Cheesie’s Pub & Grub has opened an outpost in Evanston, fortuitously timed to the start of classes at Northwestern.
Because make no mistake about it: grilled cheese is the perfect late night snack (not to mention hangover cure), and this branch is open until 3 a.m. Sounds like synergy to me!
And if you’re a grilled cheese fan, you will be back for more. What’s that you say? You can make grilled cheese at home? Silly mortal. Sure, you can slap two pieces of supermarket bread together with some butter and American cheese and call it a sandwich, or a retro panini if you must. But let’s be real. You are not even remotely in the same league as Cheesie’s.
They use thick-cut Texas toast or sourdough bread and griddle it in butter. So the bread is perfectly golden and toasty on the outside, but melty and soft within. This, my friends, is a fine grilled cheese.
Clearly the students agree because we had to wait in line to order, and people kept flooding in while we were there. You order at the counter, pay and retreat to your table with your chosen beverage (they are hoping to have their liquor license in the near future) to wait for your vittles.
There are ten varieties of grilled goodness to choose from, ranging from “The Original” ($4.50), American and Merkt’s Cheddar cheeses on Texas Toast, to “The Tenderizer” ($8.50), which piles bacon, fried chicken tenders, BBQ and hot sauce atop Cheddar and Mozzarella cheeses between two thick slices of bread.
We opted for “The Caprese” ($6.50), combining Mozzarella, tomatoes, olive oil, fresh black pepper and basil on sourdough, and “The Frenchie” ($7), a happy ménage of Mozzerella, American, and Cheddar cheese sauce avec thick-cut French fries, bacon and chives. Magnifique!
Five of the sandwiches can be converted into salads for the carb-averse diner; I enjoyed “The Melt” ($8.50), especially the generous portion of marinated, grilled chicken and crispy bacon perched atop a huge bowl of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, and of course, cheese. The Pesto Vinaigrette is your best dressing option.
Homemade soups are available daily, and you can’t go wrong with the Tomato or the Chicken Enchilada ($2/cup, $5/bowl) as long as they are hot enough. The French Onion was meh, and the cheese wasn’t even melted.
Take a pass on the Loaded Tater Tots ($5), soggy with beef chili and cheddar sauce, but trust me. DO NOT MISS the Fried Pickles ($5). They are outstanding, and I am not exaggerating. Perfectly fried, herb-crusted exterior, crisp dill slice within. Yum!!!
There are no desserts as of yet, but I’m sure that they will soon conjure something suitably fattening and delicious. Meanwhile, head over to Andy’s Frozen Custard or Red Mango for a sweet ending.
Note to Cheezie’s: Is it too much to ask for real silverware for those who choose to eat in? It’s rough going with the plastic fork and that big salad. Please reconsider. Thanks!
Cheesie’s Pub and Grub
622 Davis St.