Mac and Cheese Madness: Rosewood Cafe

By Ron Swarner on June 27, 2014

Listen. Do you hear it? It's a subtle sound, but getting louder every minute. It's the velvety whirr of bicycle tires gliding over Northern Tacoma's roads, punctuated by the clicking of changing gears, with the occasional thud of a pothole, pedaled by people you know. If you follow the sound, you'll probably end up at the Rosewood Cafe, the neighborhood hangout between the Proctor District and Old Town Tacoma. During warm weather, cyclists often end their rides at the Rosewood. Sandwiches, salads, beer and wine don't get in the way, but offer rewards for time in the saddle. And it's all quite good, especially the mac and cheese.

Rosewood's mac and cheese arrives bubbling with cheddar, Havarti, Swiss and blue cheeses. The dish is elevated with nutmeg and ground mustard — topped with golden panko and grated Parmesan. Penne pasta provides a tender chew; the wide ends of the noodles slicked with cheese, which will have at least one string dangling from the fork. The shotgun-riding bread slices should be used to dig out the leftover cheese.

If ever there were a macaroni and cheese that could unite bicyclists and car drivers, it's this one.

ROSEWOOD CAFÉ, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, 3323 N. 26th St., Tacoma, 253.752.7999