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Muffuletta vs. Kings in a mac 'n' cheese smackdown

A royal serving of mac and cheese at Kings?

A royal serving of mac and cheese at Kings?

Whether baked, breadcrumbed, mixed with hot dogs or lobster meat, mac and cheese is a classic comfort food with countless variations. As the temperature drops and the days shorten (sorry to remind you), the Hot Dish brings you a food fight to soften the news that winter is approaching. Read on to see whether the noodles at Kings or Muffuletta deserve their price tag.

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Muffuletta At Muffuletta, the mac and cheese is $10.95. Our portion is not particularly pretty, since we got it to go. Don't let the homely appearance belie the dish's homey taste: baked crusty on top and creamy beneath, the mac and cheese had a pleasant mix of textures and an ample supply of bacon pieces scattered throughout. Plus, the staff was kind enough to add bread and some of their garlic spread in a separate container.

Kings Wine Bar Kings serves up a bowlful of mac and cheese for $8.95. When we ordered it, we got shells with a soupy, rather than cheesy, sauce. While the menu says the dish is baked, we couldn't detect it. The breadcrumbs on top were gritty, like crushed corn flakes.

The winner: Muffuletta. The dish was satisfying, with the added bonus that it came with a side of bread and spread. Kings' dish, sorry to say, made me wish I had saved $8 and made a box of supermarket mac and cheese at home.