This week, while visiting San Francisco, I happened upon a new favorite place, which makes me all the more proud to be a native of the city.
Other great combinations and add-ins made me wonder why it's not more common of a thing to have grilled cheese parties, with a make-your-own theme. Imagine these other seriously tasty add-ins on offer: apricot-jalepeno relish, stout mustard, roasted tomatoes, and thyme butter. Meats had some serious play on the menu, too: applewood-smoked bacon, roasted chicken, artisan cured ham, and smoked turkey.
And then, there's the breakfast menu, which brings much shame to the ubiquitous New York deli breakfast sandwich that I see walking the streets most every morning by the dozen. They offer several combinations on a grilled cheese theme, with a breakfasty slant. Eggs and potatoes make their way into their sandwiches, with optional enhancers to round things out.
Not to go unnoticed was the most excellent atmosphere: casual and hip, with friendly service and some nice playful touches, like their blackboard of cheesy puns, perhaps the most fitting of which (considering the New Year) was the following homage to Kool and The Gang: "There's havarti goin' on right here; a celebration to last throughout gruyere."
A party goin' on, most definitely, as evidenced by the line out the door. Not a bad way to start the year, indeed.
Nora Singley is an avid lover of cheese, and used to be a cheesemonger and the Director of Education at Murray's Cheese Shop in New York City, where she continues to teach cheese classes for the public. She is currently a TV Chef on The Martha Stewart Show.
(Images: Nora Singley)