We'd all like to think that Dallas is in the midst of a mindfully virtuous health craze, as evidenced by the current proliferation of juice bars, yoga studios, and health-conscious restaurants. But then along comes a place like Tom + Chee, and the people of DFW collectively lose their minds.
The Cincinnati-born fast-casual chain — which began franchising in a major way after a 2013 appearance on Shark Tank — just celebrated its grand opening at Richardson's up-and-coming Cityline development late last week, and the menu reads like you've just stumbled into a stoner's Willy Wonka-esque fantasy land. Health nuts will probably need a restorative green juice after so much as glancing at the menu, but for the rest of us, here are five ways to transcend the usual sandwich boundaries at DFW's new grilled cheese emporium:
1) Any grilled cheese can be served on a doughnut.
If the pre-conceived doughnut grilled cheese options — like caramelized bananas with gouda, or ham and brie with blueberry preserves — aren't wacky enough for you, feel free to build your own. A BLT with cheddar on a glazed doughnut? Sure, why not. (Hey, you might be onto something with that one.)
2) You can add mac and cheese to any sandwich.
"Make it awesome! Add mac & cheese to your sandwich!" the Tom + Chee menu advises. Think of the mac and cheese not as a separate dish, but rather as a condiment. Your doctor would probably not agree, but who listens to that Debbie Downer anyway.
3) You can put potato chips inside your sandwich.
Potato chips are a natural accompaniment for any sandwich, whether you're whipping up a late-night turkey sandwich in your apartment or grabbing lunch at a deli. But at Tom + Chee, the potato chips go inside the sandwiches for an added crunch factor. A doughnut grilled cheese stuffed with salt and vinegar potato chips, you say? Don't mind if we do.
4) You can make any grilled cheese a double-decker.
Because bigger is always better, or so you've been led to believe by the "33% MORE FREE!!" declaration emblazoned on the XXL-sized bag of Doritos languishing in your pantry. So yes, if you'd like to add an additional layer to your barbecue-potato-chip-and-bacon grilled cheese, go right ahead. This is America, after all.
5) Even the salads come with grilled cheese croutons.
Oh, you thought you were going to come to this carb palace and stick to your Whole 30 diet? Uh, nope. The salads here come adorned with what are basically grilled cheese sandwiches cut into tiny squares. There's no escaping it.
Tom + Chee is open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. You should probably wear your favorite elastic-waist pants. In the meantime, here's the menu: