I can thank slow-moving traffic for getting me to step off a streetcar blocks before my stop and leading me to macaroni and cheese. Oh, and the signs. The signs that told me to follow them towards carby goodness.
I’ve often passed a strip of shipping containers on Dundas Street West between Spadina and Bathurst that serve a multicultural mix of street food. Market 707 is a growing area just outside the Scadding Court Community Centre (707 Dundas Street West), where old shipping containers serve as foodstalls for passionate food vendors who don’t have the funds to open a restaurant. The area is not visible from Dundas and Bathurst, but someone was wise enough to put a sign on the corner. The sign told me if I kept walking, there’d be macaroni and cheese up ahead.
I followed it to the next sign. This sign let me know I was getting close to a three-cheese blend. Mac’n is one of the newer food vendors at Market 707, open less than three months. Run by Aaron Turner, the repurposed shipping container was a good way for him to experiment with his own food business without high overhead costs. Currently there are four main dishes on the menu. Yes, just four types of mac n’ cheese and on the day of my visit: a cold watermelon soup, sweet and refreshing with a bit of mint.
The “Shaft” ($5/$7) combines pork sausage, onions, and peppers in a three-cheese sauce (white cheddar, pepper Monterey Jack, jalapeno Havarti), topped with crushed salt & vinegar chips and diced dill pickles. I’ll be honest…when I ordered it, I skimmed over the “chips and pickles” part of the menu. I was sold on “sausage and three cheese.” So when I opened up my Chinese takeout container, I was not crazy about seeing crushed chips and pickles. Anyway, I ate the whole thing. It was addictive.
Out of the four menu items, the “TNT Jackson” ($5.25/$7.25) has proven to be the most popular. It combines spicy taco beef with the three-cheese sauce, jalapeno chips, lettuce, tomato, and green onions. Another popular special that will be added to the regular lineup is a chicken pad Thai mac n’ cheese, topped with bean sprouts, peanuts, cilantro, green onions, and lime.
Gluten-free mac n’ cheese is available if you ask (the béchamel sauce is made with corn flour and Aaron keeps rice noodles in stock), and he’s experimenting with a vegan mac n’ (non)cheese.
Open to suggestions and constantly experimenting with new creations, Aaron’s mantra is, “If I can put cheese on it, I can put it in cheese.”
Follow Mac’n on Twitter @macnmarket707