Shells and Cheese at The Oceanaire Seafood Room

Gourmet macaroni and cheese is an idea that sounds great in theory but never really seems to pan out. The problem is that these dishes are generally overdone - too much and too sharp of cheese, with so many extras you're not sure what you're eating anymore.

The Oceanaire Seafood Room in the Galleria is fabulous for a lot of reasons that will be completely overlooked for now, because the mac and cheese is out of this world.

Seasoned with hints of applewood bacon and smoked jalapeños, it has a base of gouda cheese over whole grain pasta shells and is sprinkled with crunchy breading. The whole warm, creamy blend is subtly cheesy, like the original comfort food, but you still wouldn't dare slice a hotdog over it.

Like the boxed kind, it's served family style, but eating it alone is completely doable. The large family-size will set you back $9.95, as opposed to Kraft, which is somewhere around $4, but if you have the grit to order it for your entire meal, it's not too pricey a lunch.

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