Denver's five best dishes of mac and cheese

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Lori Midson
Mac and cheese at the Copper Pot.
Macaroni and cheese is one of our ultimate comfort foods, a dish quintessential to our youth, since most parents -- even the ones who didn't know how to cook anything that didn't come from a box -- could whip up a batch of the stuff for a play date. And usually it was the kind made from orange cheddar, butter, cream and elbow macaroni, a glistening pile of noodles that held no nutritional value whatsoever, fulfilling all of our childhood dreams.

Because Tom's Home Cookin's rendition of macaroni and cheese reminds us of those simpler times, we named it the Best Mac and Cheese in the city in this year's Best of Denver.

Our tastes have grown up, but it's still the simpler versions of cheesy pasta that really win us over. Here are four more favorites:

Interstate Kitchen & Bar
The Interstate version of mac is fairly straightforward, and it's also ideal: elbow macaroni in a little clay pot, sharp and stringy with English cheddar, mozzarella and house-made béchamel, and dusted with scorched breadcrumbs. Scallions pepper the top, and the bites that include the fresh nip of those onions are the most satisfying of all. And if you like extras in your dish, the kitchen will happily add bacon, mushrooms or any vegetable it has on hand.

Rackhouse Pub
The secret to the mac and cheese at Rackhouse Pub is beer -- specifically, Railyard Ale. That amber gets poured into the blend of five-cheese roux before the concoction gets topped with breadcrumbs and baked. Beer and cheese are a match made in heaven, and here, the ale adds depth to the crispy, stretchy mess of pasta on the plate.



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8 comments
jpk
jpk

DAZZLE ftw

Dawn
Dawn

Mmm.... Rackhouse. Jonesy's has great mac and cheese too. Panera has surprisingly good mac and cheese for a fast-casual joint. The gorgonzola penne at Parisi is amazing.And I really like the chicken mac and cheese at Uptown Brothers.

And let's have a moment for the dearly departed mac and cheese dishes from Bump and Grind and The Lounge. Those were truly the best in Denver. Amen.

Jeff
Jeff

Absolutely agree on the tragedy of not including Mizuna, which is not only the best mac & cheese in Denver, but the best on planet earth. Hell, Bonanno won the mac & cheese episode of Food Network Challenge, beating Oprah's own Mac & Cheese Czar and several other contestants.

Honorable mentions go to D Bar for their great Cheese Nip crust, and Steuben's for their gooey, homey version. The truffled mac & cheese balls from Deluxe Burger/Little Orange Rocket are awesome too.

Also, I'm loathe to point this out after the didactic punctuation police visited here earlier today, but "cheddar rue?" C'mon. Even if it weren't spelled r-o-u-x, the roux is just the thickener in a bechamel sauce...which becomes mornay sauce when you put the cheese in. "Cheddar Roux" would just be butter, flour, and cheddar I guess. That's a recipe for cheese straws or maybe some especially tasty spackle. "Cheddar rue" implies regretting cheddar, which would never happen, or possibly a Cheddar Street in France.

Carly
Carly

Rackhouse is a favorite and I also like Delite's as well. It's something like $3 during happy hour.

Whole Foods also has some tasty mac n cheese in their hot bar.

Jeremy Kossler
Jeremy Kossler

All-time snub not to have Mizuna Lobster Mac and Cheese listed. Best ever.

Jeremy Kossler
Jeremy Kossler

All-time snub not to have Mizuna Lobster Mac and Cheese listed. Best ever.

nobody
nobody

RACKHOUSE MAC ROCKS....EVERYBODY WANT TO COPY THERE MAC WITH BEER....HAHA

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