My daughter discovered a wonderful new place to eat in one of our favorite locations in Denver – on Pearl Street. It’s a small shopping district comprised of a couple of blocks in an area south of Denver proper that has unique restaurants and shops and it’s always fun to go there because you don’t see the same old, same old fare; that was so true of The Crushery. (Sad note; as of 2014 it’s now gone and has been replaced with another boring pizza joint).
Despite being raised in the ‘burbs’ Lauren loves everything downtown. I’m not as crazy as she is about heading into the concrete jungle where parking is not a given so this has been a great compromise because we both love it and it’s got great charm…so unlike heading to the local mall. Park Meadows is beautiful but still pristine, find me a non chain store and I’ll give you my lottery winnings (not that I’ve won yet!).
I think it was my very first venture out of the house a couple of months ago for something other than a doctor’s visit after breaking my leg and my best bud Barb came with us. It was casual and the garage door front facade was open on an especially nice day in April and we spent two hours there gabbing and trying a variety of their sandwiches and desserts.
Nothing fancy here, just one big room and a counter for ordering your food. There are several tables, a fireplace and a charming patio in the back (with parking). Nice friendly wait staff round out what was a totally wonderful experience. Owner/Chef John Davidson provides a great place for food lovers by serving homemade breads, bagels, pannini, salads; they even make their own decadent desserts!
I loved everything but was (still am) most crazy about their Shredded Pork, Bacon, Green Chiles, and Queso Fresco with Chipotle Aioli sandwich. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it!
Since getting out at that time was so difficult, I decided to mimic my own version of this deliciousness at home. It’s a lighter version, mostly because I was not going to be cooking a pork shoulder anytime soon, so this is more of a standard grilled cheese, no meat anywhere in sight. I admit, first time I had ever had queso fresco on a grilled cheese sandwich so maybe standard is lacking for a description; this is anything but!
Next up? Mimicking their preparation of ice cream? Nope, not anytime soon…they mix ingredients with a cream base and freeze on the spot. You’ll just have to come to Denver for our favorite mix of caramel, sea salt and graham cracker crumbs in vanilla. Yes, it’s that good!
Grilled Queso Fresco Cheese Sandwich with Green Chiles
- 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 can green chiles, chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- Bread - 8 slices - I did use some great chiabatta bread but use what you have
- 1 package Queso Fresco cheese; ours was 12 oz.
- Chipotle aioli
- 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
- Adobo chile sauce
- Combine sauce with mayonnaise to taste...some like it hot!
- Dice onion and saute in 2Tbsp of olive oil until translucent, about 5-7 minutes
- Add green chiles, salt and pepper and cook at low temperature for 10 minutes to meld flavors
- Brush bread slices on one side with olive oil
- Place four bread slices with olive oil side down in skillet
- Layer cheese on top of bread, top with chile/onion mixture
- Slather 2nd piece of bread with Chipotle mayonnaise
- Top cheese and chile mixture with 2nd bread layer, olive oil side facing up
- Grill til browned on both sides and cheese is melted
I must admit, I did wish I had some bacon on hand...adding a couple of slices of crisp bacon to each sandwich would still make this an easy and delicious dish!
More: Sadly this little place has gone out of business and has been replaced with a pizza joint. So glad I recreated this as a reminder...and why does every place I love die. ?