Main Location: St. Paul, Office Buildings, Etc
Upon opening and debuting a Truck, it ends up very rare that any paper or internet-based publicity will choose to report. This leads to many Food Trucks relying solely on building a reputation and clientele on their own, through word of mouth. A very unique truck it is that can acquire immediate recognition.
R.A. Mac Sammy’s was one of those trucks, its name and food being exclaimed and written in many a web-based local updates; a paper article or two as well.
The reason? R.A. Mac Sammy’s peddles out that ubiquitous mix from a box loved by both kids and adults alike throughout the entirety of the Nation. Of course I’m talking Mac n Cheese, that warm, gooey mess of noodles and dairy. Served countless number of ways from stirred on the pot to baked in a restaurant with who knows what added to it, this dish always tends to draw its crowd of fans wherever plated. Yet if there were to be any region within the U.S. to appreciate it more, that cold-winded, comfort-food loving Midwest we all call dear would stand tallest.
Mac’s takes advantage of this deep-seated nostalgia wonderfully, offering a simple-yet-flexible set of options for your choosing. One can have the seasonal Macaroni, a special mix of chosen ingredients to that month, or the simple Mac… built with any other ingredient you want, from hot dogs to jalapenos to broccoli to bacon (is there any doubt they wouldn’t have bacon?). These are offered in large or medium/small orders, dependent on your craving.
With only a 4-burner stove and small griddle to cook your order from, Mac’s has developed of genius way for customization while turning out a high order volume. Cooking the entirety of noodles with the creamy, tangy cheese sauce in 1-2 large pans, all added ingredients are then grilled on the flat-top. Piled on top at the end, along with a sprinkling of pre-toasted breadcrumbs for that familiar crunch of the home-made baked noodles. One can dig and mix as you please.
Besides the Mac n Cheese, they also offer Smoked Bratwurst and two griddled sandwiches; a Grilled 4-Cheese, and Meat and Cheese of some sort. Homemade brownies available occasionally, great for office workers looking for lunch and dessert.
The noodles are tender without being too soft, the cheese of the white and creamy variety, a small amount of tang; the toasted breadcrumbs offer a good texture. Sandwiches I have not tried yet, but from their chef-born inspirations, I would be shocked if they’re anything less than cheesy goodness.
Though griddling the additional ingredients on the side is a very smart and necessary protocol for them to do, the sad truth is that no doubt loses a small amount of that beautiful effect achieved from slowly cooking everything together in that bubbly cheese sauce. Delicious as it is, they are unable to reach the peak of Mac n’ Cheese-dom that many restaurants have shown.
Mac n’ Cheese is mac n’ cheese, can’t really do anything besides holding in some box or bowl. Now, as far as other similar street food items go, this one is a little easier to eat from the box with a fork. The cheese IS nice and gooey, with little to no mess.
For the walkability-concious, the sandwiches should offer less problem, grilled cheese especially. Yet even they are served in a basket with chips; both hands will be needed. I can’t bout for the holdability of the Grilled Meat, Cheese, etc sandwiches.
It certainly does make one think; how much greater their menu would be if they offered a Fried-Mac-on-a-Stick of some sort. Maybe wrapped around a hot dog or brat beforehand… I say we start petitioning and suggesting, see if we can get them to add it!
$8 for the Special and $7 for the classic, with a charge of only $4 for the “mini mac”. 50cents per addition, cost can build up enough for consideration if you’re getting a large (which I rarely find need of). Less of an issue for those only getting 1-2 things, but for the foodies like me who crave abundance, it’s something to think about.
On the lighter side, both the Brat and Grilled Cheese stand at $5, keeping for different options.
Still fast for a Mac n Cheese, but when you have a small line of orders in front of you, it can take a while to get to the group of tickets with your order. I was quite time-conscious when I ordered, and ended up standing there for longer than I wanted. Best ordered when there are still only very few people in line at the time of purchase.
The TOE: 9
Very unique and well executed Truck that pulls at the strings of comfort we all keep in our stomach. The only thing that’s noticeably missing is that ONE unique-yet-simple, pure-street-food related item that you can’t find anywhere. That kind of menu item is always a special occurrence, and you shall see me allude to it every now and then. For sometimes, somehow, it is only that one small item that magically lifts an entire restaurant or truck to an entirely different level in our minds and hearts.
Despite that one thing missing, and believe me they aren’t the only truck without it, R.A. Mac Sammy’s has been welcomed to our City with open arms. The truck is now here to stay, to the happiness of all our cravings.
Warm and comforting, the Mac n Cheese is that perfect street food when you’re out in the cold Fall and Winter (one of the few trucks that stays out most of the year). Of course, any season I would suggest jumping on the rich noodles; custom order on your first visit, get the seasonal on the second (if you like how it sounds). After that go for the sandwiches.
No matter what the situation, I would not suggest your first visit be anything but the actual Macaroni. If you’re looking for a more portable item between bread, go somewhere else until you’ve had the true heart of R.A. Mac Sammy’s.
Oh, and get the half-order; the full is a LOT.