It’s time for lunch! How about some Mac & Cheese?

<i>2824 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-687-8148</i><br> <br> Everyone knows meat is the star at a barbecue joint. But Brand BBQ attempts to elevate its side of mac 'n' cheese ($2.50) with a sprinkling of burnt ends — bits of brisket point double-smoked about 17 hours, the last two in classic barbecue sauce.<br> <br> The ends (about 10 or so the size of Bac-Os) top the dish, along with shredded gouda cheese, and add crunch and smokiness. But the cheddar and gouda sauce has a kick of its own, with white pepper and cayenne. Still, there seemed to be more elbow macaroni  than cheese sauce in the tiny ramekin. The sauce is a bit enigmatic; it's not wet or creamy but not quite dry either.<br> <br> <B>Verdict:</B> Opt for the awesome pulled duck sandwich here, which includes a side for lunch. Note: The burnt-ends mac is not offered as a side on the lunch menu. I requested it and was assessed a $1 up-charge that I wasn't told about until the bill arrived.

(Tribune photo by Lauren R. Harrison)

Nothing says comfort food quite like good ol mac & cheese.  Not just for school lunches anymore, this favorite of grownups and kids alike satisfies even the most finicky fromage fan.

Chicago Tribune reporter, Lauren R. Harrison, has gathered together some of the tastiest and most innovative mac & cheese dishes in town. From truffle infused to creative pizza, these dishes will leave one hungry for more.

6 creative mac ‘n’ cheese dishes

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