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Eat This: Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese

Grant Hindsley

This mac and cheese is comfort food with a kick.

March 1, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST

Coley’s pepper jack mac and cheese is traditional mac and cheese’s much more attractive older sister. After a little experimentation in the kitchen, this side dish made its way to Coley’s menu a couple of years ago under the direction of owner Brian Coley.

“No one else had pepper jack mac and cheese, and [pepper jack] was something we already used a lot of, so it worked,” Coley says.

Where: Coley’s, 15 South Sixth Street
Cost: $3.50
Call: 442-8887

This lively twist on a timeless comfort food has the perfect blend of whole milk, pepper jack and white American cheese. With its rich and creamy texture, the dish will leave customers scraping the side of the bowl to retrieve any cheese that might have been left behind. And after eating, the spicy kick lingers on the taste buds.

“It’s one of the signature dishes that people come back for, among other things,” Coley says. He even admits to having people stop him in Sam’s Club just to talk about it.

This sidekick for your entree is served in a small bowl. However, customers should not be misled by the size. The mac is very filling and goes well with Buffalo wings or the classic half-pound burger for those who like to stay on the less spicy side of things. If customers are looking for a lighter meal, the dish also can be paired with the grilled salmon salad or the spinach, apple and bacon salad.

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