Even the worst at-home cooks are supposed to be able to make a grilled cheese. There’s cheese and there’s bread. Melt the cheese, grill the bread. Pair with a can of tomato soup. Ultimate comfort food that requires little culinary skill.
But at home there are the usual issues: tasteless bread, portions of the sandwich, like the crust, with no cheese on it, while the cheese itself hasn’t even melted all the way.
At Tom and Chee in Maumee, they’ve complicated the grilled cheese concept because even a grilled cheese should be perfect. “Imagine eating a hot dog,” owner Pam Adams said, “and the first bite is mostly bread with a little relish that fell off.” Not at Tom and Chee.
Adams believes in creating the perfect eating experience. The most important step is to taste each ingredient with every bite. Also important in constructing a perfect grilled cheese is the amount of butter slathered onto the bread. Too much and the sandwich is too rich. Too little and there’s zero crunch factor.
I tried the Armagoetta, featured on Travel Channel’s Man Versus Food Nation. A delicious blend of Goetta (German breakfast sausage), cherry peppers, fried onions, sweet hot mustard, pepper jack, sourdough, and rye.
The cherry peppers and mustard stand out the most, but there’s a sense of impeccable balance, as if the original owners in Cincinnati took years to develop this recipe.
Tom and Chee also crafts soups from scratch and features a build your own grilled cheese option. But beware, for your initial visit, order off the Fancy Grilled Cheese part of the menu because such options are tried and true.
Open Mon-Sat 11-9, Sun 11-8. Tom and Chee caters and can be followed on Facebook.