Today in our “Oldfather Group Presents” online feature, we have three simple words for you…
A snazzy catch phrase with dual meaning for brother restaurateurs (and Sussex Central High School graduates) Hari and Orion Cameron, “following the noodle” is likely to become a growing trend during, and well beyond, the summer of 2017.
At its core, it’s the slogan and hashtag for the new Grandpa (MAC) pasta-themed restaurant on Coastal Highway, as well as for the original location in downtown Rehoboth Beach. It also signifies how the two brothers "put their noodles together" to come up with this new and hip culinary concept for the local restaurant scene.
But what it means for James Beard nominated chef Hari Cameron and his brother goes much deeper than that. It means remembering their grandfather in the best way any chef knows how – by cooking every day in honor of his memory.
“Grandpa Mac’s real name is Mervin Cameron McCurdy, and he was actually our great grandfather who died in 1998 at the age of 97,” remembers Hari Cameron, also the owner and founder of the popular a(MUSE) restaurant on Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth.“ He was a generous and giving man and we were both very close to him.
“So, we decided to name this restaurant as a tribute to him and give people in Rehoboth Beach the best pasta dishes we could think up.”
And the Cameron brothers have done that in spades. It’s hard to single out any one item on Grandpa (MAC)’s extensive menu, but word has it that the traditional mac and cheese is a definite crowd pleaser.
And here’s a little known fact about many of coastal Delaware’s locally owned and operated restaurants – items on the menu are completely customizable to your likes and tastes.
So, if you want a different type of sauce, or maybe a different kind of noodle or bread or something else entirely, the Cameron brothers and their staff will take care of you.
It’s one of those benefits you get when supporting the local restaurant scene at the Delaware beaches.
“What we’ve found is that people these days generally want food that happens quickly, but also is customizable to the way they like it,” reveals Hari. “So what we tried to do was create a business that catered to those folks, which includes families, college students, young professionals and visitors to the beach.
“And we grew up on pasta, so it was a good fit for us.”
A good fit yes, but not one that immediately sprang to mind. A (MUSE) was doing very well, and still is, and so opening a new themed restaurant was not necessarily on Hari’s short list.
Much less, two of them.
Then he got a call from Orion one day in 2015. His brother had a crazy idea that quickly started sounding a little less crazy, and eventually morphed into one of those once-in-a-lifetime brainstorms.
“What do you think about a mac and cheese restaurant at the beach, brother?”
Popular in California, such a thing had never really been tried in coastal Delaware, probably never even been considered.
Well it has now, and by all accounts, the Cameron brothers have hit a home run here in southern Delaware with Grandpa (MAC).
Today, people are stopping in regularly for that aforementioned mac and cheese, which features elbow macaroni, a blend of seven cheeses, bread crumbs and more, along with many of the restaurant’s other crowd-pleasing favorites.
Oh, you want to know what some of those are too? Well, you can visit www.grandpamac.com to view many more options, but we’ll also give you a handful of favorites right now.
Word on the street is that the walnut chili is “to die for,” as well as the “Delmarva Dog,” a hot dog topped with jalapenos, caramelized onions and more, and the “Big Ragoo,” which features ground Berkshire pork, as well as ground bacon and sausage, on top of rigatoni that’s prepared fresh and on-site.
Now, if you’re anything like us, by this point in the story you’re probably starting to get a bit hungry. So, why not head over to Grandpa (MAC)’s right now for a quick bite?
The new location, just opened earlier this year, is located at 18756 Coastal Highway, near Pier One Imports and the Pickled Pig Pub.
View Grandpa MAC in virtual reality by clicking below.
You can learn more about Grandpa (MAC) by calling 302-313-4751, by visiting them online, or by following them on Twitter (@grandpaMAC_33A), Instagram (grandpa_MAC) or Facebook (GrandPaMacHighway).
Or, you can conjure up your impressive knowledge of hashtags and #followthenoodle.