Mac and Cheese is a pretty simple recipe that most of us have only enjoyed from a packaged box. Not that I’m complaining- I grew up eating mac n’ cheese every hot summer day between swimming in the pool and sucking on artificially-flavored popsicles, and now I’m a perfectly healthy, functioning adult. Most days. But Mac and Cheese can be more than a quick cheap boxed meal. Many casual dining, fast food, and even fine-dining restaurants offer mac and cheese on their menu, giving the dish a nice upgrade. Longhorn Steakhouse is one of those restaurants – but does it have the same childhood nostalgia with it?
History and Inspiration
Macaroni and Cheese has been around since the 1700s but was made popular by Kraft in 1937. Since it’s become a staple household dish, many casual dining and fast-food restaurants include it on their menus to give that home-cooked meal feeling. Each restaurant offers its version of the dish- some as main dishes, some as side dishes, and some as kids’ menu options. Longhorn Steakhouse began offering their version of Mac and Cheese from the beginning. A leader in casual dining and quality value meals and side dishes, the franchise knew that mac and cheese is one of those dishes that everyone loves, and it can be paired with almost anything.
Mac and Cheese Review
Longhorn Steakhouse offers its Mac and Cheese as either a side dish to accompany any of their delicious steak or seafood meals, or it can be ordered as a main dish from the regular menu or the Kids’ Menu. How many of us order it for our kids and take a few bites for ourselves? I know I do. The kids’ portion is perfect and it comes with a side dish. The main dish isn’t listed on the menu, but it’s available upon request.
1. Taste and Texture [4/5]
The pasta used is a bit thicker than the pasta used in boxed versions. It’s also super cheesy – no pieces of packaged powder cheese stuck on random pasta pieces. It’s creamy and milky at just the right consistency – not too liquidy and not too stiff, and there are bits of bacon peppered throughout the cheese sauce. It’s not very salty, so I prefer to add a bit of salt and pepper to mine, but it’s still tasty on its own. The main dish serving size is perfect, and it’s fresh. Sometimes Mac and Cheese can harden and taste stale from sitting in a pot for too long. I’ve never had this problem with Longhorn’s Mac and Cheese.
2. Are they healthy? [2/5]
Longhorn Steakhouse prepares its mac and cheese with real cheese, which makes it a step above powdered cheese packages. However, cheese, milk, and butter aren’t typically the most healthy ingredients in a meal. If you can’t resist that craving for cheesy, creamy goodness, simply pair it with some veggies and nutrient-rich options. Luckily, Longhorn is a steakhouse, so you can find steaks, meats, veggies, salads, and seafood with plenty of nutrients – and calories, so be mindful of that too.
3. Are they Worth it? [5/5]
The taste is great, the portion is satisfying, and it pairs well with just about anything on the menu. Kids and adults enjoy it, and it’s priced fairly and competitively. You can find a similar mac and cheese dish at Logan’s Roadhouse or Panera Bread, and the prices are similar – just a few cents difference. Great deal, great flavor. Totally worth it.
While you might not think of ordering mac and Cheese at a steakhouse, this is a great option. It’s cheesy and creamy, but not too heavy, so it goes well with other things. It always tastes fresh, and with just a pinch of salt, it’s the perfect side dish. Give it a try and see what you think.
Mac and Cheese Nutrition Facts
- Calories 610
- Total Fat 37 g
- Saturated Fat 22 g
- Trans Fat 1 g
- Cholesterol 120 mg
- Sodium 1210 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 43 g
- Dietary Fiber 5 g
- Sugars 3 g
- Protein 26 g
Mac and Cheese Pricing
The kids’ meal and the side dish are priced the same at only $4.99 and the kids’ version comes with a side and a drink. Prices for the Mac and Cheese main dish varies according to availability and participating locations. The main course option isn’t currently listed on their menu, but you can always ask your server at your local Longhorn restaurant.
What do you think?
Have you ever ordered mac and Cheese from a casual dining restaurant? Do you enjoy the flavor? Or do you prefer your Kraft Mac and Cheese from a box? Let us know in the comments below.