Macaroni and Cheese Taste-off

A friend and I were kicking around ideas for dinner plans. Both of our husbands were away and we figured a night off from kitchen duty was in order. We decided to go to St. Augustine and track down the best Macaroni and Cheese… with our combined 10 children… who range from 7 months to twenty-something. That’s normal, right?

I dubbed our quest BO Mac-n-doto or, the inaugural event of the Brown Olsen Mac-n-Doodle Taste-Off. Because life is short and eating dinner should be fun. Want to join us? Read on… #whybenormal #bestmomever

st augustine macaroni and cheese taste off

To formalize this BO Mac-n-doto macaroni and cheese taste-off, I am sharing our standards here so that all future tastings are upheld to the same strict standards of excellence as last night’s were… my 5 year old’s tastes. We will henceforth evaluate all “Mac-n-Doodle tastings” on the following:

  • Appearance – Was this scooped from a large pre-made pan and plopped in a bowl or did they at least try to make it look like they made it just for us?
  • Temperature – This may seem like a no-brainer… but was the macaroni and cheese hot or merely we-didn’t-reheat-it-long-enough warm?
  • Texture – From mushy noodles to plastic-y cheese, we’ll evaluate texture and share.
  • Seasonings – Too peppery? Not salty enough? Or maybe, “Geez, this would be great if they’d just put some cheese in it!” No holds barred here!
  • Taste – Overall, how’d it taste?

Since we weren’t sure where to go, I asked you, my passionate and unbiased fan base {Simply St. Augustine facebook fans, represent!} for suggestions. Here’s the list. I’ll cross the places off as we try them. If you have more to add, comment with the place and what’s so amazing about their macaroni and cheese! Oh, it became a chicken finger taste off as well… so you can put that on the list also.

The Best Macaroni and Cheese in St. Augustine Taste Off

  • Mojo’s BBQ
  • Harry’s
  • GAS Full Service Restaurant
  • Bonez
  • Meehan’s Irish Pub
  • Woodpecker’s Backyard BBQ
  • BlackFly’s Lobster Mac & Cheese
  • Bull & Crown Pub Lobster Mac & Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese Taste Off RESULTS in Pictures
– highest rated are at the top -

1. Mojo’s BBQ

Mojo’s will surely not end up #1 in the city, we all agreed it was about a 6 on a 1-10. It was the Velveeta flavor, inconsistent toppings & poor presentation that knocked the score down. So #1 because it’s the best of the two we’ve “officially” tried so far.

Mojo's Macaroni and Cheese

The first plate to come out of Mojo’s kitchen looked like they were in a hurry to get us out of there. I can’t imagine why! I mean, a table of 12 ordering Mac & Cheese is every restauranteur’s delight! ;) But seriously… sloppy presentation of the mac & cheese! *gasp*

Mojos Mac and Cheese

Another dish, which came out at the same time, got some of the crusty breadrumb topping. So apparently this one was served earlier… the previous dish must have been the last in the pan. We all agreed this was a 6 on the 1-10 scale. We were a mixed batch on the chicken. I liked how moist it was, others didn’t like how the breading fell off and that it was quite peppery but slightly undersalted and bites without the breading (which were plentiful since it kept falling off) were bland.

2. Harry’s

Harry’s should not be considered #2 Mac & Cheese in St. Augustine. It should be considered the last on the list. It’ll surely fall below whatever else we try. Surely.

Harry's Seafood

Stop 2: Harry’s, bless their hearts. Y’all know I love Harry’s for a lot of things. I do NOT love them for their macaroni & cheese. Too much “american cheese product” and not enough “cheese”. Clara, who is used to having to eat what she’s served, said, “If we have this kind next time, can I only have 1 scoop?” I let her go straight to dessert.

Harry's Chicken Fingers

I KNOW not all families are raising their children to be foodies. I know it. And that’s fine. But REALLY?! It looks like they opened a bag from a drive through and dumped it on the plate! This gets an actual “0” on the presentation rating scale. I don’t think I should be a kids’ meal critic… no one would like me.

Ok, foodie friends. Hook me up with a better list! If I didn’t mention your favorite Mac & Cheese in town, comment with that place so we can make this taste-off very thorough!

5 Reasons to LOVE The Original Cafe Eleven Brunch

Cafe Eleven generously offered a $25 gift card giveaway with this post. Amy won the random drawing. Subscribe for future giveaways!

If you’re looking for a weekend brunch, I’ve found where it’s at!! Cafe Eleven stays busy all weekend long with their amazing brunch buffet. It’s a St. Augustine Beach gem! Here are 5 reasons to love The Original Cafe Eleven’s Brunch:

1. It’s so chill.

I love dressing up and enjoying fine dining… but Saturday mornings are for relaxing. Cafe Eleven serves a great brunch without the fuss. Go in your beach duds, go in your yoga pants, go in khaki shorts & a golf shirt- it’s the beach! Most anything goes!

Cafe Eleven St Augustine Beach

Cafe Eleven’s Brunch stays full all weekend long. Grab a mimosa or coffee while you wait and enjoy the laid-back beachy vibe.

2. Brunch Buffet with $2 Mimosas or $2 Sangrias! Yes, $2!!

We usually miss brunches because we’re at church during Sunday brunch. I was so excited to learn that Cafe Eleven hosts their brunch buffet Saturday and Sunday!!! #WeLiveInParadise! Wait, it gets better! Every Saturday morning from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, Cafe 11 serves up $2 Sangrias and $2 Mimosas. I’m already planning my next birthday weekend… we’ll watch the sunrise at the beach then hit Cafe Eleven for an early morning mimosa & brunch!

Sangria Saturdays Cafe 11

$2 Mimosas. Nuff said.

3. Gluten Free Options on the Buffet

St. Augustine is a great place for people with restricted diets to dine out. Cafe Eleven goes above and beyond by not just offering GF options from the back but actually stocking a part of their buffet with GF options. Dine without worry, my friends! {If you’re looking for other GF options, check out this list of Gluten Free Friendly Restaurants in St. Augustine}.

If you’re not GF, you have to try their french toast. It’s uh-ma-zing!! Like, crazy good.

Weekend Brunch St Augustine Beach Cafe 11

The buffet stretches across the stage. Yes, I said stage. Cafe Eleven hosts amazing, national concerts in their intimate setting. You’ve got to hit one! It’s on my new St. Augustine Bucket List.

4. St. Augustine Brunch with an Omelet Station

Dude! They have an omelet station! Imagine being at the beach, in flip flops and a bathing suit cover up and still enjoying an AMAZING breakfast… yep, you’ve just imagined Cafe Eleven. And you don’t have to stand in line- put your order in & drop a thank you tip in the jar and the friendly chef will bring your omelet over when it’s ready!

Locals also rave over their bacon. You know how sometimes bacon on a buffet gets super limp & soggy? Well, somehow Cafe Eleven figured out how to keep it crisp. I personally think it’s because it flies off the buffet so fast that it’s always fresh. ;)

Brunch Omelet Station Cafe Eleven St Augustine

Omelette Station. Here’s the before picture…

Saturday Brunch St Augustine Beach Cafe Eleven

…after! And it was so tasty!

5. Cafe Eleven’s Coffee Bar

They brew a few coffees and keep the carafes full. If you want half-caf or to mix some hazelnut in with your regular, now’s your chance. Confession: I typically skip restaurant coffee. I love my lattes like the next gal, but sometimes a solid cup of joe fills the bill and Cafe Eleven’s self-serve brunch coffee bar is a great go-to for that.

Finding a restaurant that offers a solid experience from sunup to sundown is noteworthy. Cafe Eleven is one of the few that can go from breakfast & weekend brunch to lunch & dinner to late-night concerts so masterfully.

It’s always a good time to visit Cafe Eleven!

The Original Cafe Eleven
501 A1A Beach Boulevard
Open 7 am – 9 pm, half-price happy hour 3:00 – 7:00 pm daily.

Cafe Eleven hosted us for brunch and they want to welcome you, too! The giveaway is closed {congrats Amy!} but you can still go like them on facebook!