A tale of two Davis square cheese sandwiches

I had just one thing on my mind heading out to lunch yesterday: cheese. Pizza? No. Cheeseburger? No. Cheese fries? Ugh. Can you just have a slab or slice or chunk of cheese for lunch? Not that I haven't done so before, but it's somehow just not done during a lunch break from work. So I popped into a local place and ordered up a sandwich with cheese in it. It didn't really live up to my cheese hankering, so today, I went to a different local place and had a different cheesy sandwich. Presented here for your edification, a head-to-head cheese sandwich comparison.

Sandwich the first: "Granny & Jack" at Blue Shirt Cafe

Jack cheese, granny smith apples and caramelized onions on grilled sourdough bread. I think I would have preferred it with cheddar, but as it turned out, the cheese was so meager and thin, I'm not sure I would have tasted it. (But wait, the cheese is yellow, does jack come in yellow like cheddar does?) Onions were nicely done and in good supply, and the apple was freshly sliced. What brings this sandwich down is that the proportions are out of whack, and it's not grilled long enough for the apple to warm up. Maybe those issues are related, because my gripe is that there is way too much apple compared to the cheese, and the apple slices are so thick that it's hard to keep the sandwich together since the onions are pretty slippery. I think that if there were more cheese and thinner slices of apple, things would harmonize better.

Sandwich the second: "Branch Trio" at Diesel Cafe

Three cheeses, greens, cucumber and tomato on seven grain bread. I think two of the cheeses were havarti and muenster, but I'm not sure of the thrd. I was intially put off that the sandwich was not grilled, but the bread held up well. Also oddly, it was served in a bowl because they were out of plates. The cheese to vegetable ratio was right on, with both sliced nice and thin. All in all, very comforting with the greens and grainy bread giving the feeling of a somewhat healthy meal, despite all the cheese.

Although the overall advantage is clearly to the Branch Trio, Both sandwiches could have benefitted from more interesting bread, and perhaps more time on the grill. Also, neither one really satsified my cheese craving, but maybe that's better for all concerned. In addition, I should mention that the Diesel sandwich was a bit more expensive than Blue Shirt's.

I think I might even have a cheese sandwich for dinner. Here's my cheese sandwich formula: 18-24 month old cheddar and fresh granny smith apple on grilled pumpernickel. I'd definitely put some cheese on each slice of bread to melt around the apple slices and keep them from squirting out the end of the sandwich when I take a bite.

6 Responses

  1. We make a mean fondue....
  2. Ryan
    I agree with both of your reviews here. The Blue Shirt Granny & Jack could be SO MUCH BETTER!!! I mean the combination of cheese and apples and caramelized onions should be a no brainier. And the Diesel Branch Trio could use some more cheese. Good stuff.
  3. Dave
    For the best you need to order off-the-menu @ Blueshirt. Just ask for a grilled cheese w/ tomato on sourdough. Fantastic.
  4. Amy
    A bit further out but Kelly's Roast Beef over near Wellington Station makes a mean traditional grilled cheese
  5. My favorite is the Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup at the Garden at the Cellar. www.gardenatthecellar.com. The bread to cheese ratio is good, and the cheese is always melted. The bread is a simple brioche so it toasts up nicely while still being soft in the middle. The cheese -- the classic cheddar. The soup reminds me of Campbells, but grown up. To be fair, I'm a purist when it comes to grilled cheese sandwiches -- I like a plain white bread (brioche or country white) buttery and crisp, cheddar cheese melted and gooey, and minimal embellishments - no fancy apples or caramelized onions. Maybe raw onions, tomatoes or bacon. Maybe.
  6. Thanks for the comments, folks. Food for thought, as they say. @Leslie - is that an offer? @Ryan - amen, brother @Dave - I'll have to give that a try, but I'm a little wary of Blue Shirt's cheese selection @Amy - a bit far afield for me, but next time I'm there... @Julia - Garden at the Cellar rocks, and the tomato soup is excellent by itself, even better with that classic grilled cheese, will have to go back there soon!
  7. [...] The goat cheddar was something I’d never seen before. I didn’t know it was possible. I think it’s successful, but have to wonder if most people wouldn’t prefer cow cheddar or more traditional forms of goat cheese. I also made a sandwich of this cheese with some greens and pumpernickel. Will have to consider this for the next cheese sandwich challenge. [...]
  8. [...] great Davis Square Cheese Sandwich battle got a little more interesting this week as second-place finisher Blue Shirt Cafe struck back at [...]
  9. [...] the Davis Square cheese sandwich quest became a semi-regular feature back in May, I’ve been aware of Deli-icious but for whatever [...]

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