The drive from North Hollywood to Encino on the 101 during a Friday lunch hour is quite possibly the worst 10 mile stretch of road in the nation. Yet, to meet my girlfriend for lunch, I made that drive without seeing nary a Brennan Frasier-shaped caveman. We met at Coral Tree Cafe and after such a terrible drive I was craving some comfort food to counter the traffic blues I was feeling. We walked up to the counter to order and my eyes quickly made contact with their Baked Macaroni and Cheese. It wasn’t what you would consider an ideal food for a 90+ degree day in the Valley, but looked like it would hit the spot.
This wasn’t your average, run of the mill baked mac and cheese either. Sure, they threw in multiple cheeses like sharp cheddar, monterey jack and parmesan, but they kicked it up one step further with Danish blue cheese. Then they topped it all off with a Panko flake crust. When I first dug in, I was greeted with the bluest mac and cheese I had ever tasted. But where I typically think of blue as sort of a dry cheese, this stuff was as creamy as Eric Clapton. The Panko added some delicious crunch to the mac and cheese and I devoured it with all my heart and possibly some other vital organs.
As the consumption continued, I found myself a bit overwhelmed by the blue cheese. Yes, blue cheese was an awesome and welcome addition to the cheese-fest, but it actually got to the point where I could hardly taste the other cheeses. In fact, towards the end I even dipped one of the pieced of bread that came on my plate into the cheese sauce in an attempt to buffer the blue a little bit.
Yet, there are far worse things to be done to a mac and cheese than putting in too much blue cheese. So, Coral Tree Cafe, I applaud you for getting creative with your mac. Tone down the blue a little bit and I would consider another trip to Encino in lieu of busting out another box of Kraft.