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Cheesewerks Grilled Cheese Opens

The Los Angeles

After cup-a-soup, grilled cheese sandwiches were the first food I learned to make on my own.

Later–much later–I developed some strong opinions about how certain food should be eaten. I’ll admit that I was only partly joking when I indignantly accused my brother of committing cheese abuse by melting precious two-year old Balderson for a sandwich. I was young. Okay, I was a bit of a brat.

The Original: Aged and Smoked Balderson cheddars on cracked black pepper sourdough from St. John's bakery

The Original: Aged and Smoked Balderson cheddars on cracked black pepper sourdough from St. John's bakery

This sandwich has lately been raised to fetish status and those seeking to wrap themselves in the security blanket of melted cheese memories can head to Cheesewerks on the west side of Bathurst, just south of King. Free Stuff Alert: To celebrate the opening on Friday, December 16, from noon to 2 PM they are giving away their Original Grilled Cheese sandwiches. That’s Aged and Smoked Balderson Cheddar grilled on the cracked black peppercorn sourdough made specially for Cheesewerks by St. John’s Bakery.

Chatting with Kevin Durkee, Cheesewerks general manager, I had their mission summed up as, ”we really wanted to focus on the big four: the cheese, the bread, the beer, and the wine.”

The Cheesewerks menu of grilled cheese sandwiches.

The Cheesewerks menu of grilled cheese sandwiches.

Digging into the ingredient list it’s evident that this isn’t just lip service. On the sandwiches the cheese is from Balderson, Upper Canada and other small, Ontario producers. They worked closely with their baker, St. John’s Bakery, to develop two signature breads–the cracked black pepper sourdough for the Original, and the  green onion potato bread for the Beijing.

The sides and sweets menu at Cheesewerks.

The sides and sweets menu at Cheesewerks.

Both a selection of St. John’s bread and a refrigerated case groaning with artisanal Ontario cheese is available for take-home purchase.

All-Ontario wine selection at media night.

All-Ontario wine selection at media night.

They’re licensed to serve an all-Ontario selection of wines and beers. King, Beau’s, Amsterdam and Denison are represented on the beer side and the wines are from Palatine, Creekside, Stonechurch, and the Red Tractor collection. The cider option is from the Thornbury Cider Company.

The all-Ontario drinks menu at Cheesewerks.

The all-Ontario drinks menu at Cheesewerks.

Durkee says the soup selection (more refined than the instant version I mastered in my younger days) will change with the seasons. They’re opening with a Roasted Tomato Cream and a Rustic Tomato Herb.

And, you know, if the adolescent memories aren’t piling up high enough they have a big screen tv and a PS3 to go with it for their special events and groups who book the space.

The sugar rush supplies are also being taken of by St. John’s. There were brownies in the case tonight and talk of a milk and cookies (baked in-house) happy hour.

At the media opening, that I attended on an invitation from Shawn Rusich of Butter PR, the Beijing (BBQ pork, asiago, hoisin, and slivered green onion on the signature potato bread) was the hottest ticket. I also liked the Koreatown option from the Toronto sliders and it may be worth doubling down and heading back after 3 PM, after the promotion ends to sample the full menu.

These sandwiches are delicious memories of childhood and definitely not cheese abuse.

Cheesewerks: 56 Bathurst Street, Toronto; 416-243-3327; info@cheesewerks.com; Tues to Thurs 11 AM – 9 PM, Fri – Sat 11 AM – 11 PM, Sun 11 AM – 8 PM, closed Mondays; @Cheesewerks.

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5 Comments

  1. Erica says:

    Thinking of heading down tomorrow with some coworkers. Can I assume then by your post that we can only get free sandwiches between 12-2, and then you can buy from the regular menu after that?

  2. foodwithlegs says:

    Hi, Erica. My understanding of tomorrow’s schedule is:
    12 PM – 2 PM Only Original (Aged & Smoked Balderson cheddars, cracked pepper sourdough), free
    2 PM – 3 PM They’ll be recovering.
    3 PM – 11 PM Full menu, not free
    Maybe they can confirm by email, twitter, or phone.

  3. Erica says:

    Thanks! We were just concerned that we might not be able to stick around if the line is massive. We will make a back up plan!

  4. vicky says:

    I enjoyed their sandwiches so much that I organized a tweet up for Jan 19th! Must share the goodness with other foodies.

  5. Jules Torti says:

    I love how the very best parts of childhood are getting fancy-fied with cultural hybridization (Beijing, NY, Charleston grilled cheese treatments). Whether it’s hot dogs getting a gourmet grooming or French Toast gaining more personality by getting stuffed with cheesecake, preserves and jam, we’re living in a good eating time. Cheesewerks is just down the street from the spa I work at. Will make a pilgrimage with co-workers in tow. Snappy review!

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