Friday, January 27, 2012

It’s a Bright Red + Yellow Day at Tom+Chee

      One has to be a little envious when two entrepreneurs take such a simple idea (in this case tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches) and turn them into a mecca for lunchtime diners.  Add some creativity, along with the will to make people happy, and you have a positive force in the downtown area.

Chalkboard Menu
      Katherine and I decided to stop by the Court Street location after a seminar.  The extensive chalkboard menu was
a little intimidating especially with the long lunch line.  It’s straightforward, but takes a while to get through.  After we ordered, we realized we had missed an entire column of grilled cheese sandwich options.  We vowed to come back and try some of them.  

Chunky Tomato + Basil Soup
with Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Creamy Tomato + Basil Soup with
BBQ + Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich
      For this visit, we went with what the name says…TOMato + CHEEse.  Katherine ordered the Chunky Tomato + Basil Soup with the Italian Grilled Cheese, a combination of Salt + Vinegar Chips + Ham + Pepperoni + Mozzarella + Sourdough.  I went with the Creamy Tomato + Basil Soup along with the BBQ + Bacon Grilled Cheese with BBQ Chips + Bacon + American + (requested) Sourdough.  Once they arrived, we tried one another’s soups.  Both were deeply flavored with the creamy one being spicier.  (I have to say that Eric's recipe is better.  See his post on December 12, 2011.)  We divided the sandwiches and they each had a personality.  The chips on both added not only crunch, but also a distinctive tang.  The interesting thing about the sandwiches was that there was the look and taste of substantial butter on the grilled breads but without the greasiness.  The same was true for the pepperoni.  The combinations on the sandwiches were well thought out as to how they would work together and the result created a lot of pizazz.  There’s been a lot of talk about the Grilled Cheese Donut but I have to say we didn’t have room to try it, nor did I see it listed on the chalkboard.  It’s something else to savor for another visit.

      Not everything is bright red + yellow at Tom+Chee.  The dining space is small and can get rather crowded during peak times.  We were lucky to get the last available table at 12:30pm.  We found the staff to be friendly and competent in handling the noontime crowds, but there have been reports of otherwise at the Newport on the Levee location.  It’s probably just the growing pains of a new enterprise, but the owners should take note to correct these important components before extending themselves further.  It’s a great concept that deserves to be around for a long time to come.

Tom+Chee (Court St) on Urbanspoon

Sounds like…Tom + Jerry…Tom + Chee.  Get it…cheese to catch the mouse!  Hee, hee!!

No comments: