Posts tagged ‘7’

@ E’s on Main Street, in Middletown

We spent ten or fifteen minutes driving through Delaware on our way up to Philadelphia, and I found what was obviously something of a treasure in Middletown. We were only there a short time, but I got the sense that everyone who walked in had eaten there dozens of times, and was known by name. I later learned that E(ileen) was best known for her creamy tomato soup, and voted “Best Soup Downstate DE.” It’s cute that Delaware thinks it’s big enough to have regions.


“The best in Middletown, guaranteed to eat the crust: Choose from American, Swiss, Jack, Provolone, or Cheddar on Texas Toast.” (Mine was ‘Merican, + bacon.)

Challenge accepted, E. Now me, if I wanted to encourage crust consumption, I wouldn’t necessarily lead with Texas toast. It generally just leads to a bland, disproportionate let down. And a plate of crust. Perhaps Texas and Delaware have some kind of bread alliance, wherein they agree to send only inferior toasts to Wisconsin, and nothing but the finest of toasts to the good people of Delaware?

I’m on to you, Texas. I gave that shit a 7.

And this.

@ Grilled Cheese & Co, in Sykesville

Grilled Cheese & Co 4

“The Sweetest Thing: Brie and Mascarpone cheese blended with raspberry preserve and chocolate chips.”

I have to confess something. I’ve been trying to mask this for some time, (so no harm would come to my cheese-loving reputation)…but here it is: I don’t like brie. I think it tastes like musty dirt curd, and it pisses me off that it’s allowed near food. I keep trying to like it, but inevitably become irked each time someone calls it an “acquired taste,” really just a pretentious way to say something tastes like shit until you get used to it. WHY FUCKING BOTHER?

Consequently, it was with trepidation that I sampled the gooey “treat” above. I will admit, it was not without merit, and it was by no means inedible. It was rich, and sweet, and messy – on paper, everything a good dessert grilled cheese should be. Unfortunately, my palate is not yet sophisticated enough to appreciate chocolate and wet basement mushrooms as a food pairing. I will keep working on it.  7/10.  ($6.99)

@ Barkers, in Hudson

“Southwestern Grilled Cheese: Grilled sourdough with melted hot pepper and sharp cheddar cheeses, topped with our house-made salsa.”

I was headed out of state a few weeks ago, and quite eager to put another pin down in Minnesota. (As one would expect, initial scouting turned up quite a few intriguing prospects in the cities.) As I discovered though, not all brand of travel companion are easily sold on a twenty mile deviation from the route for a “cheese sandwich.” Pfffffffffffft. 

Whatever, mom.

SO instead, I had to settle for Barker’s in Hudson – a “more reasonable” 2.5 blocks off highway 94. Ok, maybe it wasn’t really settling – both the sandwich and the restaurant did seem worthy of a stop. Hudson *is* the Gateway to Wisco after all…and I’m a big fan of salsa and peppered cheeses. Fortunately, I’m a big fan of bruschetta too, because that’s really a better classification for their “house-made salsa.” Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the sandwich. It was tasty and well-made, well-melted, and generously proportioned. All that aside, it certainly contained nothing “southwestern” enough to warrant the deceptively zesty name. (I don’t like being lied to, Barker.) I couldn’t really stay mad, though. It was a rad little town, a good restaurant, and they made DELICIOUS french fries. I gave it a 7. 


@The Flour Sack, in Eagle River

“Unbelievable Raspberry Grilled Cheese: Two slices of sourdough bread with seedless red raspberry preserves, swiss cheese, onion, and pecans.”

I found this little oddity while conducting a google search to drum up some blog prospects in Eagle River. Among the usual fluff, a review popped up on Trip Advisor, using some words not typically befitting of a grilled cheese sandwich description. Taking into account my not caring much for jellies or preserves of any sort, and that I generally find nuts to be disruptive – I cannot account for my inexplicable optimism about eating this. (I probably found the eccentricity a little refreshing after the long run of boring grilled cheeses I’ve eaten lately.) Regardless of the reason, I found both the sandwich and the cafe pretty charming. Mind you, the sandwich was as dainty as the soup & sandwich plate it arrived on, most of the raspberry filling was smack dab in the center, and “unbelievable” is a probably a stretch. That said, the big slab of swiss was exactly right, the nuts didn’t really bother me all that much, and diced onions made brilliant sense. After a lot of back and forth, I ultimately forgave its size and inconsistency and gave it a seven. (I’m a sucker for cute dishes, it’s a sickness.)  


@ The Mint Cafe, in Wausau


The “Grilled Ham and Cheese.” The Mint’s been feeding me this sandwich for the better part of a decade: Two slices of American cheese, and an (almost too big) heap of juicy ham. That’s it. As lunch meats go, ham has never been my favorite – but this ham happens to be tastier than most. (It gets grill-sizzled prior to construction.) Contributing to my fondness, perhaps, is the fact that they’re closed almost everytime I try to go? You know what they say. The Mint delivers a reliable 7/10 – and there’s something to be said for that. ($5.79)

@ the UMR Cafeteria, in Wausau

The “California Chicken Panini: Jack cheese, grilled chicken, onions and fresh cilantro.”  As noted previously, I happen to know they don’t use real butter to grill their sandwiches. Despite this knowledge, I couldn’t stop myself from enjoying it. The cheese was sufficient, chicken was moist, onions were subtle, and the cilantro didn’t taste like soap, doll hair, stink bugs, or any of the other vile things these folks say it does.  Take note, cilantro freaks: maybe if more of you served cilantro in appropriate proportions, the rest of us wouldn’t have to channel our trepidation into hate-haikus and compiling statistical data. Just a thought. Thumbs up, cafeteria Greg! You get a 7. ($3.99)


@ Jack In The Box

“Pastrami Grilled Sandwich:” pastrami, melted swiss, and pickle strips on grilled artisan bread. (No mustard, please.) In the fast food landscape, there aren’t too many grilled sandwiches that can be enjoyed from the comfort of one’s car. (Sadly, a quick glance at their location map reveals a midwest, bare.)  This was an awfully tasty alternative to what surely would have been another disappointing late night drive thru misadventure. If you can look past how fatty this pastrami is, it’s pretty salty and scrumptious. In addition to being a pretty good-sized sandwich, the bread was actually good. Despite the bonus points scored by the pickle strips, it clearly needs more cheese – which is why I had to give it a  7/10.  ($4.65)


@ Denny’s

The much anticipated “FRIED CHEESE MELT.”  Four fried mozzarella sticks and melted American cheese grilled between two slices of sourdough bread. I was pretty amped up to eat this thing, especially after all the “bad” press it was getting. (See ‘scapegoating-fitness-crazies’ in the Blogroll.) Who would have thought a reject from the kids menu with 4 mozzerella sticks jammed into it would evoke adjectives like “beyond gross,” and “disturbing?” Really, man. Get a grip. The sandwich was good. TREMENDOUSLY salty, though. The bread was pretty unremarkable, and not really appropriately sized. (There was a fair amount of sandwich with literally nothing in it.) Dare I say, it could have used MORE cheese – but I thought the marinara was a nice touch. I gave it a 7/10. Ultimately, I wouldn’t say it lived up to all the hype, but I did find it a pretty nice value at 4 bucks.


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