I’m in love.
I’ve heard about Tom + Chee quite a few times – and have been dying to go there! In case you don’t know, Tom + Chee = Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese. Simple, right?
YES! (thought I was going to say “no”, didn’t you?) And, I so love and appreciate that in a restaurant.
Because I’m a menu stalker, I went into Tom + Chee, already trying to decide between 2 sandwiches. The El Diablo (bacon, pepperoni, jalapenos, hot peppers, grilled onions, hot sauce, pepperjack and sourdough) or the Armagoetta (goetta, hot peppers, fried onions and sweet hot mustard and pepperjack and rye and sourdough bread). Both are not on the regular menu, but on the daily specials. (I know this because I stalk them on Facebook)
Saturday night, we (hubby and our BFF couple) went to Newport on the Levee (and, surprisingly, none of us have ever noticed Tom + Chee being there! Hello, oblivious!). We got there around 6:00 and while there were a few people in line and full tables, it was still reasonable. In order to secure a table, I quickly made a decision to get the Armagoetta and a “Dipper” (how cute is that?!?!) of Creamy Tomato Basil soup, told the husband to order for me and snagged the LAST table!
We got a “letter” place holder and waited for our food…I was sickly excited ALL week about the thought of eating at Tom + Chee!
Yes, I understand that it’s “just” grilled cheese but, let’s face it, you can turn a grilled cheese sandwich into something really special, given the right ingredients and cooking methods!
As we waited (maybe 10 minutes?) for our food, the line was QUICKLY filling up – like, out the door, filling up!
Our food arrived, in baskets, and looked AWESOME!
Here’s mine (and my BFF’s – she got the same thing!)
It was absolutely delicious! I was kind of worried about the mustard with the goetta – but it blended so well together. Conceptually, this place is genius. To take something, so basic, yet such a comfort food staple and turn it into a restaurant, is brilliant. Every ingredient and recipe is well thought out and planned – there was just enough of everything for it to NOT be overwhelming. You get a PERFECT bite every time. The bread was just the right size and the outside, while buttery, wasn’t greasy. Absolute simplicity at it’s best. And, that’s why I loved it. I’m still in awe, at the brilliance, of the Tom + Chee creators!
My husband got the El Diablo (such a good boy – getting the other sandwich that I wanted).
Well, he said “This is so frickin’ awesome” probably 5000 times, so I’m assuming he liked it! I got a bite (but, that’s all I wanted) and it was very good! He also ended up eating the other half of mine (which, he said mine was good but his was better – whatever).
The husband’s BFF got the BBQ + Bacon (BBQ potato chips, Bacon, American Cheese, White Bread).
*sidenote* I am so lucky to have friends that know to let me take pictures of their food before they eat it. I’m thankful for their patience!
He absolutely LOVED his, too! A grand slam for our night out! (My BFF loved her Armagoetta, too!) And, how cute are those damn dippers of soup? You can add one, to your sandwich, for $1
However – (you knew this was coming, right?) none of us were “in love” with the soup. Guy Friend got the traditional tomato soup and the rest of us got the creamy tomato basil. They were all okay. Not bad – but just average. (My Tomato Basil is better – just sayin”) <–the hubby told me to quit being an egomaniac. Eh, we’ll see.
My thought process automatically went to their cooking process – so, before we left, I checked out the kitchen. (it’s open and everyone can watch – I’m not THAT crazy) I just wanted to see if they spread butter on or used melted butter. The answer? Melted butter! Now, I know the secret to execution…
We left and the restaurant was FILLED to the brim. Who knew that people were craving the simplicity of grilled cheese? The only regret is that we noticed, a tad too late, that they DO have a soup of the day. It was cheeseburger soup – yum!
The total topper to the evening? Well, there’s two. 1 – our check total was $16! and 2. we got ice cream after.
I am a total Tom + Chee slut – and I’m blabbing all over the place about how fabulous they are!
Go. Run, don’t walk. Order. Eat. Be happy.