Yes, Garden Grill is technically in Pawtucket, but only by a block. I got a text message from Jewish Friend informing me that Garden Grill serves gluten-free vegan macaroni and cheese, and responded with “that sounds like paste.” To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure what gluten is, but I know it’s in bread and beer, which are two things I need to live, and it seems like an element necessary in macaroni & cheese. We had to find out.
The plan was to go, be unimpressed with what would surely be orange gloop, and fill up on a second entree– possibly have dessert as well. What actually happened, is that gluten-free vegan macaroni & cheese is delicious, and we now have a lot of leftovers of the other stuff ordered.
This picture actually makes it look quite disgusting, but also, quite a bit like normal mac & cheese. When we flagged the server over and demanded to know “How? How can this be good?”
He told us “Nutritional yeast.”
That sounds like something you’d find in your scary grandma’s cupboard one night after sneaking out of bed in search of forbidden cookies, and though Jewish Friend purports to love nutritional yeast, she cannot tell me what kind of nutrition it provides.
Despite the deliciousness of this meal, I’m still unsure of whether something like this can actually be called mac & cheese. Mac, certainly, despite the lack of gluten, but there is nothing resembling cheese here, merely a slightly cheesy flavor provided by something that sounds horrifying. All in all, I feel like I really learned something from this experience. Despite the fact that I haven’t eaten meat (except accidentally and in the name of victory) for 10 years, I’ve never experimented with these vegetarian ingredients– probably because I hate vegetarians so much. I dare say, I feel a bit pure, and slightly smug.
Decor/Atmosphere: 8 Garden Grill is cute and small and looks like a hippie vegetarian restaurant, and our booth was very cold since it was right by the door.
Service: 9.5 It took a while to get our bill, but the two servers who were working that night tag-teamed our table, which was pretty fun, they were easy to flag down, and perfectly willing to tell us what the hell the deal was with the mac & cheese. One even said as she was serving it to us, “I swear it tastes better than it looks,” I appreciate that kind of honesty.
Food: 9 Macaroni & Cheese was fantastic, I will eat it again any time, and I feel less full and gross than I usually do after a night questing for pasta. We also had a pizza and sweet potato appetizer, which were delightful; Jewish Friend got an apple cider martini that smelled like an expensive candle, and tasted like America.