It was noon on a Saturday, ninety degrees out, humid, and for some reason, I wanted grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch. Even I knew it was an odd craving on such a hot day, but nothing else sounded as tasty as a salty, buttery grilled cheese sandwich dunked in a bowl of hot tomato soup. The only problem? I had no tomato soup, and I did not have the ingredients to try to make it from scratch.
Enter: Tom + Chee. I've been intrigued by this restaurant since last year, when we passed by on our way to a ballgame. They have locations in Cincinnati and in Newport. My interest in Tom + Chee was first piqued by a sign in their window advertising a grilled cheese donut, something I never considered before. I gave their menu a brief look-over before setting out for the restaurant, eager to enjoy some comfort food.
When I walked in, the atmosphere of the restaurant was friendly, and filled with a lot of red decor.The menu filled an entire wall by the register - listing many different varieties of cheeses, including brie and mozzarella, along with specialty sandwiches that included meat or veggies. My order was fairly simple, and while I opted not to try the grilled cheese donut (this time), I ordered pepper-jack cheese on wheat with a side of chunky tomato soup. After I placed my order, I was given a number to take to my table, where I waited while catching up on the news. Ten minutes passed, and I was presented with a very cheesy, crispy sandwich along with a cup of the chunkiest tomato soup I have ever eaten.
I dug into my food hungrily, and was pleased with my meal. The grilled cheese was fantastic - the bread was crisp and buttered, but not overly greasy, and the amount of cheese it contained was perfect - enough to make the sandwich gooey and filling, and to really let me taste the peppery flavor. Every bite I took of the chunky soup was amazing - it was filled with huge chunks of tomatoes and loaded with herbs. It was thick without seeming tomato-saucy, and came in the perfect portion for enjoying with my sandwich. I savored every bite, and when my food was gone, was satisfied without being stuffed.
I loved my experience at Tom + Chee - my meal was under ten dollars with a drink, the staff was friendly and the service was amazing. I'm already excited to go back to try out one of their specialty sandwiches.