It's been a long time coming, and goodness knows that building fought back, but Hari & Orion Cameron's Grandpa(MAC) #2 on Coastal Highway is open!
Their emporium of mac ‘n' cheese is located next door to Pickled Pig Pub on Coastal Highway in Harbor Square Center by Pier 1 Imports. Hari is the chef/owner of a(MUSE.), the celebrated modernist eatery on Baltimore Avenue in downtown Rehoboth Beach and co-owner (with his brother Orion) of Grandpa(MAC) #1 just across the street from a(MUSE.) on Baltimore Avenue.
Right out of the gate: Don't miss the Delmarva Dog: A deconstructed hot dog dish consisting of large elbow pasta bathed in creamy cheddar with little hot dog bites, pickled jalapenos, onions and a crunchy Doritos sprinkle. Hari, Orion or one of their loyal minions start by selecting the proper pasta from a cluster of sterile containers. A few handsful are plopped into the serving bowl and then placed in a small basket (like a fryer basket, but much smaller). The basket is submerged in boiling water and the fresh pasta cooks very quickly. The fresh pasta seems to soak up a lot of the cheese/liquid when it is combined for serving, and I have to admit that I would like a bit more liquid/creamy texture in the dishes.
It took Orion 4 coats of paint, several hours of waiting, and a bit of teasing to do what I do pretty much every day with just a red pen.1/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway2/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway3/22 grandpa mac steam table pasta baskets4/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway5/22 Hari makin' pasta6/22 Orion packing up my care package7/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway8/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway9/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway10/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway11/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway12/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway13/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway14/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway15/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway16/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway17/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway18/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway19/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway20/22 The dies that shape the pasta. Each one costs over $20021/22 Grandpa(MAC) Coastal Highway22/22
The Delmarva Dog then goes into construction phase. A tall drizzle of creamy cheddar is ladled onto the hot pasta; cascading over the big al dente elbows like a National Geographic waterfall in slow motion. The dogs are applied along with the onions and big pickled jalapenos (optional, of course. Are you a wimp? I'll take yours, thank you). A bit more cheese is added (this is not a bad thing) and the bowl is topped with a dusting of crushed Doritos. The entire dish is put under a traveling broiler just long enough to crisp the outer edges of the cheese and to color the Doritos, and it's served with a couple of napkins and a plastic fork. Want a snack? Get a small one. Moderately hungry? Get a bit more in the medium. You're a fresser? Go for the large. It will feed you for at least 2 meals.
There are always a couple of soups on the menu, and the salad experience is delightfully DIY: (1) Choose bibb or arugula. (2) Dress it accordingly (there are 7 choices, including sweet onion poppy and tofu cashew caesar (!). (3) Add what Hari and Orion call “the good stuff” – 16 choices, including delights such as pine nuts, tarragon and peas. Feeling carnivorous? Then step (4) is in order: Choose from bacon, buffalo chicken, Italian sausage, chicken, crab (or tofu for the less meaty eater). And though this is not ordinarily a concern for me, Grandpa(MAC) is surprisingly easy on your bank account.
Panini are the new item at the Coastal Highway Grandpa(MAC). “Grilled Cheese Your Way” is pretty much anything you would choose in a mac ‘n' cheese, but enveloped in crunchy grilled ciabatta. Scroll through the gallery to take a look at the panini menu (and actually all the menus). There are 6 stock versions of the sandwiches, and I'll bet they let you DIY if you are nice.
Take a look in the gallery at the wall describing the Grandpa(MAC) story. Look closely. Then take a look at the closeup photo. Grammar freaks protested, and the powers that be (well, Orion and his paintbrushes) complied!
Scroll through the gallery for some great pics of the new place and some of the dishes.
Listen to Hari and Orion talk about their mac ‘n' cheese concept on the radio with the Rehoboth Foodie!