24 December 2011

Grilled cheese: Homemade vs. Caribou

I really like grilled cheese sandwiches. If I don’t see anything else on a lunch menu that looks good, a grilled cheese is a pretty safe bet. (Sometimes it’s worth ordering even if it’s not on the menu. Click here to read about a late night soup/sandwich improv in DC.)

So I was both curious and excited when Caribou Coffee put grilled cheese sandwiches on their food menu. The first time I tried to order one was at an airport location. (Denver, if I remember right.) Too bad. That location didn’t sell sandwiches. Also didn’t have free Wi-Fi.

I did finally have one earlier in December. I finished a workout and instead of having breakfast at the office cafeteria, which I usually do, I stopped at a Caribou near the gym and ordered a coffee (medium dark roast) and a grilled cheese sandwich. They actually have three on the menu. I chose the classic sandwich which features three kinds of cheese on brioche bread. The others are combination sandwiches with cheese and turkey, chicken, or roast beef.

I was unimpressed. There was nothing particularly wrong with the sandwich. It just wasn’t very distinctive.

I didn’t think much about it until yesterday when I made a grilled cheese sandwich for myself at home. I didn’t do anything fancy. I used homemade whole wheat bread, a supermarket aged cheddar (happened to be Bongards Creamery), and butter (Land O Lakes, of course). It was so much better than the Caribou sandwich.

Maybe Caribou doesn’t use real butter when they grill it.

No comments: