A new restaurant quietly opened its doors near the University of Tampa this month with a simple goal: dole out cheesy, gooey pans of hot macaroni and cheese to students looking for something fast, inexpensive and comforting near campus.
But general manager Greg Artale said he's been surprised by the large number of delivery orders Mac & Chz is getting from downtown professionals, especially at the banks.
“Who doesn't like mac and cheese,” Artale said, quoting the tagline posted in cheddar-colored letters on the front door. “I guess everyone has that kid inside of them.”
Artale, who had the idea for the restaurant, said the abbreviated name was inspired by text messaging, something his young, student customers are likely to do.
Max & Chz serves up 12 varieties of macaroni and cheese in 7 or 9-inch pans. There's a classic version, with just Velveeta and noodles, but there's also “The Italian,” with mozzarella, ricotta and ground beef, “The Taco,” with taco-seasoned beef, cheddar and a tortilla crumble and “The B.E.C,” made with scrambled eggs and bacon.
Artale said the customer favorite so far seems to be “The Philly,” made with shredded beef, onions and provolone.
Max & Chz is located at 117 S. Hyde Park Ave, in the same complex as the Oxford Exchange. The full menu is online at maxandchz.com.