I love pimento cheese and chances are if you’re from the South, you do, too. There’s nothing more comforting than a warm and gooey grilled pimento cheese sandwich and a bowl of yummy soup or some homemade chips. I recently shared my recipe for Kel’s Reduced-fat Jalapeno Pimento Cheese, which is quick and easy to make and tastes great.
However, sometimes I want to order a grilled pimento cheese sandwich when I’m on my lunch break, so lucky for me a number of area restaurants offer this classic on their menus. Here are my Top-5 favorite places in Raleigh to get a great pimento cheese sandwich, hot off the grill.
Relish Café and Bar (5625 Creedmoor Rd., Raleigh, N.C. 27612) I got the Vegetarian pimento cheese sandwich, which has cucumbers and roasted red peppers on wheat ($8.00) and is awesome. I love the addition of the crunchy cukes to this sandwich, which pairs great with Relish’s tomato soup. Pimento cheese is one of Relish’s specialties, and I can see why – owner/chef Sharon May does it right with her blend of Pepper Jack and cheddar cheeses, pimentos, red onions and a few other ingredients. Other items on the menu that have pimento cheese include more grilled sandwiches, the Old Southern burger and fritters. You also can get this served with crackers as an appetizer. Yum, yum, yum!
Poppyseed Market Café & Wine Bar (8801 Lead Mine Rd., Raleigh, N.C. 27615) ($8.50) This sandwich is excellent but messy. Made with white cheddar and pimentos, there is no mayonnaise in this yummy pimento cheese, which has won chef Julia McGovern accolades. It’s amazing how creamy it is without the mayo. And the homemade chips that come with it are great! As usual, chef Julia delivers another home run with this specialty of the house.
Nofo at the Pig (2014 Fairview Rd., Raleigh, N.C. 27608) ($8.50) This stuff rocks, and is made with Duke’s mayonnaise according to my server. I added the crispy bacon for an extra $1.00 – there was certainly lots of it. Pimento cheese and bacon, what can be better? Nofo’s recipe includes white and yellow cheddar, Duke’s mayo, fresh lime juice, salt, pepper and pimentos. Nofo sells this by the container upstairs in its gift shop.
Boondini’s Sandwich Superstore (7403 Six Forks Rd., Raleigh, N.C. 27615) Boondini’s pimento cheese ($4.25) is excellent. I chose the sourdough bread and received a perfectly grilled sandwich with a ton of pimento cheese. Nice and creamy, but definitely not too much mayonnaise. I recommend trying this sandwich with one of Boondini’s delicious homemade soups. Great food at a great price!
Sunflower’s Café (8 W. Peace St., Raleigh, N.C. 27603) ($6.95) This grilled sandwich was very messy but very good. Sunflower’s pimento cheese is made with Pepper Jack, but it is not too spicy and has an excellent flavor. The sunflower bread that it comes on is great. Make sure you get extra napkins for this one!
If you can’t get to one of these restaurants and don’t feel like making your own, you can pick up some tasty pimento cheese at Whole Foods Market, Earth Fare or The Fresh Market – all are quite good and will keep several days in your refrigerator.
Eat, drink and be merry!
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