One solitary hold-out in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover fought the good fight til the late 80s when it was sold and converted into Battle Buffet.
When I began writing about food in that long ago-era, one of the first topics I addressed was macaroni and cheese. Fanning out across the town searching for the best version provided many culinary highlights: Newberry’s on 2nd avenue north had a basement diner that put out an estimable version; the aforementioned Joe’s in Woodlawn was incredible and included the then-exotic white cheese (!) but it was Britling that ruled the roost.
The below recipe is a good one, but duplicating the circumstances of the meal (lunch lady with a beehive scooping the noodles out of a steam pan, elderly Black man carrying your tray to the table, big glass of Red Diamond sweet tea to wash it down) will never be known to my readers.
1 tablespoon salt
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup margarine
1 – 8 ounce package macaroni, cooked
12 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
*Add salt and milk
*Melt margarine, add to egg and milk mixture
*Pour over cooked macaroni
*Stir in cheese
*Place macaroni and cheese in pan and set that pan into a larger pan of warm water
*Bake at 350 degrees about 45 minutes, until done
*To serve, cut into squares
Yield: 6-8 servings
photo: inside the Britling on Highland Avenue in Birmingham Alabama courtesy flickr.com/photos/edge_and_corner_wear/6910744918/