DoNorth

Mac Attack | A New Twist On An Old Classic

Forget about that diet for a moment and indulge in carb-loaded goodness. Whether it’s a traditional mac and cheese or a contrasting plate of mac stacked with crispy bacon, ground beef, maple syrup and jalapeno jam, these dishes are sure to impress the most refined mac and cheese aficionado.

(DoNorth/Laura Schmidt)

Forget about that diet for a moment and indulge in carb-loaded goodness. Whether it’s a traditional mac and cheese or a contrasting plate of mac stacked with crispy bacon, ground beef, maple syrup and jalapeno jam, these dishes are sure to impress the most refined mac and cheese aficionado.

With 26 different types of mac and cheese to choose from, Our House Bistro offers comfort food with an unconventional twist.

Guests are welcomed by the sight of vintage lunch boxes neatly lined up on the walls. For the nostalgic, this is heaven. From a distance, they can easily recognize their childhood heroes: from Superman and Spiderman to Winnie The Pooh and Scooby Doo.

After making a name for themselves in Winooski, Vermont, for their award-winning chowder, owners Matthew Pearsall and Maggie Barch decided to open a second Our House Bistro in a city that would embrace their aesthetic. As they searched for locations along the East Coast, their choices were narrowed down to Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Portland, Maine; Boston and Plattsburgh.

“We were looking at locations, communities and towns that fit the niche,” Pearsall says. “We felt we could deliver what we wanted to express to the public, and that’s why we chose Plattsburgh.”

Pearsall lived in Plattsburgh until he was eight years old and was eager to be a part of the downtown revitalization.

During the spring of 2017, the married couple opened their second location at 15 Bridge St. Since then, they’ve attracted local families, young adults and college students with their eccentric food, friendly staff and warm ambience.

Appointed with brick walls, hardwood floors and dimly lit pendant lamps, the log-cabin-inspired decor feels like home. Upon entering Our House, visitors have the option of sitting in one of the two dining halls. The main dining hall, arranged in an array of circular, high-rise tables, provides an intimate touch that appeals to smaller groups. With long wooden tables pushed together, the second dining hall accommodates up to 50 people. For those who want more privacy, there’s a counter against the windows overlooking the intersection of Bridge Street, Durkee Street and City Hall Place.

Our House’s bar, situated in the middle of the restaurant, serves draft beers, local India pale ales and harder drinks, such as rum punch, fruity margaritas and whiskey maple lemonade.

Keeping things fresh and new is what Our House does best, so it wasn’t difficult to adapt to the unique preferences of the Plattsburgh community.

“People have different tastes here than in Vermont, and we realized that after we opened,” Pearsall says.

Using his culinary and catering background to his advantage, Pearsall realized the way to bridge the gap was to take familiar plates like the classic mac and add a unique twist.

Ranging from $12 to $24, the traditional mac and cheese can be played way up with all sorts of ingredients. Served daily in piping-hot, cast-iron skillets, one of Our House’s wackiest creations is the “Nuty” New England Mac, which includes candied pecans, apples, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and maple syrup. For those who crave something more daring, there’s the PB&J (Thai-style) Mac stacked with spicy Thai peanut sauce, grapes, cheese and jalapeno jam.

“The style is fun, playful food,” Pearsall says. “Not too simple, not too over the top.”

Barch recommends the BBQ Mac served with a choice of pulled pork or a crispy chicken wing.  The concoction is marinated in barbecue and cheese sauce topped with fried onion strings. It’s her personal favorite.

Our House also offers a variety of vegetarian-friendly macs including the Southwest Mac made with corn, black beans, peppers, chipotle cream sauce and fried tortillas. Vegetarians could enjoy soups and salads such as French onion soup or the Our House Salad with greens, tomato, carrots, cucumber, red onion and cranberry walnut brittle tossed in the choice of a house vinaigrette, maple balsamic vinaigrette, blue cheese or ranch.

“Comfort food is becoming very popular, but I don’t want to be known as just the mac and cheese place,” Pearsall says.

For seafood lovers, customers can pick starters, such as coconut shrimp doused in Thai chili, breaded, twisted calamari or award-winning clam chowder.

The chicken and waffle sandwich has recently gained popularity for its melted cheddar and crispy bacon placed over fried chicken with black pepper gravy and served with a choice of fries: varying from traditional to sweet potato, lemon, rosemary, garlic or parmesan. Guests can also spice up the meal with a double-decker Reuben or grilled cheese sandwich with tomato basil soup.

There’s a dish to please anybody at Our House Bistro. Pearsall and Barch hope to continue their restaurant’s success in order to keep serving up unique meals to the masses.

Issue 10: Winter/Spring 2018

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