The mention of a grilled cheese sandwich in yesterday’s blog reminded me that during my last year living in Chicago, I had the opportunity to try Graham Elliot Bowles’ take on the American comfort food classic at his take-out shop known as Grahamwich.
Oh. My. Gosh.
Sorry, Mom, but yours simply does not compare. (Mom passed away in 2009, so I’m hoping she’s busy with other things and not reading this particular blog…)
I was not drawn in by Elliot’s combative public persona. Frankly, I’ve always found that kind of boring. But I’d heard good tings about some of the menu items — not all — and one colleague returned one day from lunch raving about the grilled cheese.
The place was a bit of a walk from our office, so one day I came in early, knocked off early, and strolled to Grahamwich for a late lunch / early dinner. Twenty bucks later, I’d had one of the greatest grilled cheese sandwiches ever, a big bag of house-made chips (with plenty left over to take home), and a house-made soda.
Graham wasn’t shy about charging for his food, but once the “newness” of the place wore off… and once more people had grown tired of that aforementioned public persona… business took a nosedive and the place ultimately closed.
But I will always remember that sandwich, and the lessons it wrought…
- If you find a really good, gooey grilled cheese sandwich, take half of it home and enjoy it with a good glass of rich, creamy Chardonnay.
- When a “hot” restaurant opens, don’t wait for it to cool off before you visit. If you wait too long, you may miss it altogether.
- A grilled cheese sandwich does not need bacon in order to be great.
- Even if you find your own “best grilled cheese sandwich ever,” don’t tell Mom.