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Pies, Platters and Winter Macs

It’s almost here.

That one day of the year, when all you have to do is eat. When everyone sits around a big table with plates full of juicy turkey, salty stuffing, sweet potatoes with marshmallow and loads of gravy to top it off (or if you’re like Allison and Erin, you substutite a big fat pork roast for the turkey. Is that wrong?)

Bryan and Mike show off their new mac creation

As you can probably tell, we are gigantic fans of Thanksgiving–and frankly, of eating in general. Which is why, now that we own a restaurant, we wanted to find a way for homeroom to make Thanksgiving even tastier. So we started playing around with portion sizes, new mac recipes and some new desserts using winter fruits. We came up with some pretty delicious ideas, both for Thanksgiving, and to add to our winter menu. We also may have had too good of a time playing around in the kitchen all day – we all went home in a slight lactose coma from the pounds of cheese we consumed.

Erin, Allison and Megan play around with new ingredients

Anyway, here’s what we’ve got for Thanksgiving: big platters of mac, any mac, to serve as a hot, gooey side dish (and lets be honest, the sides always outshine the turkey anyway). Our platters serve ten as a side, or 5 as a main course. We give a 20% discount on orders of 2 platters or more, so if you have a large family, you’re in luck. You can find out more about our platters on our catering page.

We’re also taking orders for two different pies for Thanksgiving: Our famous peanut butter pie, and our new banana creme pie! Both pies are $24, and you can place a pie order by giving us a call at 510 597 0400. Place your orders early, because there’s a good chance we’ll run out.

Onto our new winter menu…

We are super excited about our new mac and blue, because we’re using what we think is the world’s best blue cheese: Point Reyes Original Blue, and add some cracked black peppercorns and toasted walnuts. We were luckily enough to take a private tour of the beautiful Point Reyes farm before the restaurant opened, and it was pretty eye-opening. After watching the cheesemakers carefully mold great big wheels of fresh cheese, we got to hang out with the happiest-looking cows we’ve ever seen. We left pretty happy too, after the owners of Point Reyes treated us a feast that included samples of all their incredible cheeses.

Next we’ve got a new exchange student called Macximus. As the name implies, it’s a Greek mac. It’s super flavorful, and full of artichoke hearts, spinach, shallots and salty feta cheese. We also have a new veggie – Brussels sprouts! They’re roasted with bacon, and topped off with an apple cider vinaigrette and bacon bits.

And last but not least, a brand new apple crisp. Warm caramelized apples topped with a graham cracker and brown sugar crisp. Holy cow. It’s ridiculously good, especially if you add some ice cream to it.

We hope you’ll come in soon for a taste of our new menu items – or perhaps give us a call to order a pie or a platter for the holidays.

We almost forgot! If you want to try and win a free platter of classic mac, leave a comment below telling us your favorite Thanksgiving side dish. We’ll choose the winning comment Wednesday, November 9th, and announce it on our facebook page. Easy, huh?

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  1. My most favorite Thanksgiving side dish is garlicy cream cheesy super fluffy mashed potatoes smoothered in the most tasty just the right consistency flavorful roasted Turkey gravy, like mom used to make, Oh My!!!

  2. My favorite side dish for Thanksgiving is my butternut squash with cranberry sauce and candied almonds. It is the perfectly sweet and rich dish to go with the warm holiday atmosphere. Here’s my recipe:

    2 large butternut squash
    1/2 tbsp allspice
    1 tsp nutmeg
    1 dash cinnamon
    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
    1 lb fresh cranberries
    2 cups orange juice
    1 cup white sugar
    1 cup slivered almonds
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar

    Preheat oven to 400F. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place 1/2 tbsp of butter in each well of the squash and roast in oven for 50 minutes or until soft. While the squash is roasting combine 1 cup white sugar with 2 cups of orange juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add cranberries and boil until they pop. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce reduces and starts to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside. Melt 2 tbsp butter and combine with 1/2 cup brown sugar and slivered almonds and set aside. Remove squash from oven and scoop out the softened squash into a large mixing bowl. Add the allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and remaining 4tbsp of butter. Mash until well combined. Place squash mixture into a 9×13 baking pan, pour cranberry sauce over squash, and crumble almond/sugar topping on top. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until top is carmelly and inside is hot.

  3. My favorite thanksgiving side is stuffing, especially cornbread stuffing. YUM! And it’s really the only time of year I get to eat it, since it’s not really something I cook on an ordinary week night 🙂

  4. You can’t go wrong with a green bean casserole. Once I tried to get fancy and do some organic recipe, but I quickly learned that the best version is the one from the fried-onion can — trashtastic!

  5. Cranberry Sauce! I’ve tried it homemade many times, but there’s just something great about the canned stuff

  6. I think my favorite side has traditionally been the garlic mashed potatoes, but as of recently haricot vert have been delivering.
    Ditto on the pork vs. turkey debate.
    The strongest opinion always relates to the least favorite side.



    Start with the best roots you can find at the Temescal Farmers’ Market. Parsnips, carrots, rutabagas, potatoes, yams and pearl onions are all acceptable. Combine nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, salt and pepper and shredded Vella Mezzo Secco cheese. Par boil all of the roots, mix in cheese mixture and then arrange in a buttered casserole dish. Add extra cheese to the top for browning. Bake between 350 and 425 until cooked through and cheese has browned. Dress with fresh herbs from your garden or windowsill and enjoy with others!

  8. My favorite side dish would be either cornbread stuffing or sweet potato casserole. And, btw, your new apple crisp sounds delish!

  9. I’m not gonna lie — Thanksgiving sides are awesome, but nothing lives up to the pie!

  10. Gravy. lots of gravy. ON EVERYTHING.

  11. Being a vegetarian I love making Butternut Squash Lasagne for Thanksgiving. The delicious creamy sauce would make an awesome Mac as well! Happy Thanksgiving Allison and Erin!!

  12. My favorite side dish is the dressing we make with bacon, cashews, spinach and five-day-old country bread. It’s got a little five spice & plum in it as well. Yum.

  13. I like to experiment & the pastry chef in me crossed over to the savory side. I made a chipotle butternut squash bread pudding with goat cheddar cheese and some cilantro creme fraiche. Holy hell it was good!

    I think a smoky squash mac & cheese would be so incredibly awesome!

  14. Mashed potatoes and gravy. Hands down! I will sneak back into the kitchen the moment I have made room in my stomach for another spoonful.

  15. My favorite side is my ciabatta bread dressing with sausage. Great memories of making it with a kitchen full of family and friends. It is all that love that makes it taste so great!!

  16. Having made Thanksgiving dinner two years in a row, I get too focused on the main dish instead of the sides! However! Last year, my neighbor made this *amazing* candied yams dish. It tasted of caramel, rum, and something citrus-fruity. My goodness – I think I ate it for a few days afterwards too! Candied pecans and a crumble top added the bit of texture that put it over the top.

    nom, nom!

  17. My favorite thanksgiving side dish is always stuffing/dressing. Mac and Cheese has made it to my thanksgiving table now that I’ve been married since it was something that my husband always had with his family.

  18. maria pinkhasov |

    My grandmothers russian stuffed cabbage leaves 🙂

  19. maria ascarrunz |

    Creamed spinach with more butter than you’ve ever seen in your life.

  20. will totally order some mac for thanks giving!!!

  21. One of my favorites although it is not traditional at all is my Grandpa’s Pepper Rice (cheesy rice and chile casserole). It is so homey and comforting which is what Thanksgiving, for me, is all about!

  22. my favorite will always be green bean casserole, and it HAS to be with the campbell’s cream of mushroom soup and crispy fried onions on top.

  23. I’ve never had mac n’ cheese as a side dish for Thanksgiving, but now all I can think is how I have lived this long without it as a stable on the Turkey Day table. Yum!

  24. We love to make red onion gratin: slices of local, pungent red onions roasted with cream, butter, a nutty gruyere, parmesan, and toasted breadcrumbs. Nothing’s more comforting, except maybe if we could find some way to combine this dish with your mac&cheese!

  25. Man, you add one new veggie, and it’s cooked in bacon? 🙁 Where’s the veg love?

  26. Deviled eggs! Wait no, mashed potatoes! Or maybe mac and cheese!! As vegetarians our Thanksgiving isn’t very traditoonal, but it’s always a smorgasbord of the most delicious sides!!

  27. Just one? Near impossible. Port wine jello salad, corn soufflé, green bean casserole, and just the delicious dressing are all my favorites! And now hopefully, summa your Mac n Cheese! What a nice gesture.

  28. I am totally embarrased to say but my fav Thanksgiving side dish is yams and marshmallows. I pretty much just keep that dish in front of me and don’t pass it down the table. But one year, we went to a friends house who made a yams and marshmallow volcano! They used a blow torch and made it all crispy right befor my eyes. hchchchchc yummmy!

  29. Sweet potatoes!!!

  30. My high school bff and I would host Vegan Thanksgiving every year after the big day. We made a lot of delicious sides to go with our Tofurkey, but by far our best creation was Sweet Potato Cornbread. We’d make regular cornbread (or if pressed for time just grab a box of cornbread mix from Trader Joe’s) and add big hunks of boiled sweet potatoes to the mix. YUM! The results were stunning — a rich yellow with jewel-like pieces of sweet potato throughout — and perfect for sopping up extra gravy. We’ve since been separated by geography and neither of us continues to practice veganism, but I make this dish every year and fondly remember our kitchen forays!

  31. My fave side dish has always been mashed potatoes with lots of cream and butter. Actually, I’ve always loved all the side dishes more than the turkey (gasp!). Some creamy mac & cheese from you guys to add to the Thanksgiving mix would send me into a food coma just thinking about it. YUM YUM!

  32. My favorite side dish, as gross as it seems is peas! I absolute love peas! Especially in mac n cheese with kale too!

  33. Stuffing is my absolute favorite thanksgiving dish, hands down…and mac ‘n cheese is my favorite anytime dish, period. So I feel like it would be a wonderful addition to our thanksgiving table!

  34. I think it’s all about the big bird and roasted potatoes. If I just had to pick one it’s just the turkey that makes Thanksgiving sooo delicious!

  35. My Thanksgiving side dish I have to have is Broccoli with my Grandmother’s homemade cheese sauce. What can I say, I’m a sucker for melty cheese!

  36. My boyfriend’s grandma’s creamed onions (pearl onions in “white sauce”), hands down. It’s very New England (i.e., there are about 4 ingredients and most of them are bad for you), but we have made it on the West Coast every Thanksgiving for years now, and it is always a sleeper-hit. We started adding a pinch of nutmeg a few iterations ago, and (though it feels a little like sacrilege to mess with the basics) it is the best!

  37. I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but I will be next door at Steve’s shop because I live down the street…too many bad memories! The hell with it!

  38. I love the candied yams!

  39. I made an awesome butternut squash, farro and pomegranate seed side dish last year which will be returning year after year since it was SO good. Last year was also the first year we made mac and cheese as a side dish now that we have kids around, but I love adding veggies to the basic so they get some healthy stuff too.

  40. Fudge and good coffee, for sure!

  41. I am late to the party, but we always have candied yams, collard greens, roasted garlic mashed potatoes (new addition), roasted sweet potatoes (new addition) and mac and cheese. My mom would be crushed if we brought home some different mac and cheese. 😛 She loves to make it, and this has been a regular side for ever. I thought everyone had mac and cheese for turkey day!

  42. I love candied sweet potatoes, and pecan pie, and stuffing, and garlic mashed potatoes. Did you say just one? The key is having all of those on your plate, overlapping!

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