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Say Cheese

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Restaurant: Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese

Party of: Just moi

Time: noon

Preamble ramble

With sandwich names such as Edam and Weep, Parmageddon and Jack to the Future, I couldn’t resist trying Hammontree’s. Besides, it’s a restaurant that specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches, and there aren’t too many things in my life that rank higher than gooey, melted cheese. I arrived at noon, and the place was packed. I opted to sit at the bar rather than wait on a table or wilt in the very hot sun out on the patio. Wilting is just so unattractive.

Food for thought

I decided on the Cheebacca sandwich, which is sharp white cheddar, house cheese (a blend of Monterey Jack, white cheddar and Asiago cheeses), bacon, pulled pork, grilled onions and garlic cilantro sauce on toasted sourdough.

Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese sits next to You Know Uno’s and behind Hog Haus near Dickson Street in Fayetteville. (PHOTO: RICHARD DAVIS)

So you’d think that a sandwich with not only that much cheese but also bacon on it would have to be absolutely fantastic, right? Wrong.

It wasn’t bad, but when I took the first bite, I waited for something to happen. Anything. I didn’t have to have a taste explosion, maybe just a little bit of a spark. I got nada. The cheddar wasn’t sharp enough to break through the other flavors, and the cilantro in the sauce was barely noticeable. In fact, none of the flavors stood out; they were all equally mild. It wasn’t so bland that it was inedible, but it was so bland that I wouldn’t order it again.

Wait a minute

Jason the Most Righteous and Awesome Bartender (probably not his official title) was great. I ordered my food at 12:06 and by 12:22 I had a sandwich, potato chips and the obligatory pickle spear in front of me. (Why can’t a restaurant serve something besides chips and a pickle with their sandwiches?)

Jason kept my drink filled and paid attention to me without making me feel like I was being stalked. He also was sporting a Millennium Falcon shirt, which really has nothing to do with the quality of the food or service. It did, however, appeal to my geeky side and earned him a little bit bigger tip.

The Sporkcast
(on a scale of 1-5 sporks)

Atmosphere: 4.6 steel sporks with brick handles.

The industrial design of the place works well, and the abundance of windows makes up for the lack of artwork. The one piece of art that did speak to me was the velvet Elvis. Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to discuss what the velvet Elvis spoke to me about.

Food: 3.2 sporks dripping with melted cheese with the potential of being a 5. I didn’t like the sandwich I ordered, but the menu is full of other choices. You can even build your own melt from a more than decent selection of cheeses, meats and sauces. They also offer hot dogs, organic salads and, most importantly, a full bar.

Staff: 5 very shiny sporks stuck in a wedge of Gouda. Not only was Jason as close to perfect as you could find in a waiter, but the entire wait staff was smiling and seemed to really enjoy their jobs.

Dollars spent: About 9 bucks. The prices start out at $2.50 for the kid’s menu items and go up to $6.95.

Chance of returning: Even though I wasn’t pleased with my sandwich, I found the other menu choices intriguing enough to try Hammontree’s again. Of course, my decision to return could just be that I’m a total sucker for cheesy puns.

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