The Macaroni House is a family business in every sense of the word. The restaurant serves a classic comfort food, macaroni and cheese, with a variety of different ingredients—ranging from chicken to brisket to mushrooms—that draws customers of all ages. Richmond couple Chef Carlos Arenas and his wife, manager Jennifer Koh, opened the restaurant a year ago with help from Koh’s father. Their children, Lindsey and Matthew, are often present to watch mom and dad work.
“All our family’s been in the restaurant business for about 20 years, and it’s always been a family dream for us to open a restaurant,” Koh said.
Arenas previously worked as a cook in a New York restaurant that featured macaroni and cheese. This job gave Arenas the chance to hone his macaroni preparation skills. Koh said she enjoyed the macaroni he made there so much she regularly asked him to bring some home.
“We just love mac and cheese, and we were trying different ways to prepare the mac and cheese and mixing different things in it,” Koh said.
Some of the creations they came up with are cheeseburger mac, which includes ground beef, pickles and onions, and primavera mac, which is made with artichoke, spinach, tomatoes and herbs.
The Macaroni House also regularly introduces new dishes with their Mac of the Month. July’s featured item is a Margherita mac, which includes basil, cayenne pepper, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella and mascarpone cheeses. June’s special—crawfish mac—was very popular, Koh said. The Macaroni House’s Facebook page regularly posts a variety of Mac of the Month options and lets customers provide input on which one they would prefer.
Koh said lobster mac, made with lobster, cognac and marscapone cheese, is one of their most popular items as well as her personal favorite. Seven-year old Lindsey’s favorite is the chicken mac, Koh said.
In addition to a variety of macaroni, The Macaroni House serves appetizers, salads and sandwiches. There are plans to expand the menu to include even more salad and sandwich options in the future. The success of their current location has Koh and Arenas considering opening a new location in about a year or so, Koh said.
The restaurant is busiest during dinner, and customers range from families with young children to adult couples.
“We had a couple come in yesterday who said they try to make it in about every two weeks because they love the food,” Koh said.
While macaroni and cheese has traditionally been a side dish, The Macaroni House is a part of what Koh calls a growing trend in creating gourmet macaroni and cheese dishes that can be served as a complete meal.
“It’s just great American comfort food,” Koh said.
•Mushroom Mac: Roasted mushrooms, mascarpone and fontina cheeses, caramelized onions ($6.49 small, $7.99 medium, $9.49 large)
•Primavera Mac: Artichoke, spinach, mozzarella cheese, tomato, herbs ($6.49 small, $7.99 medium, $9.49 large)
•Sausage Mac: Smoked Sausage, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, rosemary ($6.49 small, $7.99 medium, $9.49 large)
•Cheeseburger Mac: Ground Angus beef, American and cheddar cheeses, onions, pickles ($6.99 small, $8.49 medium, $9.99 large)
•Chicken Mac: Grilled chicken, fontina cheese, bell peppers ($6.49 small, $7.99 medium, $9.49 large)
•Brisket Mac: Brisket, American and mozzarella cheeses, chili peppers ($6.99 small, $8.49 medium, $9.99 large)
•Lobster Mac: Lobster, cognac, mascarpone cheese, chives ($7.49 small, $9.49 medium, $11.49 large)
The Macaroni House
6501 S. Fry RoadKaty • 832-437-7991www.macaronihouse.comTues–Sun: 11 a.m.–9 p.m.Closed Monday
Source: Community Impact News