I have never really been a huge fan of places that serve food easily made at home (except hamburgers for some reason) which is why I shy away from family restaurants and places serving comfort food like meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, and pot pies. Typically I would lump a place that specializes in Grilled Cheese into that category too but I decided I had to try Cheesy Grill located at 2155 Miller Park Way in West Milwaukee.
Back when OnMilwaukee reviewed the place it was $1.89 for a basic grilled cheese. In less than a year that has jumped $1.00 to $2.89, which still isn’t bad. However once you start piling on ingredients, it can easily climb up unto the $4-5.oo range. Add a drink and maybe a soup ($2.89 for a small) or macaroni and cheese ($3.59 for a small) and you are up near $9. Not obscene for lunch, but its a price point that some people may find high for macaroni and cheese and tomato soup considering you could by a loaf of bread, tomatoes, cheese, and a large can of tomato soup to feed an entire family for that much.
The star of their menu is obviously grilled cheese and they have a lot of different options but if you are looking for any sort of a gourmet twist you will be disappointed. Their use of mass produced cheese was somewhat of a letdown too. Wisconsin has hundreds of stellar artisanal cheeses that would make a killer grilled cheese, but the Cheesy Grill only uses nondescript cheese typically found in grocery store deli sandwiches, cheddar, Swiss, provolone, and American (i.e processed cheese). My tastes would probably skew more towards a place like Chedd’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese, a Colorado chain with all kinds of inventive sandwiches like Blue Cheese Bratwurst (the couple that started the chain is from Wisconsin). However I am not going to get into what I think a restaurant specializing in grilled cheese should be, I am going to review it for what it is, and that is a nice place serving good versions of some of our favorite comfort foods.
There is no arguing that American cheese makes the best “classic” grilled cheese. White bread, butter, and a couple of slices of American will take just about any of us back to our childhood and that is what Cheesy Grill does well. The grilled cheese was perfectly cooked. The exterior of the bread had just enough butter on it to obtain a golden brown crust. The cooking time was perfect as the cheese was completely melted through. My addition of jalapenos may have strayed from the classic version but their heat and acidity paired well with the gooey rich cheese.
I also ordered a small serving of their macaroni and cheese. I’ll have to confess, it looked kind of pathetic. There was a puddle of watery looking processed cheese sauce beneath the penne pasta and some shredded cheese on top. I was prepared to be very disappointed. My friend looked at it and commented that it didn’t look very appetizing, I agreed. Then I stirred it up and it seemed like everything sort of came together. I took a bite and was surprised, as actually tasted ok. The cheddar added a nice sharpness to the creamy concoction. Its about as good of a version of mac and cheese as you would expect from processed cheese sauce and shredded cheddar. Better than a box of Kraft and nowhere near as good as a nice homemade version.
The Cheesy Grill may not be my cup of tea but if you want some comfort food classics like sloppy joes, chili grilled cheese, and soup, I think you should check it out. Cheesy Chrill is located at 2155 Miller Park Way West Milwaukee, WI 53219 – (414) 383-3070. They are open Mon-Thu 11am-8:30pm; Fri-Sat 11am-9pm; Sun 11am-7pm