A friend asked me the other day about where she could get a grilled cheese sandwich made with real cheese that melted to the edges of the bread.
When she asked, a bell dinged in my head and I remembered a column I had written two summers ago about my search for the perfect grilled cheese sandwich and the duds I put up with during my unscientific search.
I had indicated then that I would reveal the location of the best grilled cheese at the end of the travel season — but I failed to do so, perhaps thinking I needed more research to come up with a conclusive answer.
In my opinion there is more to putting together a grilled cheese than glomming a thin layer of Cheez Whiz between two slices of bread, brushing some margarine over the top and bottom of the slices and slapping it onto the grill. The outcome will be disappointing and I have been disappointed many times.
That is why I often quiz the server prior to ordering: I ask about the filling — is it cheddar cheese slices, is it Cheez Whiz, is it processed cheese slices, are the slices overlapped to meet the edges of the bread? Does the cook use butter or margarine?
On the occasion of ordering grilled cheese and ham, the question could also come up about the quality of the ham: is it shaved, sliced or is it mystery meat that has been labelled ham.
So many questions, so few legitimate answers.
After the original column appeared, several people offered me their opinions of where they had found the best grilled cheese and suggested I patronize those places to check out the cuisine. I appreciated their interest but unfortunately didn’t make it in person to most of those spots.
So, going from memory, my favourite grilled cheese still comes from Cavendish in Prince Edward Island. Sandwiches there come with two kinds of cheese complemented by apple or grape jelly. My make-at-home favourite is with apple jelly and double slices of cheddar cheese.
I came across several excellent grilled cheese sandwiches closer to home. Not being willing to rate them one, two, three, etc., I will simply list the locations and let readers decide for themselves — Franklyn’s Eatery in Mortlach; Betty’s Rustic Cafe & Gallery in Chaplin; Casino Moose Jaw lunch area; Prairie Oasis Restaurant; and Burning Hills Cafe in Rockglen.
In addition to excellent grilled cheese, Franklyn’s has scones, homemade jam and clotted cream that make one want to call for a second order. At Betty’s there’s some interesting art work and crafts to admire while waiting for one’s meal. The Prairie Oasis potato salad adds to the quality of the sandwich. Local art work is also featured at the Burning Hills.
I won’t dwell on the establishment that gave me what turned out to be a toasted cheese sandwich after which the server argued that it was indeed grilled. Interesting that the cheese was cold and as solid as processed cheese could be.
So, off you go for a day trip looking for tasty grilled cheese. Perhaps phone ahead to make sure of the hours of operation for the rural eateries. And enjoy.
Joyce Walter can be reached at email@example.com
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.