Ahhh, the soothing sound of bubbling cheese
True foodies have recurring dreams about decadent treats. They toss and turn as images of carryouts named All Bacon – All the Time, or tiny storefronts called Burned Cheese Bistro (or Pepperoni Palace) dance in their addled heads. Well, at least one of those flights of fancy is true here in Rehoboth Beach on Coastal Highway and on Baltimore Avenue. It could have been called All Mac ‘n’ Cheese – All the Time, but the James Beard three-times-nominated chef Hari Cameron and his brother Orion curbed their enthusiasm by naming it after their grandfather. And thus, on July 4th, 2015, Grandpa(MAC) became a warm and creamy reality on Baltimore Ave.
Now we have to get one thing straight: This ain’t yo’ momma’s mac ‘n’ cheese from the little blue box (though that’s not really so bad…). The Brothers Cameron make their pasta fresh every day. In fact, you can watch that amazing little machine mix, extrude and form all sorts of macaronis. A multitude of shapes (each created by metal dies that can cost several hundred dollars each) are used in the Signature Chef Pasta bowls on the menu. And that doesn’t even include the cheese-loving foodie’s ultimate fantasy: The Do-It-Yourself pasta menu, where you create the mac ‘n’ cheese of your wildest dreams from a selection of 54 (yup, count ‘em, fifty four!) ingredients.
Downtown, the signature pasta bowls can be eaten at a little counter along the wall. At their larger spot on Coastal Highway (next to Pier 1 Imports), there are tables. You order at the counter, and if you’re lucky and living right, Orion Cameron himself will deliver your food to the table. Of course carryout is always available for private gobbling. The restrained foodie might get The Grandpa Mac, where a 5-cheese blend and fresh-out-of-the-hopper pasta are married into the quintessential mac ’n’ cheese. Feeling Italian? The My Sweet Italian with orecchiette pasta, sausage and mozzarella might be just the thing. But life is short! The more adventurous foodie will opt for the Delmarva Dog which blends the all-American hot dog with the equally all-American caramelized onion sprinkled lovingly with Dorito crumbs.
If you are momentarily overtaken with guilt from all this wonderful decadence, fret not: You can choose among four tasty and generous salads sporting guilt-free leaves like arugula, romaine, and spinach. I don’t want to reveal all the surprises, but I guarantee you will not leave Grandpa(MAC) disappointed - or hungry. And the prices are surprisingly wallet-friendly. The downtown Rehoboth installation is at 33A Baltimore Ave. and is open from noon to nine every day in season. GPM Number 2 is at 18756 Coastal Highway directly across from Panera Bread and Crust & Craft. They dish up creamy goodies from 11 a.m. ‘til 10 p.m. 7 days in season. So take the Cameron Brothers’ advice: Follow the Noodle!