Eat This Now: Crab, Mac and Jack Gratin from Victor Tango’s in Dallas

A few years ago, when the whole “elevated comfort food” movement really started to take shape, it seemed like every restaurant in the city was creating their own version of the fancy-fied mac-and-cheese.  I must have tried them all. Various iterations typically called for elegant or exotic cheeses or expensive luxury proteins, each dish doing its best to push as far as possible from the childhood version, that slop in a blue box.  Many dishes were highly successful, indeed, many restaurants began to claim this as their signature dish.  Now that the novelty of a $15 mac-and-cheese has begun to wear off, there are really only a small handful that, to me, have weathered the trend and continue to be a completely crave-able dish, and Victor Tango’s version, the Crab, Mac and Jack Gratin, still sits on top of my list.

Victor Tango’s menu has made some rearrangements over the years.  They have seemingly always been well-known for their version of chicken and waffles.  But another dish that has not budged since their humble beginnings is their exquisite Crab, Mac, and Jack Gratin.  This dish is a triumph in carbs and fats.  The nutrition label on this thing would likely give most of us a little angina, but nothing good in life comes without a little pain.  Plus, Paula Deen’s got some pills you can take to make you feel aaaaaall better (insert Southern drawl).

Tango’s version of mac-and-cheese incorporates juicy lumps of succulent crab, zesty jack cheese, and perfectly al dente macaroni.  The richness of the cheese with the buttery crab are the ideal combination for and pasta dish, however, it doesn’t stop there…chopped pancetta joins the party for a dish that is simply unstoppable. The entire concoction is completely indulgent, but has been an irresistible pleasure of mine for years.  Plus, it pairs perfectly with chicken and waffles, and you know those are on everyone’s table.