Grilled cheese sandwiches are one of the most beloved items in the American diet. The butter, bread, and cheese combination is so popular that U.S. residents consume more than 2 billion of these sandwiches a year. A recent scientific study showed cheese does have addictive properties. According to Alan Davidson in his book “The Oxford Companion to Food,” melted cheese appeared as a topping on toast before the late 1500s. The toasted classic still is as prevalent today in local favorites like Emge’s Deli and Ice Cream, Lics Deli & Ice Cream, and Tom + Chee.
Emge’s Deli and Ice Cream
Emge’s Deli and Ice Cream serves about 15 grilled cheese sandwiches a day using four slices of cheese in each. Customers can choose from a variety of different cheeses and breads, and enjoy their own cheesy creation. “I think our grilled cheese is so popular because people get to pick and choose the cheese and the bread,” says Cassandra Moss, an Emge’s crewmember of three years.
Lic’s Deli & Ice Cream
Lic’s Deli & Ice Cream’s eight locations in Evansville, Newburgh, Vincennes, and Owensboro, Kentucky, sell so many grilled cheese sandwiches that they have to pre-prepare them every morning before the stores open. Like Emge’s, Lic’s customers can choose what kind of bread and cheese make up their sandwich. “The most popular combination involves Swiss, American, and pepper jack cheeses with our made-from-scratch wheat bread,” says Director of Advertising Kara Combs. Adding tomatoes and green peppers is a popular way to enjoy a Lic’s grilled cheese.
Tom + Chee
At Tom + Chee, grilled cheese is the main entrée of all meals offered. The newly opened chain restaurant on N. Green River Road serves up 15 different “fancy” grilled cheese sandwich variations like Pesto + Turkey, which consists of roasted turkey, pesto, and mozzarella cheese on white bread. Customers also can build their own grilled cheese and top it off with one of nine grilled cheese donuts for dessert. The most popular menu item, however, is the classic Tom + Chee — tomatoes, garlic seasoning, cheddar, and mozzarella cheese on white bread.
For more information about Emge’s Deli and Ice Cream, call 812-422-3026. For more information on Lic’s Deli & Ice Cream, call 812-424-3066 or visit licsdeliandicecream.com. For more information on Tom + Chee, call 812-401-2433 or visit tomandchee.com.