Public House Amarillo’s Mac and Cheese
For me, traveling means finding new places to eat cheesy pasta. So when I made an unexpected trip to Amarillo, I had to jump on the opportunity to check out Public House and their mac and cheese.
When selecting pasta for mac and cheese, there is a balance to be found. If your pasta is too small, it won’t offer much texture and you run the risk of your pasta becoming a soupy mess. But if your pasta is too big, it becomes cumbersome and difficult to eat, taking all the fun out of the dish. The perfect pasta sits in the middle of the spectrum, giving it structure without being annoying to enjoy.
Public House chose rotini for their mac and cheese which strikes the perfect balance between large enough to give it some structure but small enough to be comfortable to eat. The ridges along the edge of this pasta form perfect pockets to hold onto the sauce, ensuring a flavorful experience.
When you bite into a piece of cheese, pay attention to when the flavor hits you. Sometimes it’s at the beginning of the bite, and these are what I call opener cheeses. Some cheeses have the flavor solidly at the end of the bite, and these are closer cheeses. Occasionally inclusions affect where the flavor sits or the aging process causes it to skew further toward the closer side, so it’s important to sample new cheeses before committing to a blend for a sauce.
The menu at Public House wasn’t super clear which cheeses are in their three cheese blend, but based on the grated cheese spread across the top of my pasta, I can make a pretty good guess that it includes cheddar and parmesan – two of my favorite cheeses to use in mac and cheese. Cheddar is generally an opener cheese which balances out beautifully with parmesan’s closer flavors.
The topping selection is really where Public House’s mac and cheese shines. You can choose between 7 different types of protein, 4 types of vegetables, and truffle oil. This gives endless combinations to mix and match to your heart’s content. I customized mine with green chiles and chicken. The chicken added a savory component while the green chiles were a bright pop of flavor.
Fun topping combinations I’d love to see:
- crab, green chiles, and jalapeno
- meatloaf tips and fresh veggies
- bacon, jalapeno, and onion
- Akaushi sausage and truffle oil
I could have done without the generous sprinkling of cheese across the top. While interesting because it gives you a peek into the cheeses they used, I didn’t think it added much texture or flavor wise and was mostly unnecessary.
Add a Fork
Public House is a can’t miss spot in Amarillo if you’re looking for flavorful mac and cheese in a beautiful setting. The vast array of add in options makes it perfectly customizable to any flavor palate and makes every experience unique. Even if you completely forego all toppings, you’re in for a fantastic experience.