The much anticipated Tom+Chee finally opened in late November 2012 on Cardinal Towne. Also located on Bardstown Road, many students looked forward to the opening of the more conveniently located grilled cheese and tomato soup shop.
I’ve only been told by several friends who had gone to Bardstown Road to Tom+Chee and hyped about how good the food is. No matter how many times I told them that grilled cheese was “not really a favorite,” they guaranteed its quality. I decided to give it a shot, but I also had pretty high hopes for the place when Tom+Chee opened. After my first visit, I knew it wasn’t going to be my last.
Simply put, Tom+Chee is a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant. But gourmet grilled cheese? How fancy could two slices of buttered toasted bread hugging melty American cheese? It’s actually not all that simple!
The first thing you notice when you walk into the restaurant is a gigantic blackboard colorfully chalked with the menu with lots of potential choices. And let me emphasize, lots! They vary from Beef+Cheddar to Swiss+Shroom to BBQ+Bacon. You can even build your own personal creation with the different bread, cheese, and toppings options. My personal favorite is the Pesto+Turkey which harmonize roasted turkey, mozzarella, and pesto on sourdough to perfection.
Let’s not forget grilled cheese sandwich’s best friend: tomato soup. Tom+Chee also offer three types of tomato soup: chunky tomato basil, creamy tomato basil, and of course, classic tomato soup. The soup is a great addition to complete the meal. It’s warm, hearty, and tasty, which makes it dunk-worthy. (Also, there are salad options and, for those adventurous folks, the grilled cheese donut is an alternative as well!)
The overall atmosphere is pretty friendly and casual. There’s a certain amount of noise because of the music and the open kitchen, but the restaurant gives off a laid-back vibe. It’s definitely a great place for a group of friends to grab a meal, especially when you want something more creative than McDonald’s but not as pricey as Olive Garden.
Speaking of which, Tom+Chee is very reasonably priced for what you get. No item on the menu calls for more than six dollars, and for a six dollar meal, it is pretty filling. As a poor college student who still likes to indulge once in awhile, I would say that Tom+Chee is definitely a place to go.
Tom+Chee is a great addition to Cardinal Towne, giving more variation to the nearby campus restaurants. Snuggled between Cluckers and Cardinal Coop, it’s a perfect place to head for those chilly, gray days when Jack Frost nips at your nose.
Photos by Mason McFarland/The Louisville Cardinal