Seeing as how April is National Grilled Cheese Month, let’s see how creativity, innovation and “out-of-the-box thinking” can be applied to the most mundane of targets. By the way, mundane is not a bad thing. It simply means commonplace, and what’s more commonplace than a good ol’ grilled cheese sandwich?
Mention that family favorite to anyone and watch them melt as easily as the cheese they place between the bread. Try to find a family that doesn’t include this ultimate comfort food among their favorites. We all grew up on grilled cheese. I taught my three kids the magic touch of adding just enough peanut butter between two slices of cheese to add a terrifically unique treat for the taste buds.
I recently read an article online that many buffet chains across the country are including grilled cheese sandwiches among their many offerings. In fact, grilled cheese restaurants have been cropping up across the country for the past few years. That might have something to do with the fact that rising gas prices have forced us to watch our budgets but, more than likely, I think many entrepreneurs have discovered the potential of this unconventional approach to family dining.
The entire country seems to be catching on to this delicacy as restaurants proudly promote their own creative take on this ageless classic.
The Lockview restaurant of Akron, Ohio, offers nine different versions of a grilled cheese sandwich, from mozzarella with roasted red peppers and Portobello mushrooms, to smoked cheddar with apple slices and bacon on pretzel bread. There’s also the classic processed American on Texas toast.Chedd’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese Restaurant in Denver, boasting two locations and four years of experience, is planning to franchise in all 50 states. Their Wisconsin-themed grilled-cheese joint, with its 35 cheeses, 12 breads and various meats and vegetables, has developed quite a following in the Mile High City.
meltDOWN etc., the Culver City, California lunchtime shrine to the grilled cheese, has elevated their menu to meet the critical demands of those on the left coast. The menu (now eat-in only, but available for delivery soon) features simple side salads, soups, and a plethora of gooey glory, including:
- The 3-cheese: A curdy trifecta of Cheddar, Muenster, and Fontina; recommended options include smoked ham and applewood bacon.
- Brie and Apricot: Eating this walnut-breaded sandwich is like gorging on a gourmet cheese plate.
- The Cleo: A bulging, breakfasty sandwich with dill-chive cream cheese, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, and caramelized onions.
- However, the true classic is Meltdown’s one off-menu item, the timeless white-bread/American-cheese melt.
The examples go on and on … from coast to coast. Dedicated connoisseurs have focused on creative ways to REFRAME an age-old, commonplace classic that will allow us to enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich well into senility. Think about that fact the next time you’re dealing with a challenge that you feel can’t be dealt with by applying creativity, innovation, or old fashioned “out-of-the-box thinking”!