So I know that I said I would generally stick to supermarket mac and cheese that I make at home, but I do occasionally venture out to a restaurant, particularly when I'm home and Mom is picking up the bill. Amrheins Restaurant is located at the corner of A Street and West Broadway in South Boston. It's basically a traditional pub and restaurant, but the décor is nicer and the food is a little more upscale.
Before continuing, I should probably note that I am somewhat of a mac and cheese purist, and I think it's basically criminal to contaminate cheesy goodness with outside detritus. Therefore, I was a little disappointed to see the description listed as "Baked Fresh Maine Lobster with Sweet Peas and Pancetta in a Creamy Three Cheese Sauce and Buttery Crumbs." However, I figured I would carry on and merely order the mac and cheese without the lobster, peas, or pancetta, since I believe that a good cheese sauce should be able to stand alone with the pasta.
Flavor: 3/5. There was nothing bad about the flavor, per se, but nothing stood out. The breadcrumbs on top had a lot of flavor, but I felt that, unfortunately, something was missing from the rest.
Consistency: 3/5. Again, nothing really stood out, but there definitely could have been more cheese.
Pasta Shape: 4/5. Gemelli pasta may be a conventional choice, but it is pretty much always a good shape to use in mac and cheese.
Overall: 3/5. This was a pretty unremarkable dish overall. Nothing about it was offensive, but nothing was particularly exciting either. I do acknowledge that the sauce may have been designed to be eaten with the lobster, pancetta, and peas, and I can't speak to how the mac and cheese would have been with the other things in it, but if you're like me and don't like outside foods in your mac and cheese, you may want to consider ordering something else. I do recommend checking out Amrheins if you're in the Boston area, since their other food is good and the bar is nice – they even have a free shuttle that will pick you up and bring you home at the end of the night.
Amrheins Restaurant, 80 West Broadway, Boston, MA. (617) 268-6189. Open Monday-Thursday 11:30am-10pm; Friday-Saturday 11:30am-11pm, Sunday 10am-9pm. Lobster Mac and Cheese: $24 full portion, $16 half portion.