It was just a grilled cheese sandwich. That’s all we tried at Rubi’s, a single sandwich split between the two of us. But what a sandwich! Pullman slices enclose Comté and the optional tomato (which turns out to be roasted yellow specimens, full of flavor). The sandwich is wrapped up and THEN gets placed in the grill press. Press isn’t quite the right word, though, because while the sandwich is grilled on both sides simultaneously it does not get heavily compressed (unlike the grilled cheese we make at home, which gets pressed down hard in the pan as it cooks).
The sandwich spends a surprising amount of time in that grill, and just when you think that maybe they’ve forgotten it and the sandwich might be burning, out it comes. They give it a diagonal slice and it’s yours. The result is exquisite. The bread retains its integrity; it’s perfectly toasted on the outside, yet the insides of the slices remain light and airy. The quality cheese and tomato make a real difference. Yes, it’s only a grilled cheese sandwich but if you, like us, adore grilled cheese, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try (or the highly regarded version with halloumi and preserved lemons).
Rubi’s is around back of a bank-building-turned-cheese-shop, called Rubiner’s, in downtown Great Barrington in the Berkshires. Rubi’s is more than grilled cheese; they take advantage of the fancy products sold at the front of the building, so you can also enjoy things like an open-faced sandwich of pate and grainy mustard, Niman Ranch hot dogs with locally made sauerkraut, or Reuben’s constructed with house-made corned beef. Don’t ignore the coffee: Rubi’s is also said to enjoy the services of some of the finest baristas in the Berkshires. We look forward to sampling more during future visits.