Mmm Mmm Monday: The Extraordinary Grahamwich Grilled Cheese

Sometimes seemingly simple food can take your breath away. Case in point, the grilled cheese at Grahamwich (615 N. State St.) on Chicago's near north side. Ordinary concept - Extraordinary execution.

Grahamwich Chicago - award winning grilled cheese

This sandwich has found its way onto just about every "best grilled cheese" list out there, and last week I discovered why. Have you ever been nearly choked by cheese? You know what I'm talking about right? When you're eating something so fantastically cheesy that it nearly takes your breath away? That was my experience with this sandwich. Had it succeeded in choking me, I would have died a happy, happy woman.

Grahamwich is the brain child of Chicago cheflebrity Graham Elliot. Its bright, quirky decor and simple, straight forward menu provide a welcoming, laid back atmosphere from the moment you walk through the front door.

Grahamwich Chicago - ambiance

Grahamwich Chicago - decor
loving the custom designed wallpaper

But once you take a bite of that grilled cheese, you recognize, this is not just any sandwich shop. Grahamwich's grilled cheese is the stuff of legends. Served on two grilled pieces of pullman loaf, it's literally oozing with Wisconsin cheddar, tomato marmalade, cheese curds and cracked pepper. This sandwich is fit neither for the faint of heart nor the careful calorie counter. This grilled cheese is sinfully indulgent. And I confess that I found it to be worth every guilty bite.

Grahamwich Chicago - grilled cheese
I think those grease spots on the waxed paper illustrate my point...

Normally, I might scoff at paying $7 for an "ordinary" grilled cheese sandwich. If I'm being honest, the promotion being run by LevelUp at Grahamwich that day ($5 in credit for signing up + $2 from Grahamwich as a first visit perk) eased my pre-meal sticker shock and convinced me to buy the sandwich. But, I assure you, this grilled cheese is not your "ordinary" grilled cheese. On future visits - and I anticipate there being many - I will not scoff at its price tag. I will simply scan my phone (have you  signed up for LevelUp yet?) and anxiously await its cheesy goodness. 

What's your favorite seemingly ordinary food turned extraordinary?