Cheesie’s, once a humble hole in the wall off the Belmont El stop in Chicago, has been transformed through recent renovations into a superb grunge-meets-art-deco full out bar, complete with flat-screened TVs lining the walls. It just so happens to also specialize in serving some of the most intensely amazing grilled cheese you can find.
Whether you’ve been bar-hopping and are suddenly hit by the urge to inhale as much grease as humanly possible, or you just want to enjoy an ice cold Mike’s with your grilled cheese (a winning combo), Cheesie’s serves as a great venue for the fulfillment of all your beer-and-cheese dreams. Its laid-back vibe is the perfect atmosphere to indulge in a nap-inducing comfort food meal, and it also lulls you into a sense of calm that might not otherwise exist if you were fully cognizant of what you were consuming. For example, we sampled "The Tenderizer," a frightening creation containing cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, fried chicken tenders, bacon, Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce, Louisiana Hot Sauce, all between two slices of deeply buttered slices of Texas toast and then dipped in ranch. The prevailing feeling after consuming this monster was one of shame and regret, but on a purely taste-level analysis, it was definitely thrilling, despite its similarity to any sandwich that can be purchased from, say, a Sheetz.
If you’re not feeling up to a side of self-loathing with your grilled cheese, there are tamer yet equally interesting options, including "The Caprese," which we also tried. This delicious morsel, served on sourdough, features mozzarella, tomato, olive oil and crushed basil with creamy pesto mayo. It’s a refreshing yet indulgent take on a classic that’s suitable for vegetarian drunchies or a casual lunch. Paired with Cheesie’s perfect crinkly sweet potato fries, you can’t go wrong.