100 Favorite Dishes 2014-15: No. 72, Shorty Mac at H-Town StrEATs
Once again, Kaitlin Steinberg is eating her way through Houston and counting down her
Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg The Shorty Mac, in all its glory.
100 favorite dishes as we work our way toward our annual Menu of Menus® issue and culinary extravaganza. She'll compile a collection of the dishes she thinks are the most delicious, most creative and, of course, most indicative of our ever-changing food scene. It's a list of personal favorites, things she thinks any visitor or Houstonian ought to try at least once and dishes that are uniquely Houstonian.
Well, it was bound to happen.
I've finally found a dish so awesome I had to include it on this year's list, even though it already occupies a space on the 2013-2014 list of 100 favorite dishes. I, and those who have composed top 100 lists before me, try to keep each year fresh, picking a new crop of eats to inspire Houstonians.
But this...this is something I crave, something I'll drive across town to hunt down, something I'll order for dinner even if I've already eaten (which usually does not turn out well for me).
It's H-Town StrEATs's Shorty Mac sandwich, and it's an obsession.
"It should come with a warning label that says, 'You'll get a heart attack in 32 minutes,'" my coworker says upon observing me downing one at my desk for lunch.
Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg Goes great with a Lone Star at Liberty Station.
She's not too far off. It's junk food gone gourmet, with tender, juicy short rib sandwiched between two slices of buttered, toasted bread and mingled with melted Provolone and macaroni and cheese. The braised short ribs are seasoned with veggies and cooked low and slow for hours until the meat pulls easily off the bone. Then a bunch of that lightly spiced meat is stuffed in with macaroni and cheese (a genius twist on a grilled cheese sandwich) for a cheesy, meaty amalgamation of awesome.
When I wrote about it last year, I noted:
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.
H-Town StrEATs is constantly mixing it up with new takes on classic dishes like Monte Cristo balls and potato chip-crusted fried chicken, but the stalwart Shorty Mac is always on the menu.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the H-Town StrEATs boys, Big Sexy and Matt, are aware that Shorty Mac is also the name of a midget porn star. They chose to call the sandwich that anyway, because that's how they roll.
Look for more great stuff from the folks behind H-Town StrEATs when their new doughnut shop Hugs & Donuts opens in September.
See the full list of favorites on the next page.