The Lunch Room (Ann Arbor, MI)

~ “Mac & Cheese” ~

~Surprise, it’s vegan!!~

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2


Presentation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Very nice! It’s always thrilling to see a generous portion set in front of you; The Lunch Room didn’t let me down. The touch of almond, lemon zest and sesame seed (called almasen) with a sprinkle of parsley is also daintily tasteful and enticing.

Flavor: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I can easily say that this is one of the more flavorful mac & cheese dishes that I’ve ever tasted; this is probably due to the fact that the cornerstone cheesy flavor is a vegan substitute. I’m no expert on vegan substitutions, so I asked what they use in their cheese – it’s butternut squash, red bell pepper, yeast and some other seasonings. Let me tell you, it’s an impressive dupe. When trying to compensate for a lack of something as familiar as cheese, playing up a unique flavor is almost equally important as mimicking the original, which The Lunch Room executes perfectly.

Creaminess: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Creaminess is the only part of this mac that was slightly lacking. It certainly wasn’t dry by any means, but there wasn’t really an abundance of cream sauce, per-se.

Cheesiness: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is a very interesting category for this particular mac & cheese! The same savory, mellow essence that we all know and love about cheese is perfectly mimicked in The Lunch Room’s vegan mac. To describe it to the best of my ability, it just tastes like a more nutty cheese was thrown into the typical mix of cheddars and whatnot.

Texture: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I was the most skeptical about texture going in. However, nothing was different at all. Not only was the cheesy texture there, but the elbow macaroni was the desired al dente, and the almasen mix sprinkled on the top added a little crunch. Very cool!

Overall Experience:
This was my first time trying vegan mac & cheese, and I was very impressed. Something that I find important in this review is that I am not rating it based on how it compares to or mimics typical mac & cheeses, but as an excellent mac in its own right.
The Lunch Room is a charmingly eclectic vegan diner in Kerrytown, Ann Arbor, and I wholeheartedly recommend letting them knock your socks off with their vegan mac.

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