Steak, Potatoes & Cheese

If you read my initial post on More Chz Plz, you would know that there would come a time when Donovan’s Steak House macaroni & cheese would acquire another mention. Donovan’s is where my love for a thick, juicy filet began but what keeps me coming back is the amazing service.

 

Donovan's Filet

Donovan’s Filet

Located in the Biltmore area, my bosses love to visit the steak house every few months. They know the staff and General Managers so well that they were given a plaque with their last name for whichever booth they are seated in. Then joins Ashley to the mix, miss little macaroni. My bosses couldn’t understand why I didn’t want a seafood tower and rather a side dish of macaroni.

Donovan's Baked Macaroni

Donovan’s Baked Macaroni

Donovan’s creates the dish from scratch, casserole style. Smoked cheddar, bacon and crusted bread crumbs are all baked and served right out of the oven. Macaroni isn’t the only cheesy dish that I have to order every time I dine though. Another from scratch dish that I crave just writing about are the Au Gratin Potatoes.

I love making Au Gratin at home, so I know how much time goes into making the side dish. The potatoes have to be sliced thick enough so they don’t fall apart after cooking, but thin enough so that they still melt in your mouth. Donovan’s hand layers with plenty of Gruyere cheese and bakes until a perfect golden brown.

Order all of the above and you will have plenty of leftovers for a reminiscent lunch.

 

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Cheesy Valentine’s

Prequel: I have a fiancé and he will be mentioned in many of these posts, but as JRS.

Present time: Valentine’s Day. A day for wasting money to prove your love. Don’t take that last sentence as if I don’t love receiving delivered flowers at work. Just a statement that I recognize now that I’m older.

JRS and I had multiple things to celebrate last weekend and decided to have an early Vday dinner at the new Chandler steak house CHoP. It is owned by the same creators of The Living Room and Sushi Room. Walking in, it reminds me of The Keg. Hostess in short FBD, with an immediate view of the simple, modern steakhouse engorged by a large bar. It was super busy so it is evident that South West Chandler needed something of the sort. Long story short, I ordered the mac and cheese even though there were multiple options to accompany my filet, because obviously it’s the right choice. This decision is prior to this blog, so no decent pic to share. #morechzplz rating? It was a four out of five. Not the bees knees best, but definitely good enough to come back for. The tender and perfectly cooked filet next to it may have flawed my judgement.

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This dish inspired my day of Valentine’s dinner cooking with the following mac and cheese side to accompany our own filet and lobster meal:

Inspired by the Chandler, AZ steakhouse.

Inspired by the Chandler, AZ steakhouse.

Preparation for two (with plenty of leftovers).

1.5 cups of shell macaroni
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half (or more milk)
1.5 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1.5 shredded jalapeno jack cheese for some bite
3/4 cup breadcrumbs

Cook macaroni following package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse with hot water; set aside.

Butter a baking dish. Heat oven to 350°.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir flour into the butter until smooth and bubbly. Stir in the dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Gradually add milk and cream, stirring constantly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add cheese and continue to cook and stir until melted.

Combine the macaroni and the sauce and pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and bake for about 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and topping is lightly browned.

Second day reheat still magnificent.