If it were not for Twitter I wouldn't have known this past Saturday was National Macaroni and Cheese Day. But more importantly I wouldn't have known that The Cheese Shop of Des Moines would be offering their macaroni and cheese – normally available only during lunchtime on weekdays – in celebration of the occasion.
The day started off with breakfast at Tacopocalype's stand at the Downtown Farmers' Market. I scarfed down a couple of tacos, one with vegan chorizo and the other with potato poblano, both topped with slaw and added fixins' of my choosing.
Afterward I took advantage of the relative cool of the morning for a long walk through Water Works Park and the South of Grand neighborhood before making my way to The Shops of Roosevelt.
With some time to kill I checked out the selection of casked liquors, vinegars, and jars of oils at Vom Fass. Finding their offerings to be well beyond my means I cool my heels for awhile before taking a counter seat in the midst of The Cheese Shop's hectic lunchtime scene. Deciding on wine with my meal I ask for suggestions and settle with a refreshing Chardonnay.
Baked in a wee cast iron skillet, the macaroni and cheese's presentation is tops. The casserole offers a plethora of textures: a crunchy breadcrumb-encrusted top, a creamy center, and crusty sides to scrape lightly at to get to every tasty bit.
On a previous visit I shared plates of assorted cheeses and bruschetta with a lunch mate. The cheese selection as per my first visit in February [see blog post] was supurb, but the bruschetta – with wedges of fresh mozzarella marinated in house olive oil and herbs, served with Cleverley Farms' greens on toasted La Mie ciabatta topped with pickled shallots – was divine.