CHEESEWERKS (56 Bathurst, at Wellington West, 416-243-3327, cheesewerks.com) Complete meals for $25 per person, including tax, tip and a pint of local microbrew. Average main $10. Open Tuesday and Wednesday 11 am to 9 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am to 11 pm, Sunday 11 am to 8 pm. Closed Monday, some holidays. Licensed. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NN
Those who think nothing of spending almost $12 for a grilled cheese sandwich - a sloppy one made with Asiago, Chinese barbecue pork, hoisin sauce and shredded green onion tops (the Beijing, $10 plus tax) - let alone an additional 75 cents for ketchup will love Cheesewerks. The rest of us might want to steer clear.
Located across from the chi-chi Thompson Hotel, Cheesewerks comes across as a marketing exercise, from its Facebook page and Twitter accounts to the T-shirts, modish decor and catchy slogans ("Lactose-intolerant intolerant!"). The first of a franchise, no doubt. Shame the same attention that's carefully curated the retro 80s soundtrack of the Cure and the Smiths - oh, that Morrissey - hasn't been paid to the grub.
And so we get the Charleston ($9.25), a mess of double-cream Brie, balsamic-caramelized onions and sugary apricot chutney on St. John's Bakery's nutty raisin bread. Or the Original ($7.50), a relatively straight combo of aged Balderson and double-smoked cheddar on "signature" sourdough. Add bacon for $3. But double digits for a not terribly large grilled bacon 'n' cheese sandwich with ketchup, no matter how artisanal?
Not this sucker.