Mac and Cheese Madness: McNamara's Papa Ed's Mac and Cheese

By Ron Swarner on September 12, 2014

Me, I like a good mystery. Pyramids? Shugborough inscription? Bigfoot? Dark energy? Ted Cruz? Quantum physics? Tacoma's Black Bear? Obviously.

But I also adore the lesser-known mysteries, the countless smallish puzzlers that I still don't understand after one live conversation, a phone call, a pending Facebook reply and an embarrassingly long Google search.

I didn't know what I ate. It was tasty, and it helped me though USA's pounding of Lithuania during hot FIBA action. (If I could somehow make the acronym FIBA mean USA's lazy passes are deflect every time I would.)

Wait. My phone just made that magical message sound. It might be the answer. Hold on. ...

Nope. Just Foursquare telling me Karen N. is at Memo's Mexican Food Restaurant on Sixth Avenue. No photo.

Anyway, I don't know what's in the sauce encompassing most of Papa Ed's Mac and Cheese at McNamara's Pub & Eatery in DuPont. It's creamy. It's buttery. It's a mystery.

Smiley fun bartender Amanda told me it's "Profectamount cheese ... with cheddar on top." I spent time looking it up.

Nameless hostess over the phone told me it was a "Perfectimo sauce the kitchen makes in the morning ... with cheddar on top." I actually spent time searching that one, too. "Perfect IMO" was the dominant search result. That can't be it, IMO.

McNamara's mac and cheese oozes with the mystery sauce, 10,000 chunks of salty ham topped with cheddar cheese and a buttery crumb topping, and then baked in a skillet. Elbow macaroni provides a tender chew, the noodles and ham holding on to the sauce until it reaches the mouth, often leaving a mark on the chin. The ham dominates the flavor.

There's an additional mystery with this dish: How can one person eat it the whole thing? I couldn't.

I'll post an update when the sauce mystery is solved.

MCNAMARA'S PUB & EATERY, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, 8 a.m. to midnight Thursday-Saturday, 1595 Wilmington Dr., DuPont, 253.964.9200

LINK: More mac and cheese dishes in the South Sound

LINK: The answer to why this mac and cheese column exists