back of 61 Pearl Street offers the same bubbling macaroni and cheese creations and salads as its other two locations in Greenpoint and Bushwick, plus a small selection of bottled beverages. It's not going to win any design awards, that's for certain, but the counter is serviceable if you're craving some molten cheese.
The mini-chains signature neighborhood-named mac and cheese dishes are all present, including the Williamsburg (sauteed mushrooms, scallions, tomato and mozzarella) and the Bushwick (pico de gallo, mozzarella and chipotle sauce). We sampled the Kings County, a basic recipe with cheddar and American, and it wasn't bad. The cheese was appropriately creamy, with a nice, thick crust of caramelized cheese and breadcrumb topping. A small sets you back only $4.75, but you might need some kind of supplement if you're on the hungrier side.
The same cannot be said for the salads, which enraged Deputy Editor Jen Carlson:
I fancy myself not much of a complainer, and there are so many worse things in life then being on the losing side of a salad order, but we're here to talk about this place, so I'm going to be brutally honest: This is the worst salad I've ever had in my life, and incredibly overpriced ($11.50 including tax) for what you get.
The tomatoes were not ripe, and practically white. The apples were sour. The errant pieces of macaroni were sad and just looked like they accidentally fell into the container. There was no cracked pepper tasted in any bite. But there were a TON of sunflower seeds and olive oil-drenched lettuce leaves. So if you love sunflower seeds, and your lips being coated with olive oil, this may be worth it for you.
This satellite location doesn't offer customizable macs and salads as the other, larger locations do, so you're stuck with their pre-assembled creations without the possibility of substitutions of any kind. So, fair warning! If you're still cool with that, the outpost offers three sizes for each mac or salad, ranging in price from $4.75 to $13.75. The return of food under the archway and the food truck lot, plus this ridiculous heatwave, might prove problematic in these early weeks, but come winter we imagine plenty of folks will line up for a comforting bowl of gooey goodness.