In the first of my two recent comfort food posts, I mentioned that this is the season of melted cheese. Now that it’s dipped below zero and we’ve gotten a bit of snow, the weather is ESPECIALLY perfect for the mother of all melted cheese dishes, the queen of (my) cravings: grilled cheese sandwiches!
My parents were recently in town for my sister’s convocation, and we had one afternoon free for exploring. Asking them “Would you like to come to Richmond for grilled cheese sandwiches?” was an easy sell. Especially for my dad.
Zee’s is a small space with a big menu, including breakfast served all day.
Their grilled cheese sandwiches come in both vegetarian and meat options; there’s tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons (of course!); and there are five healthy smoothie options with optional additions such as chia seeds, hemp hearts, and protein powder.
I opted for a Caribbean Queen smoothie (with mango, coconut, chia seeds, yogurt, and orange juice) and the Cubana sandwich. My dad went for the Sante Fe sandwich and a freshly-squeezed lemonade, and my mom chose the roasted tomato soup with croutons. Zee’s sandwiches are made with sourdough (either multigrain or white), and come tucked into cute red plaid cones.
My Cubano had pulled pork, ham, Swiss, a pickle, sriracha butter and roasted garlic,
while my dad’s Sante Fe had roasted chicken breast, avocado, tomato, Swiss, and roasted garlic. Both were full of cheese, oh so gooey, and FILLING.
Plus there’s a surprise under them! The bottom of the cones are filled with spicy plantain chips, which add heat and a good crunch to the meal.
My mom really enjoyed her soup, and I must say, the grilled cheese crouton idea is brilliant. I’m adding it to my winter cooking arsenal for sure.
Zee’s also offers power bars, which are made with dark chocolate, hemp hearts, and topping choices of either cashews, almonds, or cranberries. They’re $7.50 but enormous, and make both a good dessert and/or breakfast! Hemp hearts are full of omega-3 fatty acids and who also doesn’t want to start their day off with a little dark chocolate?
After lunch, we read up on the history of grilled cheese, which is displayed on a poster inside the shop. Did you know the world record for most grilled cheese sandwiches eaten in one sitting is 34 and a half? I cringe to think of eater Joey Chestnut’s state when he got halfway through that 35th sandwich and had to say “NO MORE.” Actually, he probably just raised in hands in defeat. Who could possibly talk with that much cheese in their system?
After lunch, we walked off our (single!) grilled cheese sandwiches, and checked out the docks on a broody afternoon in Steveston.
Sandwiches and a stroll – what could possibly be nicer?