Special Request: Highway 61's Mac & Cheese is topped with crunchy panko
Special Requests

Special Request: Highway 61's Mac & Cheese is topped with crunchy panko

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Mac & Cheese at The Highway 61 Roadhouse And Kitchen

The Mac & Cheese at The Highway 61 Roadhouse And Kitchen on 34 South Old Orchard Avenue in Webster Groves on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. Photo by Cristina Fletes-Boutte, cfletes-boutte@post-dispatch.com

Q • I know my grandkids would like the Mac & Cheese at Highway 61 Roadhouse, the best I’ve ever had. — Earline Kohler

A • Experience the legendary Blues Highway plus Southern hospitality at Highway 61 Roadhouse, a combination Cajun, barbecue, seafood and all-around party joint in Webster Groves.

During football season, Highway 61 caters for the St. Louis Rams, whose trainers ask for healthful, flavorful foods. The team’s favorite is Highway 61’s thick, hand-cut bacon: think 10 pounds for 75 people. Restaurant patrons are crazy for that bacon, too, especially on the BLT and the Roadhouse Burger, even the Mac & Cheese. “We go through a lot of bacon,” owner Bill Kunz says with a grin.

Kunz believes that like cars, restaurants need occasional tune-ups, and he’s known for experimenting with an already-popular dish to make it better still. For Highway 61’s Mac & Cheese, that’s meant switching to part Monterey Jack cheese for meltability and topping the gooey noodles with buttered panko for crunch. “Crunchy is what I love,” he says. He’s particular about the noodles, too, choosing spiral tube macaroni that hold a lot of sauce.

Angela “Angie” Harris has worked with Kunz for nearly 35 years and makes 26 to 32 gallons of Mac & Cheese Sauce week in and week out. Be sure to give the flour time to cook in the butter, she says; otherwise, the sauce will taste floury. She says to let the sauce thicken before adding the shredded cheese; otherwise, the cheese will drop straight to the bottom of the pot.

For Thanksgiving, Highway 61 will sell to-go smoked or fried whole turkeys or turkey breasts plus all the trimmings and homemade pies ready for pickup on Wednesday or hot-to-serve on Thanksgiving Day.

Highway 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen

34 South Old Orchard Avenue, Webster Groves

314-968-0061; hwy61roadhouse.com

Special Request is written by Town & Country resident Alanna Kellogg, author of the online recipe column KitchenParade.com and “veggie evangelist” at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.

If you would like to request a recipe, email reciperequest@post-dispatch.com. Include what you like about the dish, your name and where you live.

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