Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Grub Shack Baby! (Part 3)

(NOTE: Grub Shack officially closed on 6/22/12. A huge loss for the Salem food scene. Hopefully they consider making food at the Wednesday or Saturday markets in Salem.)

(Original Review -- August 2011)
(Second Review -- October 2011)

I felt one more update to Grub Shack was in order after my latest visit just last week. They are still at the Capitol Group Autoplex on Mission St. SE in Salem, Oregon.

For several months now, I kept reading Grub Shack's specials, and "Grown-Up Mac and Cheese" was a regular weekly item. Yet I always found myself playing the lazy panda role at home or in Portland noshing at a gazillion carts. Grub Shack then gave away an entire PAN of the mac and cheese while I was in Hawaii. After that, the item disappeared from the specials rotation, and I wondered if I'd ever see it again.

As my friends may likely know, I have several food weaknesses. Heck, if you push the right buttons at the right time, you likely could coat a car in my desired craving and I'd probably start licking and eating the vehicle. OK, maybe that's a bad idea. But you get the point.

Which brings me to last Tuesday. Grub Shack brought the mac and cheese back in the fold! I had a bunch of driving to do the next few days, and I wanted to conserve some gas. And there's nothing wrong with exercise. So I walked two and a half miles to Grub Shack to get my mac and cheese.

Grown-Up Mac and Cheese is back at Grub Shack!
For $5, a nice helping of mac and cheese with Caesar salad. I requested (and received) the dressing on the side. And because it was available, I tossed on some habanero sauce and sriracha, because spicy food rules.

Grown-Up Mac and Cheese with Caesar Salad
The dressing is on the side, and I took the photo before adding the hot sauces
(Grub Shack Baby)
Warning...viewing this could cause you to get hungry
Oops, the warning may have come too late....
There's a reason why mac and cheese = comfort food. Ever have those moments where you get that flashback to being around seven years old eating a kickass meal? You get that warm, fuzzy feeling, and all that's missing is the free seconds, thirds, tenths, etc.? That happened here. The macaroni was perfectly cooked, and the top crust with bread crumbs...can you say euphoria? The velvety cheese brought everything together. No, I won't take a swim in the mac and cheese, but I'll take a gigantic spoon, a ton of hot sauce, and a tray of this awesomeness to go. I didn't care if I had to walk back home. I'd walk five miles total again just for this.

The salad was fresh, croutons were crunchy, and dressing was delicious. A great choice to counter the heavy mac entree.

The honor is long overdue. Great food, great people, and great prices, all on multiple visits! Elite status it is! Now where are my backup stomachs? 9/10

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