Bandera Mac, RIP
We’re gathered here today to remember our beloved BANDERA Mac & Cheese.
I’ll never forget the words, “Oh, sorry, we don’t have the Mac & Cheese anymore.” When the waiter at BANDERA thrust that trauma on me, my mind felt like egg whites being whipped into a meringue frenzy. Even Manager Kaitlynn couldn’t calm me down by explaining that corporate killed it due to consistency concerns. All I heard was, “Blah, blah, corporate, blah, consistency.”
Mac & Cheese has been the hottest dish in L.A. since 1998. Wolfgang serves it to the stars at every Oscars’ Governors Ball. Did BANDERA have confidential Mac intel? Did Mac & Cheese jump the shark? Was I not on trend?
I ordered it religiously, or wanted to, despite nutritional warnings otherwise, “Do you know that each serving is equivalent to three McDonald’s Big Macs, six Olive Garden bread sticks, and five Domino’s pizzas with extra cheese – combined? And you know you’ll eat most of it which is seven servings.”
I didn’t care. BANDERA’s Mac hooked me in with its dripping, warm cheeses and crispy breaded topping. Not just beautiful on the outside, its large, golden macaroni innards reminded me of childhood exploits with KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese. I even forgave its sizzling hot white porcelain presentation that prompted an inevitable tongue burn for me, the impatient Mac monger.
BANDERA’s Mac completed me. Without it, there will be a growl in my gut. At least my arteries will be open like the 405 on a Sunday morning. I’d now like to invite my BFF, Gretchen, to share her thoughts.
Thank you, Diane. Yes, you and I spent many nights at BANDERA, most of them, against my better judgment, at the bar ordering the Mac & Cheese. As you know, I have high cholesterol and should not be eating that. You became so ornery if I wouldn’t share it with you, and I’m such a good friend, that 100% of the time I did. I know how to share but you, Diane, do not! Your idea of splitting is devouring four-fifths (not that I care). I’m glad the dish is dead. It’ll lower my cholesterol and we won’t have to fight.
Thank you, Gretchen. I’ll catch up with you later. Next, I’d like to have my friends Heather and Alice come up.
Thanks Diane. Why is BANDERA the only place you want to go anyway? Really, it’s not that good. Besides it’s known as a “Cougar” bar. Do you really want to be associated with that? Remember the night you begged us to share the Mac and we both bailed? We feel bad. I had to drop a few pounds for that Cabo vacation and Alice was trying to woo that new man, Marco, in her life who’s long gone now. I said, ‘I can’t believe how much you eat, Diane.’ It didn’t come out right. Sorry. Anyways, we’re glad BANDERA dumped it. Now it’ll be more fun to go out with you – and maybe we’ll even get you to go somewhere else.
Thank you, Heather and Alice. Oh yeah, Heather, thanks for reminding me of all the exotic vacations you go on while I sit here working in the salt mines. And, Alice, what’s with you and your repeatedly poor choice of men? Wasn’t Marco married like most of your suitors? You have just got to get over your intimacy issues.
Finally, I’d like to have my ex-boyfriend up here. Bob, as my regular BANDERA date, I’m sure you’ll have plenty to say.
Thank you, Diane. Yes, you and I went to BANDERA a lot during our relationship. In good times and in bad, to celebrate or to commiserate, we had to order that f’g Mac & Cheese. I don’t understand why we always had to order it and why you ate so much of it. It was always you, you, you! Guess it’s good we broke up. I’m glad that stupid dish is history. Every time I saw it on the menu, it reminded me of you. Now maybe I can go to BANDERA without post-traumatic stress.
Ah-hem, thank you, Bob. I do have to weigh in though. Seems to me that it was always about you, the victim, in our relationship – at least that’s what my therapist said. I suggest you stop having a pity party and move on with your life.
With that, I’d like to close with a lyric by Whitney Houston who went way too soon: “BANDERA Mac, IiiiiiiIIIiiiiiIIIIIIIIIiiiiiiIIIIII will always love you.”