Today was not one of my better days – the weather was dreary, I heard a man bastardize “Hey Jude” on the bagpipes, I got yelled at on the phone by more than one person and I was going home to an empty house. Because of all this I thought to myself, “Why go home, open an empty fridge and face more defeat?” Instead, I went to The Rebel House for their Ole Mackie’s Back – or their take on Macaroni and Cheese.
This is a great pub. It has three levels but is tight and cozy like a British pub. There is a patio in the back which resembles someone’s deck – homey and comfy. They are all about the micro-brews here – they have about 20 different beers on tap and they are all from microbreweries except one – Guinness. My server suggested the perfect beer for me – Black Oak Pale Ale. He started by asking if I wanted an ale or a lager, heavy or light, light or dark. It was a great beer and he knew his beer. Trust beer suggestions from guys who are in their 30s, with tattoos rather than girls who look 16. Just from my beer experience I know I want to come here again and the best part about it – it is about a 15 minute walk north of my work along Yonge Street.
Ole Mackie’s Back – Macaroni and cheese casserole with plum tomatoes, green onion and Cheddar cream sauce, served with home baked cornbread and house salad and/or kettle fries. I love that this is what this Macaroni and Cheese is called. Anything that conjures up ideas of Frank Sinatra is a great way to start off a dish. This did not use elbow pasta but tubes more similar to, but not actually, penne. Some of the pasta was oven baked crunchy which made me think this serving comes from a larger casserole that is baked earlier in the day and then reheated when ordered. This tomatoes were fresh and sweet and retained their crunch. This had a cheddar cream sauce which makes me liken this more to a casserole rather than a true Mac and Cheese – which is ok but be aware of what you are getting into. I did like this but since I am looking for an equivalent of my mother’s Mac and Cheese, I am not yet satisfied.
Corn bread is not my thing and I had established this when we went for Dishcrawl and we had the cornmeal empanada. I thought, “Hey this is actual corn bread and it has green onion in it and has been toasted on the grill.” Nope – this did not help. Corn bread is not me. Thank God I wasn’t a pioneer…
The kettle chips however, were great. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and the perfect amount of friedness that doesn’t make you forget that you are eating real potatoes.
This place is low key, homey, serves great food and lots of beer. Doesn’t get much better than that. I think next time I go I want to try the baked beans (Slow-cooked the traditional way with molasses, maple syrup, apples and beer) or the pickled beets. I am really looking forward to discovering the Rosedale/Summerhill area since it’s about halfway between home and work (ok, a little closer to work) and has a huge array of restaurants, cafes, bars and bakeries. And this was a great first introduction to the neighbourhood that will definitely bring me back.