Sadly the Lincoln location of Tom+Chee closed in 2016. You can still try this fun restaurant at other locations across the United States.
Last night my family and I went to the preview night at Tom + Chee. This new restaurant arrived to Lincoln via Cincinnati. We are only the 17th location across the United States – feeling rather proud to have it arrive here in Nebraska’s capital.
When my family eats out, I will typically let my kids order anything but the grilled cheese. After all, I can make that easily at home. Well, I guess Tom + Chee has changed that forever. My oldest said that he had been dreaming about a restaurant opening featuring grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu. Guess dreams do come true! 🙂
Obviously this is the type of restaurant that will definitely appeal to kids. At around $4, the price of a kid meal will appeal to parents. This allows them to have half a sandwich (their choice of toppings), plus either a dipper of soup, fruit or chips. I am thinking I may order one of these next time, so that I can order dessert. See below for our opinions on these wonderful creations.
Focusing on just two food concepts, tomato soup and grilled cheese, this restaurant seemed almost limited to me at first. Until I ate there. I was extremely impressed with the versatility of the menu. Personally I am not an American cheese fan. Considering that they have cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, pepper jack, smoked Gouda, Brie, blue cheese, fresh mozzarella, goat cheese AND vegan cheese, there is bound to be a kind that suits you. That does not even include the marscarpone on their dessert menu.
The meat is whole other story. With seven different selections, you definitely have options. I learned about a new type of meat last night: goetta. This breakfast-style sausage is mixed with steel cut oats and is a Cincinnati tradition. As the feature ingredient in one of our sandwich selections, the Armagoetta, this type of meat adds great flavor.
Besides having a great selection of meat and cheese, at Tom + Chee six varieties of bread are available. And if you are condiment Queen like me (you should see my spice & refrigerator shelves!), you will also appreciate the seven topping suggestions and the eight varieties of vegetables. Because of the organization of their ingredients, they can make their sandwiches be vegan friendly. With three kinds of tomato soup and a soup of the day, you have options there too!
In addition to their Armagoetta , we also had two of their crunchy sandwiches. What adds this extra flavor? Why, some of their potato chips of course. Possibly the best compliment of night was from our pickier son,”I do not like grilled cheese sandwiches, but I loved these! His recommendation is the Italian. Our oldest was quite happy with his BBQ bacon.
As for me, I went with the grilled macaroni and cheese. With bacon. You are correct if you are assuming that you could not go wrong with the combination. Delicious!!!! One thing I appreciated was the fact that you could customize your sandwich – I went with the sourdough bread instead. We did not try the double decker sandwiches, but I am pretty certain as my boys get older, they will push for that!
Since my son was initially determined not to like the sandwiches, he actually ordered the Grilled Cheese salad. Much to our surprise, the croutons were actually grilled cheese squares, making this salad plenty hearty enough. Our only observation was that there was lots of vegetables. While they did mention this on the menu, this fact did not register until the salad arrived. He especially likes lettuce, and there was not a huge amount, but I loved the veggies! Pretty sure though that I could become a big fan of any of their salads – great selections with fresh ingredients. I will definitely say that the white balsamic vinaigrette is absolutely wonderful!
One of their bread options happens to be gluten free. I have a family member with serious gluten allergies, and I know from his experiences that not all places that claim to be gf are actually that way. This is another area where I was impressed. With separate prep and grill areas, along with color-coded gluten free utensils, they take this gf claim seriously. Since one person makes that type of sandwich from start to finish, they start with fresh gloves, then get the ingredients from a separate area to avoid cross-contamination. With the bread made off-site, I feel like anyone on a gluten free diet would be safe to eat here.
As for other allergies, they have a great online checklist for gluten, vegan, dairy, soy and nut. To find the link to the PDF, scroll over the menu button – the link will post down. With any allergies, telling them at the beginning is the best idea. As one person makes the sandwich from start to finish, that also helps!
Now on to possibly the best part … dessert.
Most places we skip the dessert. That will not happen here. This time we tried three kinds: the S’more, the Blueberry Blue and the Mint Summer’s Night. The last one was our favorite. I am betting this will be our staple one, and we will try additional kinds each time. Like the King. Or the Chocolate Bacon Bliss. Or the Strawberry Lemonade. Must stop – getting hungry.
For the bigger appetites who enjoy a challenge, Tom + Chee has a fun one for you. If you think you can eat 13 donuts in 10 minutes, you get your picture on the wall. And possibly a tummy ache. My family was quite amused by the “no reversals” clause. One of the workers told me that this is his goal – to not eat much, go for a long run and then conquer this feat. Guess my competitive nature has its limits – I would enjoy watching but not trying this.
P.S. The official grand opening was this morning at 10:45. While this post is not quite be up in time to get you to that, I do encourage you to stop by sometime during grand opening week-end. My family already wants to go back! Actually it is lunch time right now … 🙂