A while back, I wrote about the growing popularity of restaurants in other cities with menus devoted solely to grilled cheese sandwiches. Though none have opened in the Chattanooga area, readers let me know of several restaurants around the area that serve their own outstanding versions. A hot, toasty sandwich of gooey melted cheese seems like the perfect meal as we finish out these last days of winter.
Here are readers' suggestions of great places to chow down on one.
* Martha Richard had two recommendations: "Armando's on Lee Highway has a great grilled cheese, and I have bacon on mine. It has just the right amount of everything," she said. "The other place is Five Guys. I have only tried theirs once, but I had bacon on that one, too. The bread was wonderful."
* Leigh Kontovich attached this note: "You ought to try the pimento cheese sandwich at the BrewHaus on Frazier [Avenue]. I think it is a great grilled cheese sandwich."
A check of the menu showed that it's a grilled pimento cheese. Oh yum! Another favorite!
* An anonymous reader wrote: "I ate at a place called Cafe on the Corner, located on top of Lookout Mountain (826 Scenic Highway), that was running a daily special of grilled cheese. It was served with white cheddar, yellow cheddar and Swiss cheeses on a French loaf. It came with a cup of soup of the day that happened to be a tomato bisque. It was an amazing meal for only 10 bucks. The staff was very friendly, and the owner even made a stop by our table to introduce herself and tell us about the history of the restaurant. It was a quiet and lovely place off the beaten path, but everything was so delicious that we have been back several times. I haven't seen the grilled cheese back on the specials board, but they are so accommodating that they would probably prepare it for you anyway."
I couldn't agree more. I've had several meals at Cafe on the Corner, and each was outstanding. The grilled cheese sounds marvelous, and I'm sure it is.
* Connie Baumgardner says Scoops and Burgers, at the corner of 25th and Keith streets in Cleveland, Tenn., has "a fabulous grilled cheese sandwich made with three types of cheese, one of which is feta. The bread is thick like Texas toast, and it's buttered and toasted. I tried out the restaurant a couple of weeks ago and ordered the grilled cheese and a bowl of chili. Both were delicious and they brought around a small sample of their chocolate custard, which was yummy!"
* Another Clevelander wrote in to say the Gardner's Market (262 Broad St. NW) has one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches around. Bill Hain says it is made with two cheeses, herbed spread, tomato, cucumber and onion on grilled bread, spread with olive oil, not butter.
Now for my new find: I want to stand up and cheer for Soddy-Daisy's newest eatery, Delia's. It's nothing fancy. Actually, there's not a lot to it -- just a trailer with a small deck attached where you place and retrieve your order. You can sit outside at a table facing Dayton Pike, or, in my case, take it home and dive into some of the best Mexican food in town.
My takeout order included guacamole, which was made from scratch and excellent; three big soft tacos with my choice of meat fillings; and some of the best enchiladas my husband said he had ever had.
For my taco fillings, I chose chicken, al pastor (seasoned chuck roast) and shrimp. All were also sprinkled with Delia's special taco roc seasoning and combined with grilled onions, pepper and melted cheese all tucked inside a flour tortilla. They were really special.
Another customer waiting on his order said he eats at Delia's several times a week. He said the cheese sauce, chicken chimichangas and the huaraches are the best he's ever had.
I would add another to the best-ever list. The refried beans were the absolute creamiest and best I've ever had.
I predict Delia's, at the corner of Dayton Pike and Porter Street (right up from Walgreens and across from Daisy United Methodist Church), is a keeper for Soddy-Daisy.