On a visit to The Cheese Shop of Des Moines with friends we ordered up an assortment of items from the Café menu and one of the weekend Tarte Flambée specials.
I only partook of one forkful of the Bacon Mac & Cheese, but what a delight it was. Pasta is baked in a wee cast-iron skillet with Niman Ranch bacon, a Mornay sauce with Frisian Farms gouda, along with as the menu states, all the “lucky cheese bits.” Lots of textural excitement, loads of flavor.
The Tarte Flambée ordered on this occasion was topped with a Cotechino sausage likely spiced with allspice, and perhaps cinnamon. This garnered a mixed reaction around the table. Some found the flavor confusing. I found the spiciness reminiscent of Cincinnati chili.
The Cheese Shop’s Muffuletta was a delicate, refined expression of the classic New Orleans sandwich, built with Fra’ Mani mortadella, Genoa salami, Creminelli Calabrese salami, fresh mozzarella, Milton Creamery’s Tomme, and olive salad, on a La Mie sesame seed loaf.
I’ve written about other Metro restaurant’s grilled cheese sandwich offerings in the past [see this blog post and that blog post], but this was the first time I tried The Cheese Shop’s famous Toasties. And I’ll tell ya, they’re magnificent!
The standard Toastie is an Iowa cheese trifecta, made with Milton’s quark and Prairie Breeze, along with Frisian Farms' gouda. An optional schmear of fig spread was surprisingly complimentary.
A Spanish Toastie offers world famous La Quercia prosciutto, with Wisconsin Dante cheese, Marcona almond butter and quince paste. Other Toasties offer such delectables as The Cheese Shop’s pepper jam, Niman Ranch bacon, monger selected blue cheese, seasonal greens, and fried egg. Mmm… fried egg.