Comfort Food

Houston’s 5 Best Fancy Mac ‘n’ Cheeses

For those days (and nights) when that little blue box in your pantry just isn’t enough.

By Katharine Shilcutt February 16, 2015 Published in the February 2015 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Liberty Kitchen features a fantastic mac ‘n’ cheese menu of its own.

Image: Kate LeSueur

BRC Gastropub

You’d expect a cozy Rice Military pub to have an excellent rotating draft list, but a rotating mac? It’s true. BRC’s Mac of the Day ranges from buffalo chicken and queso fresco to breakfast mac ‘n’ cheese topped with bacon and two fried eggs—and sometimes even foie gras.

Jonathan’s the Rub

There are hunks of applewood-smoked bacon in the mac at this Spring Branch favorite, but its true decadence lies in chef Jonathan Levine’s insistence on adding five kinds of cheese to his cavatappi pasta: smoked Gouda, gruyère, 18-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, and mozzarella. Oh, and a lot of cream.

Jus’ Mac

Good luck settling on one iteration at this mac-tastic Houston chain, which divides its menu into Radical and Conservative varieties. On any given day there are two dozen to choose from, including chicken-and-waffles mac, a Sunday favorite. We prefer the spicy Hangover mac with hash browns, fried eggs, and habanero sauce, but you can always build your own.

Max’s Wine Dive

Whether served up at the original location on Washington Ave. or the new Montrose spot on Fairview, the Max ’n Cheese doesn’t mess around: corkscrew pasta is enveloped in a rich, creamy truffle sauce and topped with smoky Provolone, nutty gruyère, and salty Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses.

Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar

The sister restaurant to BRC Gastropub features a fantastic mac ‘n’ cheese menu of its own, from a Gulf–Hill Country version filled with shrimp, sausage, and bacon to a decadent dish topped with lobster claw and knuckle meat.


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