Photos courtesy Mad Mac's/Facebook
, a new macaroni and cheese joint brought to you by the people behind Yuzu, opened last Wednesday in the old O'Tooles Pub space at 13601 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood.
General manager Kelly Kazandjieff is confident the Cleveland area needs such an establishment: "There probably can’t be enough mac and cheese in this world," she tells Scene.
Kazandjieff, who's been with Yuzu since it opened two years ago, was helping owner Dave Bumba with 2017's Mac & Cheese Throwdown event when the idea for the new spot was born.
"There are plenty of great restaurants around town serving up mac and cheese," Kazandjieff says. "But we wondered why there wasn't already a spot serving up mostly mac and cheese."
Ever since, Bumba has set to dreaming up mac and cheese dishes, such as spicy chorizo, hot dog heaven (popular with the kids so far) and also a cheeseburger mac. There are also mac and cheese options for vegans and gluten-free eaters, along with other appetizer, soup and salad selections. Garlic bread can be added to any item on the menu, and there are plenty of beers on tap to help wash down a meal. With all that, it was important to find the proper portion balance with these dishes.
"I keep asking people, 'How are you feeling? Are you trying to go to bed right now?'" Kazandjieff explains. "It’s a fine line. We’re loading you up on carbs, but we also want you to stick around and hang out. So far, we seem to be getting it right."
Kazandjieff says she and her crew got the keys to the Detroit Ave. location about 40 days ago, and worked hard to ready the space in time for the Mad Mac's opening. There's seating for 75, larger than the Yuzu spot, and plans are in the works for similar events like speed dating, beer pong tournaments, and trivia nights.
Mad Max is open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to midnight on weekends.
Mad Mac's Italian three-cheese pasta