Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dining ~ Cheeseboy ~ Providence

Providence Place Mall
Food Court
1 Providence Place
Providence, RI.
(401) 383-9294

Normally we don't review restaurants that are part of a chain, or headquartered outside Rhode Island, however we were approached by Cheeseboy to post about their fundraiser for Hole in the Wall camps. The fundraiser coincided with the opening of their only store in Rhode Island, at Providence Place.

I had a phone interview with Michael Inwald, the president and founder of Cheeseboy, because like a lot of people I had to wonder, "Why grilled cheese?"

"I'm a cheese fanatic," he told me, and went on to describe how he started making grilled cheese for himself, and then as an easy, inexpensive and delicious offering for guests when he was in college and just starting out. He played with combinations of cheeses and toppings, and his sandwiches were very popular with friends and family.  With their encouragement, and his newly-minuted Master's degree, Michael opened up his first shop.

When I asked him what brought him to Rhode Island, he was very enthusiastic. He spends a lot of time traveling through Rhode Island for work, and has family in the area. "I love Providence, and its food culture. Our customers come from all walks of life, and Providence epitomizes New England's cultural diversity." He's currently looking for franchisees and exploring adding more stores in Providence and Warwick, saying that he and his employees are passionate about food and hospitality. That passion definitely comes across in his voice.

When I asked him what his favorite grilled cheese sandwich is, it was hard for him to decide, although he ultimately settled on the classic of his youth: tomato basil on Italian breed with creamy white cheese.

C and I went to the store at Providence Place, and found that, even at 8:30 it was active.


The staff was friendly, happy to let us take pictures and to answer our questions. The cooking area was open and clean, even at the end of the day, and it was clear that they stay on top of it. Bear loved the color and layout of the store.

Cheeseboy Healthymelt   Cheeseboy classic`

I ordered a Healthy Melt (that's multigrain bread with light Swiss, roasted red pepper and spinach), minus the red pepper. C got the make your own with Cabot cheddar on Italian bread. Turnaround time was quick, and we had our food in just a couple of minutes.

Cheeseboy wrapping

They arrived in these mini-pizza boxes. I was happy to see that they weren't Styrofoam or plastic. C, who is more knowledgeable about all things green and sustainable, was concerned about the likelihood of their being recycled or composted. Few people are willing to take home items for recycling. It would be cool if there was a station to discard empty boxes for shredding and composting, but I imagine it would be a sanitary issue as well as a cost issue. Honestly, I wish more restaurants and stores would look into the sustainability of their carry-out containers, but that's a rant for another day, and nothing to do with Cheeseboy in particular.

We both enjoyed our sandwiches. C's Cabot cheddar was nice and sharp. C also got a moon pie, which she enjoyed. I liked what the spinach brought to the sandwich, and the multigrain bread is excellent. I wished the cheese were a bit more sharp, and would love to see avocado as a topping option.

It was a good experience, and we'd suggest it to anyone looking for fast, comfort food at the mall.

2 We {heart} comments:

  1. Leanne @ Around the TableFebruary 2, 2012 1:50 PM

    This looks amazing. I saw one in South Station in Boston and I was so excited to hear one is coming to RI! Yipee!

    1. I {heart} RhodyFebruary 2, 2012 2:31 PM

      It's pretty good. A nice comfort-food stop at the mall :)

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