Comfort food, it's a very subjective term.
For some, comfort food is a hearty bowl of stew. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But, for many (including this writer), it's grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.
When opened recently on Morris Street, I was excited to see how this humble little operation work interpret this ultimate comfort food of comfort foods. After finally diving into a lunch there, I can say I left comforted. Also, full.
Their menu is relatively small but open to many variations. Besides a list of items that range from turkey clubs to the classic cheese between two slices of toast, The Grilled Cheese Factory allows diners to create their own interpretations. You start with bread, move on to toppings (including meats like grilled chicken, bacon and turkey) and then last but not least, the cheese.
There is a pleasing variety of cheeses up for consideration. You have your standard American slices and cheddar, but also smoother, richer choices like Havarti. A nice touch.
On this day, I went for multi-grain bread with tomatoes, turkey and cheddar. The soup special was tomato florentine. I would have preferred good old fashioned tomato, but was willing to add a little spice, pasta and spinach to my cup.
In total, the sandwich, cup of soup, side of chips (which comes with the sandwich) and a bottle of juice came to $12. A little more than I was planning on spending, but if I skipped the soup, it would have come in at under $10.
But, how can you skip the soup?
A few minutes later, as I had sipped through some of the flavorful broth (not homemade, but home-improved, as I was told they doctor the blend), my sandwich arrived. My first thought: that's a big sandwich.
The over-sized bread housed a very generous amount of turkey, two tomatoes and slightly melted cheddar cheese. I would have preferred the cheese be a bit more ooey gooey, but given the amount of ingredients, I did not think much of it. Besides, it didn't matter once I took a bite.
Yes, that's a comforting sandwich. Crunchy bread, moist turkey, chewy, salty cheese. And, get this: I couldn't even finish it. That's saying something.
While I enjoyed my Grilled Cheese Factory experience during lunch, the real draw of this place is in its late weekend hours. For those in need of a little alcohol absorbtion following last call, they will be open until 3 a.m. And, if you're interested in a recommendation, you won't go wrong with my combination. You might want to skip the soup, however, as the sandwich will be more than enough.