Tom and Chee puts a new spin on an old favorite

Pete Wisniewski

Staff Writer

If you have ever been driving through Lancaster County and thought to yourself, “Man, I could really go for a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich,” but you had nowhere to go, you can now put you mind (and stomach) to rest and grab a bite to eat at Tom and Chee. Tom and Chee takes something that everyone – especially college students – are very familiar with and puts a unique and delicious spin on it. Offering a very creative variety of grilled cheese sandwiches and a selection of tomato soups, Tom and Chee brings a fresh change of pace for food options in Lancaster without breaking the bank.

Tom and Chee is for the kid at heart, mixing classic comfort food with varied ingredients, healthy alternatives, and exciting combinations.
Tom and Chee is for the kid at heart, mixing classic comfort food with varied ingredients, healthy alternatives, and exciting combinations.

Starting as a food tent outside of an ice skating rink in Cincinnati in 2009, Tom and Chee quickly grew to become a phenomenon. It began as an idea at a backyard cookout between the two founders Trew Quackenbush and Corey Ward who both had a desire to do something that hadn’t been done before, and to own their own business. Since then they have begun to open several new locations across the country and have gathered more and more of a stark following, and show no plans of slowing down. They have been featured on TV shows such as: “The Chew,” “Man v Food Nation,” “Amazing Eats,” and was named “Best New Sandwich in America” by NBC’s “Today Show.” Possibly the most important TV exposure for Tom and Chee was when they appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” where they secured a deal with Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban which helped them jumpstart franchising out their business.

Tom and Chee feels like a sandwich cafe and strikes a perfect balance between a sit-down restaurant and a fast food place. You can walk in an order what you want at the counter and then it is brought out to you. The option is available for the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup, but for the more adventurous individuals there is a selection of fancy grilled cheese, like the BLT and chee, grilled mac and cheese or even a hot and spicy grilled cheese, all of which can be made into a double decker sandwich. Salads are also available, along with a soup of the day. The staple the really makes Tom and Chee stand out is their famous grilled cheese donut, and yes it is exactly what it sounds like, a grilled cheese but with a donut instead of bread. It may sound outlandish in description, but it is quite delicious and comes in different options like s’more, strawberry lemonade and choco bacon bliss. It is definitely worth a try at least once.

Tom and Chee offers a fresh option for dining out and seems like it will stay around. Not only does it provide a delicious, affordable meal, but it is a gentle reminder that the American dream is achievable; two friends had an idea, put everything they had into it, worked hard and accomplished their goal. Tom and Chee is located in Lancaster on 2080 Grand Street.