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No matter how old we get, we still fight cravings for mom’s gooey, crunchy-topped mac-and-cheese recipe, aka the calorie-dense cholesterol bomb.

But be still our beating, healthy heart: We’ve discovered a delicious, guilt-free mac that bests the family recipe. (Sorry, Mom!) It comes courtesy of a new West Town spot, the vegan café Upton’s Breakroom.


You might know Upton’s Naturals as the mustachioed-logo seitan brand sold in markets around the country. The meat-substitute purveyor has just opened a Grand Avenue manufacturing plant, and in its storefront space resides the intimate “Breakroom,” a café with a no-fuss sandwiches-and-sides menu.

Founder Dan Staackmann was thinking about his mother’s noodles--which she grilled on the stove--when he concocted his Fried Bacon Mac ($4). It’s brimming with bacon-flavored seitan, crunchy panko and a faux cheese as warm and comforting as the real deal. (Our lactose-intolerant stomach thanks him.)

When it’s too early in the day for mac and cheese (is that possible?), go for coffee and a vegan, baked-to-perfection peach-rosemary scone ($4).

Even Mom would approve.

Upton’s Breakroom, 2054 W. Grand Ave.; 312-666-7838 or uptonsnaturals.com/breakroom

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