Cheesewerks - Grilled Cheese at Bathurst and Wellington
I first heard about this place when a friend had one of their grilled cheeses and soups at the Distillery District Christmas market (worth while checking out for the atmosphere and free drink samples BTW).
I read on RFD that today they are doing free grilled cheese to celebrate their opening for free between noon and 2 pm.
From their facebook page:
FREE LUNCH FRIDAY: We are so excited to be launching today at 12pm. Here are a couple notes for today's big celebration.
1) We are going to be busy, we'll feed you - but be patient with us.
2) We are only grilling our CW Original Grilled Cheese between 12-2pm.
3) All other CW Grilled Cheese will be available after 2pm.
If anyone is in the area please report back.
So, after a long while I finally decided to try this place last night and it surprised me on the positive side. Originally I thought they value wasn't there based on posts here and other reviews I had read but either they have evolved over this past year or I have lower expectations than others...
What I liked about their grilled cheese (I had their chicken one yesterday) was that there was a LOT of cheese and the bread is really good (as mentioned earlier, St. Johns bread). I enjoyed it more than the ones I have had from Gorilla Cheese, Cool Hand Luke, etc. I think the one from the cheese shops (like Leslieville Cheese, About Cheese, etc) are probably still better value for the money but there isn't any place to sit and eat at those shops.
They have a promo on right now, but $25 gift certificate and get a free original grilled cheese (you don't need to eat the original right away, you get a coupon to redeem later). The gift certificate is a paper certificate and it has a restriction that it can't be used towards alchol but you can use it for groceries in the store (they sell various breads from St. John's Bakery, Bumper Crop pickled items, etc)
I was telling my friend about it and we happened to walk by tonight and she was going to grab a grilled cheese so I decided to get a mac and cheese (the houston). The toppings are suppose to be the same as the one in the grilled cheese. To me the beef brisket didn't come across as deli meat, again, maybe they have sorted things out since the initial reports earlier in the thread.
They also do cheese fondue and also mentioned earlier in the thread they have some craft brews (I noticed Beau's).
Anyone sign up to be a "board member" :) :
They seem to spent time on design/graphic layout for their website/etc ... I hope they improve the product.
I wonder if anyone has signed up for this board member thing. I was cleaning up around my place and found a flyer for the above that I had picked up at the Beer Fest during the summer. I didn't realize it was the same place. According to the flyer it sounds like they are planning on selling cheese/ artisinal beer, etc. I am guessing that isn't set up yet?
While I have no experience with these to comment, they do serve beer from Beau's, King, Denison's Breweries. They have some cheese packaged for retail. As well, bread and desserts from St. John's Bakery which is always excellent.
I am not sure what they will do in order to ensure success, but they have tons of prep/cook space which will allow them to make significant changes to the product/menu as they find their way. In my opinion they need to get over all of the hyberbole and get honest with serving great foodie product because they can't sell small sized Quizno crap at these prices for long.
Notice they don't include pricing online - seems they already lack confidence in the offering...
Hopefully they will figure it out and at the same time hopefully the 'hood will support the retail side of things so it will grow!
When they were at Distillery District I think they were charging $7 for a sandwich and $10 with a soup. I think that included taxes.
The cheese shops seem to charge $7 for a good grilled cheese sandwich so I think they need to be in that price range to make a go of it.
Thanks for posting your review Justsayn. Based on what you said I am going to be avoiding the place for now.
Looking forward to reading your review of Tavolino in another thread.
Went last weekend with my wife. She had the regular gilled cheese (the original), and I had the Beijing. I liked hers...you could taste the smoked cheese although it could have had a bit more of it (she didn't like the smoke flavour). The Beijing had three good flavours (hoisin, pork, and green onion) that, in my opinion, did not go with the flavour of the asiago cheese at all.
Also, we waited at least 15 min for our food, despite being the only people there and being outnumbered by staff by about 3-1. I might give it another chance if I was around, but probably wouldn't go out of my way.
We also waited around 15 minutes. They slow grill it so the cheese melts completely and the bread doesn't burn. I think they do that right.
I've heard that the Original is the way to go and probably worth returning for.
I noticed that they have a ton of kitchen/prep space to work with so anything is possible in the near future for them...
We were heading up Bathurst to try the home-made meatball sandwich at Tavolino for the first time but Cheesewerks drew us in. I was looking forward to comparing their meatball to Hey Meatball, so I still need to get there
Suddenly at Cheesewerks, we both ordered the Houston - and we both felt deceived. I hate to write this after watching so much effort go into such a beautiful shop, but its the truth.
Description of The Houston - jalepeno jack, braised beef brisket, House-made BBQ sauce grilled on marble sourdough. Add house-made garlic ketchup and it exceeds $10.00
First off, the ketchup was really good, and because I was still so hungry once the sandwich was gone, I actually finished the ketchup like soup.
It was a great grilled cheese sandwich - you know, bread, butter, cheese and then grilled. Tough to screw up that classic buttery ooey tasty treat.
I don't think we were given jalepeno jack. If we were, the sauces completely cancelled out any jalepeno flavour.
Now think about the awesome quick-food scene in Toronto right now. Add to that the slick presentation of Cheesewerks, throw on top of that, 10 bucks for a grilled cheese and then what do the words "braised beef brisket" bring to mind? Well if your at Cheesewerks you get absolutely tasteless deli slices of roast beef literally pulled from a ziplock bag with a price sticker on the side probably from Metro. We really felt ripped off! Tasteless machine sliced deli meat should not be called braised beef brisket...ever!
Even if I wanted that crappy brown meat with cheese, which I never, ever would, we could have just gone to Metro for the ingredients to throw 3 or 4 of these on the panini grill at home for the same $10 price. And we wouldn't walk away hungry!
Call your product what it is, and if people want it good for you.
The Houston - jalepeno jack, braised beef brisket, House-made BBQ sauce grilled on marble sourdough is actually, The Houston - jack cheese, deli roast beef, and BBQ sauce on grilled sourdough. Blech!