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Katie Davis

@PopCultureCuisine

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Monday, September 17, 2012 @ 10:09 AM

Restaurant: Tom + Chee (Cincinnati, OH)

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Featured on Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food” and The Today Show, our next feature is a unique Grilled Cheese Shop that offers up a whole variety of sandwiches, soups, and salads…all around one of the best foods…CHEESE!!! Based in Cincinnati, Tom + Chee is a cheese lover’s paradise and they even have a special spin on sweet with one of the most unique dishes we’ve seen yet…a grilled cheese that uses a glazed donut as the bread…, yes a donut! Anyway, we had the opportunity to go with my parents, brother and sister in-law on a quick trip to Cincinnati and we were far from disappointed.

 

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-rrTnWdgW4

SIGNATURE DISH: If my little blurb above didn’t give it away…grilled cheese sandwiches are this little shop’s forte. But these aren’t your momma’s Kraft singles slapped between two slices of Bunny Bread…not in the slightest. Tom + Chee’s creations are some serious cheesy goodness, from a classic plain cheese, to ones mixed with meat combinations; and as we mentioned…, on a donut! Pretty much any cheesy combo you can think of they are doing it and doing it well!

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TASTE: While I’m not very picky when it comes to a grilled cheese, I now know I clearly have been missing out in this sandwich department all these years. I mean…what’s not to love…buttery thick bread, ooey gooey cheese coming out the sides, and any addition you can possibly think of. These totally hit the spot and although unlike any other grilled cheese I’d ever had, not so weird that I wouldn’t keep going back for more. A bunch of us also tried their soups, and both the creamy tomato and cheese soups were extremely tasty and perfect for those cheesy dips. Finally we all tried a bite of their grilled cheese donut, while although hard to describe, was pretty much the best thing you have ever tried!

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AMBIANCE: The location we visited was just a little shop downtown Cincinnati that I would say had no more than 5 or 6 tables and the counter you ordered from. You could literally see their small kitchen. I guess what more do they really need than their flat top? We were there when they opened so we easily snagged a table and it was a perfect cute and quaint city spot to catch a quick bite, but I can’t imagine being there when they are busy.

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SERVICE: You order at the counter and from there they quickly whip up your sandwiches and grab your soups and bring them to you. There wasn’t much in the way of service, but nothing to complain about.

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PRICE: For six sandwiches and for most of us soups as well, I thought the prices were very reasonable. Often time new trendy places that come in get you with their prices, because well…they can. But I felt that this was really no more or less than you might find at a local deli or something similar, so I found them to be spot on.

Overall, lunch at Tom + Chee was a great way to spend a Sunday morning and we had a really fun time getting to try bites of eachother’s cheesy creations. We also recently learned that a Tom + Chee opened where my parents live in Louisville, so you’ll be sure to hear us talking about it again. I give Tom AND Chee 4 ‘Little Piggies.’

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Monday, August 20, 2012 @ 06:08 AM

003Now that Adam and I are parents and time is no longer something that flows like wine (ummm….wine!), we’ve decided to cut down Pop Culture Cuisine to be more streamlined.  We will still be bringing great reviews of some of the most pop culture worthy restaurants in the country, we are just going to focus more on the major points of the review (i.e., Signature Dish, Taste, Ambiance, Price, and Service).  There will be some backstory, but we want to make sure we get the the meat and potatoes of what makes this restaurant worthy or our pop culture interest and if it’s worth the hype.

So…with out further ado…this week I introduce you to the new simpler reviews of PCC with our visit to Kuma’s Corner in Chicago.  To get a better idea of this place, take a look at the videos below of when Guy Fieri visited for Food Network’s “Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives” and when it was featured on Cooking Channel’s “Unique Eats”…

 

 

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqtePe5dPrk

 

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16v3w9lCsYk

 

This was actually our second attempt to go to the popular Chicago burger bar, being that the first time the wait was 3-4 hours!  So, the next time around we decided to show up 30 minutes before they opened to assure us a spot…and we STILL had to wait in a line! Smile 

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SIGNATURE DISH: Burgers are the name of the game at Kuma’s, but not just any ol’ burger. These burgers are “amped” up to be just as LOUD as the bar’s Heavy Metal theme, which they are true to all the way down to the menu. They do have some other things on the menu (like the ingenious ‘Make Your own Mac & Cheese!), but at their core they are a hard core burger joint.

 

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TASTE: Ok…burgers are one of those foods that is hard to be Amazing! It is either “ya…that’s pretty good” or “ehhh.” What I mean is there isn’t much room between bad and good…kinda like pizza. That being said…Kuma’s is AMAZING!!! Probably one of the best burger’s I’ve ever had. It’s juicy and flavorful and most of all memorable. If I lived in Chicago, this would be the only place I’d want to go for a burger…it’s that good. Plus, all the burgers come on pretzel roll which is probably why Kuma’s has been named the “Best Burger in Chicago!” Really…you gotta have one, and you’ll agree this burger is foodie bliss.

 

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AMBIANCE:  Remember…Kuma’s Corner is a bar fashioned after the music of Heavy Metal, and while heavy metal really isn’t my cup of tea normally, there is something about it that really works and lends itself to the whole experience at Kuma’s.  While the metal really adds to the whole HARD CORE vibe, it also still has that small cramped old school feeling that is so comforting and familiar in like every bar in Chicago.

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SERVICE: This place is so popular and packed that the staff is working their butt off!  Although we had some forethought and got in line super early so we would ensure ourselves a spot right when they opened, they were literally packed to the gills within moment of opening that door.  That being said, although they were instantly busy and packed, our waitress was as attentive as she could be and friendly, a lot friendlier than I was expecting giving the whole vibe of the place…, yeah I am judgy.  She even was patient as we were holding a table and waiting for our friends Jenn & Bob to join us.  Overall…great servcie.

 

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PRICE: While these burgers are a little on the pricey side (most priced around $13), they pack a whole lot of fun and fancy ingredients on a bun and you will definitely not be hungry afterwards…that is if you can finish it!  So although maybe more than your local drive-in or fast food joint, considering these burgers have a lot going on and are pretty DARN good, I will overlook the price.

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So while we have tried our fair share of burgers over the course of the last few years, this certainly ranks up there with some of the best EVVA.  I mean yes, a burger is a burger is a burger, but cook it right, throw some outstanding ingredients on, complete its flavor profile with the wonderfulness of a pretzel bun and convince Katie that no burger is now complete without egg, and you have yourselves a true winner in my book.  I’m so glad to say we were finally able to try Kuma’s Corner and I happily give it 4 1/2 ‘Little Piggies.’

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Thursday, August 9, 2012 @ 07:08 PM

Ever since having Kherington and then subsequently going back to work, I have found that in my free time the last thing I often feel like doing is blogging.  I realize most of you are probably thinking, “come on, it’s not like it really must take you all that long.”  And you would be write, if I really just sat down and wrote my posts, I could pop them out relatively quickly.  However, I find that when I sit down, I feel so brain dead, I honestly don’t know what to say and therefore feel pretty uninspired.   I am not trying to toot my own horn or make it sound like this blog is the end all be all for anyone else but Adam and I, but I have been feeling like my heart hasn’t been quite in it these days.  I mean I know I am no writing Pulitzer Prize winning stuff, but I also want to feel like what I am putting out there is well-written, funny, and actually gives some pertinent information, not just whatever BS I decided to pull out.  It is when I start to feel like this that I question whether I should even devote time to the blog anymore, when it is clear that I am hardly even putting forth enough effort for anyone to even follow me regularly, but then I also step back and see this thing that has been such a fun addition and inspiration for our travels that I think I should keep forging ahead.  I do know this, if I do keep it going, I definitely want to make a few changes, spice it up if you will…

So my few loyal followers, with all that being said, I want to ask you opinion.  I would love it if you would take the time to complete my short survey or even send me a note with any comments or suggestions you may have.  Or even if you just want to tell me how wonderful you think I am, I’ll take that too Smile

 

Click Here For Survey