Childhood favorites individually, mac 'n' cheese and tater tots combined add up to the perfect hangover combo or blue-day pick-me-up. When the urge for mac and tots strikes, we head to one of these three places:
Q Restaurant and Wine Bar: 225 Clement (at Third Ave.), 752-2298.
This is a place that knows the power of the mac and tot combo. Q's Macaroni and Cheezy with Tater Tots ($9.50) pairs them for you, one on top of the other. The creaminess of the cheese sauce with the crispiness of the tot is a mashup worthy of the cheesiest Valentine's Day date.
We've already noted the importance of the mac and tot on blue days, but The Pub makes it even bluer. The Buffalo Blue Mac 'n' Cheese ($11), with blue cheese and Buffalo wing sauce, simultaneously makes you remember why you love wings and forget that you're not actually eating chicken. Speaking of meatless, the Tommy Tots ($7) are extra crisp, tossed with a sweet and spicy sauce that makes you think of Hunan chicken. To make sure you stay in your Picasso-esque blue period, there's blue cheese on top.
Blue: 2337 Market (at 16th St.), 863-2583.
Sticking to the theme is Castro restaurant Blue, which serves standard tater tots ($4.99) that you can jazz up with chili cheese ($1.99). They also offer the Blue Bacon Mac and Cheese (12.99), but considering the neighborhood, we'd rather go flaming than blue. The Flaming Mac and Cheese ($10.29) is the mac daddy you want. Think spicy, served with chile peppers and tomato sauce.