The Grilled Cheese Bistro
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your next cheat day meal. The Grilled Cheese Bistro is a magical place where cheese takes center stage and your weekly carb quota might be met after one visit.
Just under a month of being opened, the cozy Granby Street eatery was packed on a Monday evening. It's a snug space, but GCB utilizes window seating to their compact booths strewn along the walls. They'd just come off the tail end of a weekend tap takeover with local brewery Smartmouth, so I ordered a pint of Cowcatcher, their milk stout, and my husband, Cody, went for their double IPA, Notch 9. After a short wait, we were seated at their lovely bar where we saw the chef turning buttered slices of bread into golden lids of perfection.
These aren't your average two-ingredient grilled cheeses. Leave it to GCB to work chocolate into the mix with Nutella, bacon and blue cheese served between two hunky slices of chocolate levain. Normally I would've chosen this option, but I wanted to go savory this time around. I ordered the Sam I Am, which intrigued me with its chimichurri-laden “green eggs”, and Cody ordered Woody Allen, a spunky twist on the classic lox and schmear.
Once we eyeballed a fellow eater’s plate of fries we couldn’t resist the cheese and bright green sauce! The fries were tossed in this wonderful chimichurri sauce and freshly shaved parmesan. We dipped them in a tangy chipotle aioli to add a dose of heat. GCB’s fries were easily the best I'd had in a while. If fries aren’t your thing, order a side of their Tomato Basil Bisque for your dunking pleasure.
My Sam I Am was armed with thick-cut ham slices and a hefty slab of melted gruyère, but the defining ingredient was the runny, fried egg sinking into the dense bread from local bakery Bakehouse at Chelsea. (Read more about them here.) The chimichurri sauce was at it again complementing the ham with its salty, herbiness. Sam I Am convinced me I might be having breakfast for dinner, and that’s always dandy in my book.
Cody’s Woody Allen toted a grilled cheese brimming with slices of smoked salmon, dill and capers. You can never go wrong with this combination, but when warmed between creamy brie? Genius.
Yes, they offer a healthier option of a grilled wedge salad, but if you want the true experience of their mouth-watering, colossal grilled cheese sandwiches, you’ll leave your diet at home.
The Grilled Cheese Bistro is located at 345 Granby Street in Norfolk. Grilled cheese prices range between $8–$10. GCB is open during varied hours for lunch and dinner throughout the week, excluding Tuesday. Visit their website or Facebook page for more information.