I’m sorry… it was a bad joke, the title. But every once in a while I just can’t resist and have to let my cheese flag fly. Is there really anyone who is a proper American who doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich? If you haven’t been to Tom & Chee yet, first off… go. Second off, if you’re too lazy to go, or don’t want to miss out on valuable time at your local taproom don’t worry, things are going to get a lot easier to get your grilled cheese and beer fix very soon.
What’s Tom & Chee?
Let’s start here for anyone who’s either A) Been living under a rock. B) Not a fan of the smash hit tv show, Shark Tank or C) Doesn’t ever get around town to eat at sweet restaurants that feature grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches.
Tom & Chee started right here in Cincy, with a food tent on Fountain square – making gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and classic tomato soup. Their sandwiches were quirky…and freaking delicious. To take their business idea to the next level owners Corey Ward and Trew Quackenbush took their show to the spotlight of ABC’s Shark Tank. After appearances on Man vs Food Nation, the Today Show and others, their rise to sandwich stardom was a sure thing.
I’m not going to go through the complete history of Braxton Brewing here… there’s plenty of that around on this site. There are a couple things that are important to remember about the Covington brewery, though that make this story really what it is (aside from delicious food and beer). Braxton is one of a few breweries around town that thrives on helping their community. It’s not just part of what they do, but really part of who they are. This is really a hard thing to put into words. Tom & Chee is a local company, a startup that pushes the limits exactly like Braxton does. They are born of the same cloth, from the same city. The second aspect of this is the implementation of the system, it’s fun…
Getting food while you’re at a brewery in Cincinnati is one of the frustrations of a lot of taprooms. If you aren’t there on a “food truck day” often times you’re limited to a bag of chips or faced with trying to find a place to order food from that will deliver. When Braxton was laying out all their plans for the brewery, they knew that they wanted to streamline the process for people, and since their opening, it’s been fairly easy to order food, with menus scattered around and several local restaurants that will deliver to the taproom – but this takes it to another level. To order from Tom & Chee, all you have to do is step up to an iPad based kiosk in the taproom, order your food from a special Braxton menu and then like magic…it’ll show up for you to chow down on.
Things are also getting fun here – Tom & Chee will be creating sandwiches that use Braxton beer whenever possible, as well as some classics that you have come to love from their brick & mortar stores. They have already clued us in on one new sandwich that you’re going to be able to order:
The Braxton Bomber – Chicken on rye bread with pepper jack cheese and then topped with a special made barbecue sauce with Braxton’s ‘Crank Shaft’ IPA. The sandwich is then topped by ‘Dead Blow’ braised onions.
The menu is geared not only towards individual sandwiches, but in understanding the atmosphere of a brewery taproom, they are adding in a nice selection of shareable items as well:
- Grilled Donut Bites, served with Peanut Butter, Chocolate or Marshmallow marscapone
- Grilled Cheese Bites, served with tomato chutney made with ‘Sparky’
- Beer Cheese dip, which will use different beers throughout the year and served with vegetables and pretzel chips
- Bleu Cheese Chili made with ‘Crank Shaft’
So… Keep your eyes peeled to Braxton Brewing’s taproom, starting November 6th you can “get your cheese on”! Tom and Chee has even said this is something that they’d like to do with other taprooms as well… awesome.