Mac and Cheese Madness: Pacific Grill

By Ron Swarner on August 22, 2014

The line between ethnic cuisines is blurring faster than an eye chart after a bottle of tequila. America may be the melting pot of the world, but that doesn't mean it's necessary to throw anything that's handy into the double boiler, does it?

What Mexicans have been calling burritos since the first Taco Time opened, oh, about a thousand years ago, only now they've been reincarnated under the name wraps. At least that's what they call them when they fill them with Caesar salad, corned beef and cabbage, and chicken soup with matzo balls, all things which God wouldn't have created had he known someone would end up stuffing them in a tortilla.

Speaking of Mexican, adding Dorito crumbs and iceberg lettuce to elbow macaroni and dubbing it "Mexican mac and cheese" probably got someone into Princeton, but it's just wrong.

You won't find any piñatas or enormous velvet sombreros hanging from the ceiling at Pacific Grill, but I'll be damned if Chef Gordon Naccarato and crew haven't fused America and Mexico into one helluva Mexican mac and cheese dish. The "Mexi Mac + Cheese" ($13.95) blends sharp white cheese and Fontina, cumin, smoked paprika, corn, black beans, cilantro with radiator pasta and tortilla strips. I opted for the extra $2.95 pulled pork, which obviously pairs well with the savory dish. So delicious.

Ondelay! Ondelay! Bring me another because I just raced through this semi-creamy mac and cheese delight faster than Speedy Gonzales could turn El Gringo Pussygato into OMG Cat.

PACIFIC GRILL, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, lounge open later, 1502 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.3535