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March 30, 2010

'Artisanal' grilled cheese comes to Mt. Washington Tavern

Grilled CheeseI'm not really big on obscure commemorative months, but I'll make an exception for grilled cheese.

April is National Grilled Cheese month, someone at Mount Washington Tavern tells me.

To mark the occasion, the tavern is introducing not just any old grilled cheese sandwich, but "a brand new Artisanal Grilled Cheese menu."

The sandwiches:

Don Quixote Spaniard: Wheatberry Bread with Manchego Cheese, Prosciutto Ham and Brown Sugar Red Onions.

All American: Thick-Cut Rye with American Cheese, Applewood Bacon and Tomato

Three Cheese and Tomato: Vermont Cheddar, Havarti and Goat Cheese with Tomato on Wheatberry Bread.

All sandwiches are $8.25 and come with a pickle and sweet potato fries.

The tavern begins serving the sandwiches today. (The staff is too pumped to wait for April 1.) 


Photo courtesy of Mt. Washington Tavern

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 11:40 AM | | Comments (18)


That sounds soooo yummy!

"American cheese" and "artisinal" just don't belong together.

Then again, I often think "American cheese" and "cheese" don't belong together.

Now wait just a cotton pickin' minute, Mr. Laurent. Isn't one of the hallmarks of "artisinal" the use of locally-sourced ingredients? What could be more local than American cows, American labor, American whey protein concentrate, and American annatto?

A Spanish grilled cheese with Italian ham? Instead of Prosciutto why aren't they using Serrano? No Maryland special with local cheese? Tomato this time of year? I guess this is why I have almost given up eating out.

Mmmm, whey protein concentrate!

"American cheese" and "artisinal" just don't belong together.

Then again, I often think "American cheese" and "cheese" don't belong together.

I met a Frenchman years ago who said good sanitation and good cheese are antithetical. It's like Tom Lehrer's "Clean mind. Clean body. Pick one."

Anon, you are quite correct. The best cheese matures in groddy dank caves.

What about a "Rule Britannia"? Toasted soda bread, thinly sliced London Broil and a generous dose of Stilton Blue.

Uh, Hal, check out where I trained - the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese
I've also apprenticed at and/or been lucky to observe giants in the American artisan cheese movement at places including the Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, Jasper Hill Farm, Cowgirl Creamery, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, Bellwether Farms, Redwood Hill Farms, Vella Cheese, Vermont Creamery, Champlain Valley Cheese, etc., etc. More proof of the amazing artisan cheese movement in this country can be found at Murray's Cheese (New York City) and, Cowgirl Creamery (Washington D.C.) and, and Zingerman's (Ann Arbor) and, or just go to the cheese case at Whole Foods and taste anything from the places I've mentioned and also Cypress Grove, Rogue River, Consider Bardwell, Pleasant Ridge, etc. As the cheese industry in France dies, we're just picking up steam.

And Anonymous, listeria, staph, e. coli 017:H7, etc. grow in even slightly unclean places, including floor drains. The best cheeses in the world, including raw milk cheeses, are made in places so clean you could conduct surgery on the floor. Cheesemaking is truly 90% cleaning and 10% working with milk. Well, maybe 95%/5%. The funky stuff that goes on in cheese caves is actually more controlled than you might think.

The seder tonight ends with "Next year in Jerusalem." Of cheese, I'm saying "Next year (or maybe just later this year) in Baltimore."

Oh, how funny! - had warts.

DBJS, when I said "American cheese" is wasn't referring to "cheese made in America", I was referring to that fake cheese that Kraft makes and calls "American cheese".

Cool. For something yummy, check out those cheeses anyway! And BTW, for a seriously easy and compelling read about the artisan cheese movement in the U.S., have a look at "The Cheese Chronicles" by Liz Thorpe, V.P. of Murray's Cheese.

Caves have one thing that most other places don't.. constant climate. Also, the climate of the caves kills off undesirable microbes more thoroughly then most cleaning agents. They really are groddy and dank to us as humans, because they're dark and humid.

I agree Hal, American cheese isn't cheese.. it's whey product and vegetable oil. I can't stand the taste of it anymore.. tastes of chemicals and disagrees with my tummy to a violent degree.
Healthy living has ruined my comfort foods.

Here's a great article that Laura Lee sent me about the origins of American cheese.

It's a pretty sordid story.

The first Grilled Cheese and Company is opening soon in Catonsville, in the Old Catonsville Bakery on Edmondson ave.

My wife is really excited about being about to get a "gourmet" grilled cheese.

dirthvader, that grilled cheese place seems to be perpetually "opening soon". According to its website, it was supposed to open by the end of March (that is, no later than today). Sounds like your wife will have to stop the excitement for now.

I drive by there all the time, and I can attest to activity at the restaurant. I've seen workers there the past few days, and I can see tables in place. I'm guessing they're close. LV

I think Mt. Washington Tavern's on to something here! Now, that's what I call lunch! Those flavor combinations sound too good to be true!

You knwo what we calls artisan cheeses in France? Silly AMericans we call them CHEESE.

I live a mile away from the soon-to-open Grilled Cheese & Co. Laura is right: lots of activity there, and the website says opening is now next Monday, April 5th.
Can't wait!

The Tavern has always done a good job with their soups and now they have the perfect sandwich to have with a cup of soup. Looking forward to stopping by one day soon.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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