Toasted is a formulaic restaurant, and what a fine formula it is. The theme is grilled cheese sandwiches. Options range from “The 101,” which is simply cheddar and tomato, to the likes of “Truffle Melt” (Havarti, truffle oil, and arugula) and “Braised Brisket” (Fontina, brisket, BBQ sauce, and caramelized onions). For $1 extra, you can add bacon or a fried egg to any sandwich. Side dishes include apple compote, which goes so well with anything cheesy, and French fries flavored with a heady perfume of rosemary and truffle oil. Mac ‘n’ cheese, a house specialty, is a beguiling blend of Jarlsberg, cheddar, and gruyere.
Sandwiches are made using tiles of significant bread and enough griddle grease to create a wickedly rich handful that oozes just enough to provide great eye appeal but remain wieldy.
There is a whole array of cheeseburgers, bacon cheeseburgers, and turkey burgers, plus a vegan menu of pretend-cheese sandwiches, pretend-meat burgers, and salads.
Toasted is the brainchild of Jeff Yarmuth, who made Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q into a national success, and there already are a few branches in the area, with no doubt more to come. Despite a ready-to-franchise fast-food look that includes an amusing periodic table of cheeses decorating one wall, it is a warm and friendly place with staff who really seemed proud of what they are doing. When our server learned that we were from out of town, she made us promise to tell folks back home all about the good food served at Toasted.