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Best Way to Validate Comfort Food 2012 

Get it from a fancy restaurant

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Once upon a time, ordering a grilled cheese or mac-n-cheese off the menu meant dealing with rolled eyes from your dining companions and an irritated look from your server because you were obviously ordering from the kids' menu because you're a cheap bastard. But no more. Those lowly bastions of comfort food have gone upscale. Chefs have realized that while micro-greens and lavender foam are all well and good, sometimes diners just want something gooey and familiar. And we're not talking about anything from a box or wrapped in individual plastic coatings. In the hands of chefs, these favorites are as grown-up as the diners. From gourmet cheeses to ingredients like house-cured bacon and truffle oil, this ain't your mama's cooking--although it sure feels like home.

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