Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 7 a.m.
Not just cheesy melts: Check out dessert renditions like this banana-chocolate combo
St. Paul Cheese Shop is a cheese-lover's paradise, a distinction they're doubling down on with their recent menu addition.
The Mac-Groveland shop has added to its repertoire du fromage a new line of "melts," hot pressed grilled cheese sandwiches. With brimming cases of high-end cheeses and towering shelves of luxury pantry staples, this spot has a reputation for filling out that dinner-party cheese plate and supplying lunchtime sandwiches stuffed with fancy cold cuts. Now they're blending their best attributes in a menu of ooey, gooey masterpieces.
We popped into the shop to try the newest addition.
Mozzarella and tomato-garlic confit melt
The melts menu is varied, with options ranging from the breakfast-leaning prosciutto with slow-cooked egg to the peppery cheddar with harissa to the slightly sweet brie with cranberry chutney.
Each savory melt is served with a "shot" of tomato soup. While edging closer to a mild marinara than a tomato bisque, the sweet red side provided a nice balance for the gooey mozzarella and tomato-garlic confit melt we sampled.
The sandwiches all have super salty centers thanks to a generous amount of top-shelf cheese oozing between the slices, but the fillings are nicely offset by their soft, buttery brioche crust.
No meal would be complete without dessert, and the new melts menu has this base covered too. The options of the day were a mascarpone with pear-ginger honey preserves, or banana and house-made chocolate hazelnut spread.
A bit overwhelming on a warm day, the chocolate-banana melt is just the sort of thing that bumps bikini diets right out the window. But nevermind all that: The slight acidity of the banana with the soft bread played with the richness of the hazelnut spread so delightfully that Nutella just may have met its match in this sandwich.
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