Sunday, February 3, 2013

Build-Your-Own Grilled Cheese

I’m sorry I haven’t posted a lot this month. My day jobs as a freelance journalist and part-time preschool teacher have kept me busy! I’ve worked on articles about the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore (great place!), a chocolate and art auction in Baldwin City, and the local Designer Show House.

As you can see, not all of my stories are about food. It seems to come in waves: One month it’s all about food, and the next it’s about home improvement and other topics.

Add to my schedule a few days of fighting the nasty cold virus that my preschoolers are passing around. Before I knew it, January was done!

Yesterday I was at Kansas City’s Union Station to tour the Science of Rock and Roll exhibit for an upcoming article. (It was a fun experience. If you’re in the area, go see it!) While there, The Picky Eater and I had lunch at Harvey’s at Union Station, a great restaurant located in the Grand Hall. Back in the early days of the Station, there was a Fred Harvey lunch counter where travelers could get a tasty meal. Harvey became famous for his food service along the rail lines around the West, with restaurants staffed by the Harvey Girls. Today’s modern version of the restaurant offers a relaxed yet refined dinning experience.

One of the Harvey’s menu selections was a build-your-own grilled cheese sandwich. Diners can choose from a variety of breads, cheeses, toppings, and meats to create a sandwich to fit their personal tastes. I chose smoked gouda and herb chevre on sourdough bread with spinach, roasted peppers, and caramelized onions. The result was a gooey, delicious lunch combination. (I wish I’d taken a photo, but I was hungry! Sorry.)

Build-your-own grilled cheese sandwiches are a great idea for a family supper, young-people’s sleep over, or a casual grown-up gathering. Everyone can pick what they like, and the sandwiches can be toasted quickly on the stove, electric skillet or griddle, or in a panini press.

The setting can be as casual or elegant as you wish.  Kids can pick from American, cheddar, or jack cheese, while grown ups may choose feta, pepper jack, swiss, or bleu cheese.

I wrote about my ultimate grilled cheese sandwich last summer. It’s topped with provolone, sharp cheddar, and feta cheese with baby spinach leaves and pesto.

Harvey’s suggests picking two types from a cheese selection of brie, smoked gouda or cheddar, Swiss, cheddar, American, herb chevre, pepper jack, queso fresco, and bleu cheese.  Then diners can select up to three toppings, including avocado, caramelized onion, oven dried tomato, Granny Smith apples, roasted garlic, candied jalapeno, mushroom, spinach, and roasted pepper. For their meat toppings, which cost a bit extra, the selection includes ham, turkey, bacon, prime rib, and Italian sausage.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless (don’t forget the breads!) and only limited by your imagination and budget.  

What would you put on your grilled cheese sandwich?


  1. Lunch was as outstanding as your blogs are!!!
    "The Picky Eater"

  2. Good question Linda and a tough one. I would go with extra sharp cheddar cheese and garlic. :)

  3. Yum! I love grilled cheese! I think I'd do brie and bleu with granny smith apples and caramelized onions.

  4. I really like this idea, Linda. It would be a fabulous variation for Sunday supper around here. I hope your week is off to a great start. Have a good day. Blessings...Mary