Saturday, January 17, 2009

Seeking the perfect grilled cheese: Think Coffee

At Think Coffee, where I ended up after parting ways with DL, I noticed that in the several months I'd been gone they'd done away with the menu of panini and salads and replaced it with a choose-your-own-grilled-cheese selection. There was a choice of whole grain or white bread, five or six cheeses, and an assortment of proteins, add-ons, and spreads. For my lunch I decided to go simple, choosing Gruyère and pesto on white.

While I always figured I could never get enough cheese, this sandwich seemed overwhelming, particularly because once the melted cheese was paired with the oily pesto and butter-soaked bread, the whole thing was a terrible grease-bomb. It was enjoyable in a decadent sort of way, but I quickly suffered from palate fatigue and had to stop eating after the first half. I wished I could have traded the other half for a green salad, or anything else fresh-tasting and acidic.
A week later, though, I decided to give it another shot, choosing my pairings more wisely this time. I avoided all the oily spreads and asked for taleggio on whole-grain with Branston Pickle, which I figured would cut the richness of the melted cheese. Unfortunately, after I placed and paid for my order, I was called back up to the counter and told that they were out of pickle. As I debated what else to add in replacement, the guy mentioned that they also had truffle cream, "which we don't usually offer, but which I'd be happy to add to your sandwich." Truffle? Cream? Yes, please.

So it was yet another rich, heavy sandwich. But I found this one easier to handle than the other, and I was happy about the truffle cream addition, which infused each bite with its earthy perfume. It's not every day a girl gets to eat something truffle-y, you know.
After finishing my sandwich and about to crumple up the waxed paper it had rested on, I found a surprise nestled in more wax paper beneath: a homely chocolate chip brownie, too ugly to sell but in good enough shape to secretly tuck into a customer's sandwich order as a gift. As I resumed proofreading with a mug of green tea to accompany me through the afternoon, I broke off occasional chunks to pop into my mouth, knowing the sweetness I tasted was in more than just the brownie.


  1. Messing up grilled cheese is just sad.

  2. Jess, it's easier to mess up grilled cheese than you would think!