Spotlight on Thanksgiving Sides: You'll Want Some Mac N 5 Cheeses From Jonathan's the Rub

Photo by Ahna Gavrelos
The Mac N 5 Cheeses from Jonathan's the Rub
Looking for non-traditional (at least for your family) side options this Thanksgiving? This series highlights the unconventional, interesting twists on sides available for sale at Houston restaurants. Pick up one or more to add some variation to your Turkey Day feast.

Ah, the ignorance inherent in a regional upbringing. I didn't realize until I left Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, my long-term states of residence, that macaroni and cheese was a common component of Thanksgiving dinners in the South. If you told me as a child that I was having macaroni and cheese along with my turkey, I would have immediately envisioned Stouffer's or Kraft, as my macaroni and cheese experiences were limited to boxed supermarket varieties. (Note: I wouldn't have blinked twice to see clam chowder as a Thanksgiving appetizer.)

Six-plus years living south of the Mason-Dixon line has definitely accustomed me to the fact that macaroni and cheese can be a form of art and that homemade versions definitely have a place at the table on Turkey Day. However, as I have yet to perfect my own recipe for macaroni and cheese (details TBD, but it will involve brie), I am up a creek without a paddle (or a noodle!) if I want some macaroni and cheese for my Houston thanksgiving.

Or not...

In addition to the option of getting single-serving takeout from Jus' Mac, Max's Wine Dive, BRC Gastropub and other places with venerable macaroni and cheese, a number of Houston restaurants are offering party servings of mac and cheese for Thanksgiving.

No one, however, has a macaroni and cheese Thanksgiving side quite like Jonathan's the Rub. Three different cheeses in mine? Great. Four cheeses? Even better. Five cheeses AND bacon? Screw the turkey.

In Jonathan Levine's version, smoked Gouda, Gruyère, mozzarella, 18-month-aged Parmesan Reggiano, and pecorino romano join forces in a base of whole milk and cavatappi. Add a generous toss of applewood-smoked bacon and Levine's signature rub, and you have a sumptuous dish that will surely stand tall against regular stuffing.

Orders for Jonathan's The Rub's Mac N 5 Cheeses will be accepted until close of business day on November 21. Pricing and sizing are modified to your specific needs. Orders will be available for pick-up until 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

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Bruce_Are topcommenter

I fail to see why adding more different types of cheese would make it better. And the bacon is totally unnecessary.


Is it a Southern thing? Maybe the deep south. None of my Thanksgivings in South Carolina or Virginia ever included mac and cheese.



Agree completely. Same mentality with many people making pasta: toss in more ingredients you like and it's better. Whereas really, it blends into tasting of nothingness. I didn't know this is a southern thing either. Nobody in the South is actually from the South anymore.


@mpharv I don't get the Deep South thing either.  My many family Thanksgiving dinners in the Deep South never involved mac and cheese. Anything other than cornbread dressing was heresy.

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