I first met the owners of Cheesewerks last summer at Toronto’s Queer Beer Festival where they were serving up artisanal grilled cheese. They spoke passionately about sourcing Canadian products and I was intrigued when they told me they would be opening up shop in downtown Toronto soon. So when I received an invitation to their media tasting I had to slam my forehead against the wall when I realized I would be missing out due to the fact that I would be in the Galapagos Islands on vacation (first world problems, yadda yadda). I wrote an email to their press contact at Butter PR from my Galapagos Cruise boat (this is not a joke) expressing that I would very much like to coordinate a media tasting of my own when I returned.
I invited my friend Marcin to join me after work to indulge in our casein cravings. We were greeted by one of the owners and given a quick tour of their menu. Cheesewerks also has a small retail space where you can buy their favorite cheeses to take home. They exclusively use St. John’s Bakery bread for all of their grilled cheese sandwiches (and sweet treats). They also put on great events (the restaurant has a large plasma screen tv in the centre of the dining room). They recently offerd a Golden Globes Award dinner and celebrated Valentines Day with a special Fondue dinner (which is pretty much unheard of in this city). Don’t even get me started on how blah the Beer Bistro fondue is. I grew up on Fondue, once a week, I make a mean pot of melted cheese. Goodness, I can ramble on about anything cheese…
Many of you Torontonians will have eaten at The Grilled Cheese in Kensington Market. A lovely little quaint spot to have a light snack. A student favorite. Cheesewerks kicks things up a notch compared to the competition. Their grilled cheese sandwich menu is inspired by cities across the globe (each paired with a unique house made ketchup). They proudly showcase Canadian products, everything from their cheese and bread to their craft beer menu and VQA wine list. On that note, Cheesewerks is the only grilled cheese restaurant in Toronto (although they of course offer far more than just a simple grilled sandwich) in the city that has a liquor license (high five). Simply put, Cheesewerks is offering the city something new, a celebration of local flavours in the heart of downtown Toronto. You will now find Cheesewerks on my Toronto’s Top Restaurant List. Do yourself a favour and stuff your face with cheese (werkkkkk).
Funny enough, the owner saw that I loved cocktail onions (as I feature them as one of my favorite things on my twitter profile). He gave me a lovely mason jar of beer pickled onions which you can purchase amongst their retail treasures.
We enjoyed (* notes my favorites):
Red Tractor White Wine Cuvee VQA
King Brewery Pilsner
Denison’s Brewing Company Wheat Beer
House Made Lemonade
Artisanal Tangerine and Pineapple Soda
The Beijing *
Asiago, BBQ Pork, Hoisin, slivered green oniion, grilled on signature Green Onion Potato Bread
The Charleston *
Double-Cream Brie, Oven-Caramelized Onions, Apricot Chutney grilled on Walnut Raisin Bread
The New York
Swiss, Spiced Pastrami, Pickled Red Cabbage, Grainy Mustard grilled on Whole-Grain Rye
Roasted Tomato Cream Soup *
Oven-Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, Oregano, purred with fresh Cream
Rustic Herb Tomato Soup
Oven-Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, Thyme infused with Organic Vegetable broth
New Dill Pickles
St. John’s Bakery Brownie and Molasses Cookie
#283 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010.