The $55 Mac And Cheese Guy Speaks

The $55 mac and cheese (and truffle) guy has some choice words for you (the friend was platonic, he had a good time, is not a douche, etc), inside…

Above is what his dinner may have looked like. Except, you know, smaller. — BEN POPKEN

Our tipster Max passes on words about his publicity shy friend. Shining points of clarification, if you will.

    “Besides the truffle incident, he says that he actually had a nice meal and enjoyed the free wine.

    My roommate was out eating with a platonic female friend who suggested it. My roommate is no stranger to expensive restaurants, is a New York native, and did not have trouble paying the bill, but besides this fact he just ultimately deemed $55 mac and cheese ridiculous. He is not a douche and he is not stupid.

    In fact, he didn’t even get to eat any of it because the portion was too small. He ordered it based on his friend’s suggestion, as in a previous meal her friend had ordered it and loved it.

    He assumed mac and cheese was mac and cheese and was not looking at the menu, and did not know that it was going to have truffles on it. He had not had truffles before and when they shaved them onto the dish, he “thought it was cheese at first but then was pretty sure it was truffles.” He didn’t say anything because he’s not a confrontational guy, and offered the entire plate to his guest because the portion was so small. But even still,
    he did not expect it to be $55.

    All in all, it was more a humorous experience for him than an unpleasant one, and he would like to communicate to everyone that it pays to check prices on what you order, even if you can ultimately afford it.”

UPDATE: The $55 Mac And Cheese: The Menu Said ‘Truffles’
The $55 Mac And Cheese


Edit Your Comment

  1. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Even if one weren’t looking at a menu, it seems irresponsible for the waiter not to clarify the “with or without truffles” part of that. One would naturally assume Mac and Cheese would be priced accordingly, even in an expensive restaurant.

    You don’t walk into McDonald’s and order a Big Mac and then have some fry cook throw escargots on it and then charge you $35.00.

    Lastly, if a chef is arbitrarily going to put truffles on something, why macaroni and cheese? Wouldn’t that be like putting $3000 wheels on your ’89 Toyota Corolla?

  2. I don’t know about the waiter asking with or without truffles, the guy admittedly didn’t read the menu (do you get asked if you want buffalo sauce on your wings?) and his friend didn’t care to mention the freaking mac & cheese was $55 in the first place, no wonder it was so good. I would’ve needed an orgasm for it to be “good” at that price.

    People do strange things, you go to some places and you’ll see $3k rims on a 89 Corolla :)

  3. alexnyc says:

    The first poster about the waiter being irresponsible does not live in NY. There are a lot of expensive items on NY menus. Truffles being one of those items. Its the same as ordering something with caviar; you don’t question if you really wanted it with your toast. There’s also a $100 kobe beef burger – again, if you don’t pay attention, you’ll get burned, but that’s why we all learned to read…

  4. jconli1 says:

    I think the truffles-on-macaroi idea started on last year’s Top Chef show. A “comfort food” chef made a bowl of cheesy mac, but put a truffle underneath so the truffle would continue to cook, and the aroma and flavor would waft up as you work your way there.

    Cute idea there (scored quite well with the judges while the rest of the competition called it pedestrian), but a way dumbed-down (and overcharged for what you got) at this restaurant.

    Glad to know he’s not a douche, though.

  5. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Come to think of it, I’ve probably seen $3000 rims on an ’89 Corolla.

    Besides, I’m too cheap to eat anywhere that serves truffles, so the whole thing is out of my league.

  6. valkin says:

    Geez, this story got picked up by the daily news and 1010wins: … ntType=4&contentId=255719

  7. valkin says:

    hmm, the link didn’t pick up all the way:

  8. Phishy says:


    Not that i’m agreeing to this blatent douching of the customer but truffles are usually served at the table for ‘freshness’. Ironically though truffles are actually only truely fresh for about 24hrs after its been dug up.

    So on that note, the mac and cheese with truffles is going to have the truffles shaved at the table and is not the same situation as cheese where you can politley say no. I doubt the menu said “mac and cheese, add truffles for $x”

    I haven’t had a truffles dish that was prepared before it was served, always shaved when it was brought to the table.

  9. ElizabethD says:

    I feel so unsophisticated. I have never eaten a truffle. (sobs) I wonder how they taste, and if it’s worth all that $$$.

  10. OnoSideboard says:

    Elizabeth: truffles taste like choking on your own wallet.

  11. B says:

    If he didn’t look at the menu, how can he complain that the menu didn’t list the price? I’m sorry, but he still qualifies as an idiot.

  12. If he didn’t look at the menu, how can he complain that the menu didn’t list the price?

    Because it means that this is happening to anyone who orders this, not expecting it to cost more than twice as much as anything else on the menu. How is it idiotic to warn people about this sort of thing?

  13. Dwayne: the menu did not offer the mac without truffles, and unlike McDonalds, you can probably assume that a menu item like that at a restaurant like that is going to be made with expensive ingredients. It probably had an assortment some seriously expensive cheeses in the sauce.

    Overall- he made a mistake by not researching his decision, which I think any consumer can agree is usually not a good idea, and sometiems you PAY for it.

    ANd to all you non-New Yorkers, when you walk into a 3 star or higher restaurant, these kinds of prices are normal, so you have to get over that fact before you assess this situation. Lots of people regularly pay upwards of $60/person to eat out here. There are a lot of people that have a lot of money in this city. Many of them buy more expensive food than you are used to. Please understand that.

  14. MeOhMy says:

    It’s not Top Chef, it’s this trend in haute cuisine where you take something ordinary and then magically make it “gourmet” by adding truffles and foie gras.

    2 years ago, Stephen Starr put a $100 cheesesteak on the menu at Barclay Prime in Philly. Take an ordinary cheesesteak, make it out of Kobe beef, add truffles and foie gras and POOF – it’s a GOURMET cheesesteak. And people buy it. The $100 cheesesteak was the talk of the town. People wanted to buy the $100 cheesesteak just to say they had it. This wasn’t the first time this happened either, but I’d say Starr was among the first to smell what was in the wind and turn it into a marketing device.

    But it’s definitely getting annoying. I don’t eat at these fancy restaurants often. I’m starting to get concerned that one of these days I’m going to go somewhere and get an actual Denny’s menu, but someone took a sharpie and calligraphied in “+ truffles ‘n’ foie gras” after all of the items and blacked out all the prices. “Oh wow! Moons Over My Hammy + truffles ‘n’ foie gras for just $199. Are you out of your mind? I’ll take 2 plus a side of bacon (+ truffles ‘n’ foie gras)!”

    Don’t get any bright ideas, Dennys…we may only go there when we’re drunk, but we’d never be *that* drunk.