After lunch at the Grilled Cheese & Co on Saturday, 4/26, I just wish that I had made a point of getting there sooner!
Folks who have been around Catonsville for awhile remember that this building on Edmondson Avenue near the on-ramp to the Beltway housed the “Catonsville Bakery” for over 50 years. There are big windows across the front that let you observe the traffic going by.
FYI – Grilled Cheese & Co appears to be prospering and has developed into a local “chain” with branches on Federal Hill downtown and out in Eldersburg to the north west and in Waugh Chapel to the south.
Taking up the full wall on the left as you walk in is the menu in really BIG easy to ready text that our friend Paul could read without his reading glasses on!
Inside, there’s a room about 20 foot square on either side of a de facto aisle that you walk up to a counter at the back to place your order and/or use the soft drink dispensing machine. The staff at Grilled Cheese & Co. is friendly and helpful; we were surprised how many people walked in while we were having our lunch and how quickly they were served.
The menu lists a dozen grilled cheese sandwiches (most about $7 and you get just the sandwich – BUT as I learned… That’s for a reason! <WInk>), Cream of Tomato and Cream of Brocolli ($3 for an 8 oz cup, $5 for a 16 oz cup), Salads (House & Caesar are $5; Grilled Cheese “Signature” salad $6.50 (adding grilled chicken is $2 extra) and shoe string fries ($2.50), sweet potato fries ($3.50) or some chips ($.99)
When I was getting out of the car, a couple of women were getting back in their car after lunch. I explained that this was my first time at Grilled Cheese and asked what they would recommend I get – without a missing a beat, they replied enthusiastically “THE CRABBY MELT”. I can take a hint and that’s exactly what I ordered! My buddy Tom decided on a daily special, “The Leprachaun”, featuring corn beef and swiss on pumpernickel bread while our friend Paul went for the Sarducci. Curious about the fries, Tom also asked for an order of the fries. We found out that if you’re eating in, the staff will bring your meal to you at your table.
John’s Crabby Melt was an eye opener! The butter grilled outside was bubbling over with lots of melted Monterey Jack on top of the “made here” Crabby Dip which had noticeable pieces of crab meat in it. Aw Geez! Yup, it was a little messy but delish!!! Boy oh boy, did those women in the parking lot give me good advice (Thank you, ladies, this was a definite “Thumbs Up!”!)
The description of Tom’s “Leprachaun perhaps sounded better than the resulting sandwich. Interesting and satisfying but it didn’t quite live up to his expectations and he’d probably opt for the “Blue Ox” (with roast beef topped by blue cheese and horseradish sauce) next time.
His fries – which he generously shared with the other two of us – were a revelation. Definitely “shoe string”, they were hot and out of the fryer and everything that you want a fry to be (we didn’t feel the need to add any ketchup BUT we learned a lesson from people sitting at the table next to us who dusted their fries with some “Old Bay” spice that knew was available up at the counter where you ordered if you asked for it!. These fries were definitely worth $2.50 and the portion was more than generous for two (or in our case – three!) people to share. (These fries definitely have left us motivated and wondering if these were so good, how good could the sweet potato fries be? It could boggle the mind – as well as the tummy!)
Paul’s Sarducci sandwich was yet another “Thumbs Up!” winner with lots of melted provolone on top of bits of Italian sausage, roasted peppers and onions and laced with marinara sauce.
The big “lesson learned” from our lunch at Grilled Cheese & Co is that BIG grilled sandwiches can be really filling (particularly when they’re so good that you clean your plate and leave no fries un-eaten!) We couldn’t even think about dinner until late in the day (and we thought about that – Forgive me Grilled Cheese & Co for this potential heresy!!! – that one sandwich and an order of fries could be the basis of a nice shared meal that might not leave us feeling quite so full afterwards! In any case, once again…. After lunch at the Grilled Cheese & Co on Saturday, 4/26, I just wish that I had made a point of getting there sooner! I know I’ll be back! <Wink>
FACTS: Grilled Cheese & Co., Catonsville, 500 Edmonson Ave.; 410-747-2610; www.ilovegrilledcheese.com ; Soft drinks only; parking available behind the restaurant;Open 7 days a week – 11 am to 9 pm