100 Favorite Dishes 2013: No. 65, Shorty Mac at H-Town StrEATS

This year, leading up to our annual Menu of Menus issue, Kaitlin Steinberg counts down her 100 favorite dishes as she eats her way through Houston. She'll compile a collection of the dishes she thinks are the most awesome, most creative and, of course, most delicious in town. It's a list of personal favorites, things she thinks any visitor or Houstonian ought to try at least once and dishes that seem particularly indicative of the ever-changing Houston foodscape. It's a list to drool over.

I have discovered the perfect cold-weather food.

And no, it's not chili. It's not pho. It's not exactly pasta or barbecue either.

No, the most perfect, most comforting, most awesome food for a cold dreary day is a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with tender braised short rib and macaroni and cheese from H-Town StrEATS. It's a thing of beauty. It's a behemoth of a sandwich. It's the type of thing that you gobble up because it's so delicious, then ten minutes later when you realize you are too full to move you regret not saving half of it for dinner.

But it's okay, because now you're full of warm, gooey, meaty, cheesy goodness.

I don't know how the geniuses over at H-Town StrEATS came up with the idea of stuffing a grilled cheese sandwich (already a wonderful item) with macaroni and cheese (even better) and pulled braised short ribs (best). The folks in the truck tell me it's their best-selling item, and I believe it, because that hefty sandwich is pretty much a cure-all for whatever ails you.

Hungover? Mac-n-cheese-n-short-rib-n-bread. Cold? Grilled mac and cheese will bring warmth to your life. Sick? There's calcium and protein in there somewhere. Really, really hungry? Yes, and yes.

What makes the sandwich so great is that each of its components is good enough to be a meal on its own. The grilled cheese sandwich is lightly buttered before it's grilled, so it tastes like the grilled cheese of your childhood. The macaroni and cheese is oozy and gooey and cheesy without being gummy or soggy. The short rib is juicy and flavorful and worth eating all on its own.

But this sandwich is greater than the sum of its parts. When these individually delicious elements combine, something magical happens, and you end up with the best iteration of grilled cheese I've ever tasted.

So as long as it stays cold and dreary, make the trek to H-Town StrEATS and order a shorty mac sandwich. It'll warm you heart, soul and stomach.

The list so far: No. 100: Bangkok Fries at Boheme No. 99: Almond Croissant at Phoenicia No. 98: Bulgogi Tacos with Kimchi at Chi'Lantro No. 97: Soft Pretzel from Mongoose Versus Cobra No. 96: Chicken and Waffles at Adair Kitchen No. 95: Sweet Potato Gnocchi at Brooklyn Athletic Club No. 94: Foie Gras Mac & Cheese at BRC Gastropub No. 93: Vuelve a la Vida Soup at Connie's Seafood No. 92: Homeroom at Bernie's Burger Bus No. 91: Lobster Cake Benedict at Sorrel Urban Bistro No. 90: Uncle Daryl's Cake at The Chocolate Bar No. 89: Porchetta e Fagioli at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino No. 88: Sesame Soft Balls at Golden Dim Sum No. 87: Crab Daddy Bao at Fat Bao No. 86: Ham, Egg & Cheese Crepe at Melange Creperie No. 85: Pork Tamales at Irma's No. 84: Greek Burger at Hubcap Grill No. 83: Lobster Roll at Maine-ly Sandwiches No. 82: Grilled Ahi Tuna at St. John's Fire No. 81: Catfish and Grits at The Breakfast Klub No. 80: The Marie Laveau Sandwich at Sandy Witch No. 79: Carnissima Pizza at Coppa Osteria No. 78: Mortadella Sandwich at 13 Celsius No. 77: Lamb Lollipops at Américas No. 76: The Heights Burger at Gratifi No. 75: 'Date With a Pig' at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop No. 74: Taco al Pastor at Taco Keto No. 73: Chili Cheese Mac from Jus' Mac No. 72: Chicken Pot Pie at Kenny & Ziggy's No. 71: Lazy Lane Frites at Brasserie 19 No 70: Banana Split at Cloud 10 Creamery No. 69: Dozen Raw Oysters at Pappas Seafood No. 68: Green "Hurry Curry" at Nit Noi No. 67: Bad Ass Hambur-Torta at Pistolero's No. 66: Enchiladas de Mole at La Guadalupana

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