Elbows Mac N’ Cheese – Brea, CA
Arrived: 4:37 p.m.
Overall rating: 5
Quality of food: 5
Cost of meal: $14 each
Time spent: 1.5 hours
Although I had passed by Elbows many times on Brea’s main downtown strip, I had never stopped to try their mac n’ cheese. But I’m so glad we decided to make this our first stop! We arrived fairly early in the day, which was nice because the restaurant wasn’t crowded at all – only one of the 7 tables was occupied and there was plenty of counter space as well.
As soon as I walked in, I was delighted that although the place was small, it had a great ambiance. Brick walls, wooden tables, bright pillows, and lights with geometric wire balls around them made it feel modern and comfy.
After taking a quick look at the menu, we decided to try one recommended mac n’ cheese dish from yelp and another that we hadn’t heard of. Thanks to Yelp, we got 10% off our order! We ordered at the cash register and less than five minutes after we sat down, both our appetizers were brought out. Our mac n’ cheese was brought about five minutes after that – I was impressed by the fast service!
Vanilla Sweet Potato Fries – $4.95
I LOVE sweet potato fries, but I think I have to say these are my favorite. I could definitely taste the vanilla coating, which was a fun twist! They were also dashed with a little sugar and another spice with a bit of a kick – maybe chili powder. Either way, it was delicious! The fries came out steaming hot and there was plenty to share.
Bruschetta – $4.95
I was expecting a small plate of bruschetta, but as you can see, this is a sizable appetizer! The ingredients were all very fresh and it tasted great. I liked that there was a good amount of cheese baked on. The only complaint I have is that the crostini wasn’t very sturdy, so the toppings fell off a few times because it folded. But other than that, it was a great dish.
When Pigs Fly – $8.65, regular size
Swiss, gruyere, and smoked applewood bacon are the delicious toppings for this mac n’ cheese. Several yelpers recommended this one, so we thought it would be a good one to try. I really liked the gruyere in this mac n’ cheese – it made the dish taste very smooth and almost sweet. There were some good chunks of bacon in it, but not overwhelming. Both Esther and I really liked the baked cheese on top!
Fun Guy – $8.95, regular size
This fun combination had mushrooms, white truffle oil, and garlic – so fancy! This one was a little richer and saltier. I don’t get to eat mushrooms often since Matt doesn’t like them, so this was a treat for me! And the truffle oil was the perfect touch! Out of the two, I think this one was my favorite.
I would say we ate about 80% of the food between us and I’m glad that we shared all the dishes so we could eat a variety of things. The restaurant started getting a little busier around 5:15 or so, but we didn’t feel rushed to leave. We stayed until around 6:15 when it was getting really crowded.
I really enjoyed our time at elbows and hope to visit again soon! I hope you enjoyed our first Frugal Foodie Friends, and don’t forget to check out Esther’s review! See you next month!