Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on one of Hamilton, NY’s delicacies, perhaps king of them all – the Mac Daddy sandwich from Hamilton Eatery. This beauty is two of man’s greatest carb-y, cheesy creations, the grilled cheese sandwich and macaroni and cheese, melded into one caloric bomb bound to comfort anyone and everyone who indulges. Hot, crispy bread and melty cheese on the outside; luscious pasta covered in gooey soft cheese in the middle – who’s to argue?
Well, I forgot to mention one thing. The sandwich also has ham.
As a quasi-kosher Jew, I have three main restrictions: no shellfish, no mixing milk and meat, and no pork. What this means is that I have never eaten lobster, cheeseburgers, and bacon, among other foods that you probably couldn’t be without. And I have never tried a Mac Daddy in true form.
No, I’m not kidding.
Have I still ordered the Mac Daddy? Yes. It’s easy to just leave off the ham and get the same irresistible goodness that the sandwich is known for. But one day, I was curious: was I missing out on any complexity in flavor without the ham?
In order to solve the debate, I used the closest thing to the salty ham that I could find: lox. The Eatery would not put on any ingredients from outside of the establishment. So, once the Mac Daddy with pesto (game changer, trust me) was finished, I took it home, where I had a stash of lox ready. I chopped up the lox, cooked it so that it would have a similar consistency to the ham, and threw it right on top of the mac n’ cheese.
And the verdict? Well, not like a layer of lox is a subtle addition to a sandwich. I definitely tasted the saltiness coming through, and the lox added a thickness to the Mac Daddy’s consistency. However, at the end of the day, I have a special place in my heart for the unwavering and smooth comfort provided by nothing but bread, cheese, and the occasional addition of pesto or veggies. Adding on lox, and presumably ham, is doing too much with a sandwich that kills the game on its own.
Would I have it again? Sure. But if I’m having a hectic day and want something that will bring my spirits up, I’m going for my pure, unadulterated Mac Daddy with no ham.