3rd & Court Diner (Memphis, TN)

“Mac & Cheese” (side)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Presentation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Certain words don’t strike me as appropriate for describing food, one such example being the word “cute.” In this case, though, it’s hard not to call this cartoon-like mac cute, especially with that glossy sheen and the vibrant pop of color from the orange napkin. If we’re really going to get into it here (which I always am), I’d say it has the same quality of enticement as Krabby Patties or Crème de la Crème à la Edgar from The Aristocats.

Flavor: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

3rd & Court’s mac had a subtle smoke to it, a hint of scallion, and a mild cheesiness. Pretty tasty.

When reviewing a side, I always consider its context for a proper evaluation. For example, BBQ side-macs get a pretty great rating if they’re more flavorful, because they’re usually so intentionally mild and are therefore going above and beyond the expectation. For a mac that doesn’t serve a specific purpose like that, the ante is upped, if you will.

Creaminess: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This category is most frequently a “did she or didn’t she,” unless there was something particularly noteworthy; she did, folks.

Cheesiness: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’d give this mac a touch above run-of-the-mill in its cheesiness; satisfactory, but no ‘wow’ factor. For a side dish, that’s totally acceptable, but some side-macs are good enough to make 5 stars look like chump change.

Texture: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Cavatappi – always a textural win. Need I say more?

Overall Experience:

3rd & Court Diner is a brand new Memphis eatery, but you certainly wouldn’t know that from the quality of the food; no grace period needed! I honestly had a tough time committing to mac & cheese because of all of the great menu options. May I also point out that the interior design is stellar? Of course I may. If ambiance is what you’re after, you should swing by 3rd & Court for a bite.

I also happened to spy – with my little eye – that they’ve got a mac bowl as their Thursday lunch special, and I definitely can’t see myself not eating that. Stay tuned!

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