First Look: Jus' Mac

I have something to confess: I've been stalking Jus' Mac (2617 Yale) for quite some time now. I have basically used every excuse in the book for driving by the corner of 26th and Yale. As a diehard mac n' cheese fan, I have been very impatiently awaiting its opening. The building itself is tiny but endearing, in a rustic, modern kind of way that seems to be overtaking all new Heights-area restaurants. The windows have been covered in brown paper for the longest time, not allowing me even a glimpse of what I would find within. Finally, last Wednesday, sure enough, it was open. I ran inside.

I was relieved to find that Jus' Mac takes its moniker seriously. The menu consists of various types of macaroni and cheese dishes ranging in price from $5.95 to $9.95. There are numerous options, including a "lite" version with light cheddar and broccoli, a buffalo chicken and bacon concoction, and even something called the Taco Mexi. If you want an appetizer, you can choose from Fried Mac Balls with or without bacon, a bowl of Mac n' cheese soup and a Fried Macaroll, though I'm not entirely sure what that is. And if you're in the mood for a little greenery with your pasta, there are two simple salads on the menu sans pasta.

After a long time perusing my entree options, I ended up settling for the Rustic, which was described as fresh roasted tomatoes, basil, garlic and parmesan, and an order of the Puebla, which contains roasted poblano chiles and Swiss cheese.

The macaroni dishes are served up in little miniature cast iron skillets, which is a kitschy touch. Based on my two selections, it seems that they make a big pot of basic macaroni and cheese and then add in the extra ingredients based on which version you choose. Then the whole thing is topped off with a nice sprinkle of crunchy breadcrumbs for textual contrast. Both of my options were quite tasty, but I definitely preferred the earthy spice of the roasted poblanos.

I did doctor up both dishes with some extra salt, crushed red pepper, and lots of freshly ground pepper to add some extra flavor, which helped break up the monotony of basically a one-dish dinner. Considering that I showed up on day two of the restaurant's existence, I found myself sufficiently pleased with the basic recipe and the staff's friendliness and efficiency. I look forward to heading back soon, after Jus' Mac has had a bit more time to age.

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