GAYLE’S BEST EVER GRILLED CHEESE LLC
108 N. State Street Suite 27
Chicago, IL 60602
Open Monday-Friday 7am-3pm
Also located at the following farmer’s markets in Chicago:
Green City Indoor Market from Nov-April
www.greencitymarket.org for dates
Outdoor Markets (check website for dates)
Tuesday: Museum of Contemporary Art
Wednesday: Green City Market
Thursday: Daley Plaza
Saturday: Green City Market
1st Sunday of every month: Logan Square
About Gayle’s Best Ever Grilled Cheese:
Gayle’s Best Ever Grilled Cheese started at the Green City Market in 2011 at the Prairie Pure Cheese stand. I was selling cheese at the market and realized there was fresh baked bread next to me (Bennison’s Bakery from Evanston, IL) and fresh butter on the other side of the market (Nordic Creamery from Westby, WI) and I had the best cheese for melting, I thought maybe I should make grilled cheese. And so it began. I only use Prairie Pure Cheese from Belvidere, IL.
Let me tell you a little about how I came to be a cheese vendor at the market. I had a home based bookkeeping business and one of my clients was Brian J. Gerloff, DVM, PhD. Brian had a large animal veterinary practice in Northern Illinois and had noticed a dramatic decline in the number of dairy farms. He wanted to do something to help sustain at least one farm so he partnered up with one of his clients, Todd and Brenda Aves in Belvidere, IL, (100 year old dairy farm with 90 cows) and started Prairie Pure Cheese. When Brian sold his practice and no longer needed a bookkeeper he asked if I would like to be the sales rep, market vendor and delivery person for Prairie Pure Cheese. Since I had filled in at the market a few times for him (and absolutely loved it) I said sure. I was doing 2 markets at the time (3 days) and now do 4 markets (5 days). Not only has the cheese sustained the Aves’ farm they put up a new barn last fall and added cows to their herd. Grilled cheese with a purpose!
February 8 of this year I opened my first storefront located in Block Thirty Seven (right across from Daley Plaza – 108 N. State St.) down in the pedway. I am right between the red and blue line. I currently am open Monday-Friday from 7-3 but this may change in time. Almost all of the ingredients I use on my sandwiches from market vendors are available at the storefront.
The first year I sold only the “Classic” which had Prairie Pure Butterkase cheese on it, fresh bread and fresh butter. I started to add toppings from market vendors the next summer like tomatoes from Mick Klug Farm and Iron Creek Farms, arugula and jalapenos from Green Acres and Honey Crisp apples from Mick Klug Farm or Hillside Orchard. I then added ham, bacon and pork sausage from Jake’s Country Meat and Basil Pesto from Tuscan Hen. We also have fresh eggs on the breakfast sandwich from Meadow Haven Farm.
The best part about delivering the cheese to the chefs at restaurants in Chicago is talking with them about toppings for the grilled cheese (amongst other things). I have several restaurants that make toppings for me and then I name the sandwiches after their restaurant.
Southport Grocery and Cafe makes several toppings for the grilled cheese. The “Southport” has Butterkase cheese and their Smoked Onion Marmalade (won a Good Food Award). Southport also makes my Rhubarb Mustard, Spiced Cranberry Marmalade, Cranberry Mustard, Blueberry Mustard, Tomato Preserves and my delicious Tomato Pesto soup. I have jars of the smoked onion marmalade to buy at my storefront as well as the market but I would definitely pay them a visit to eat and shop for these locally sourced items.
The “Duke” is named after Duke’s Alehouse in Crystal Lake, IL. They also buy Prairie Pure Cheese and they make the Beer Mustard I use.
The “Abreo” is named after Abreo in Rockford, IL. Also a Prairie Pure Cheese customer, they make the Bacon Onion Jam.
The sandwich selection varies depending on what is available from the market vendors. I also use Coop Sauce’s Poblano Mustard and Barrel Hot Sauce; River Valley’s Heirloom Tomato Salsa and Five Cheese Garlic Spread; Bushel and Peck’s Asparagus Raspberry Jam and Beet Ketchup as well as Three Sisters Garden fresh pecans, just to name a few.
Best Late Night snack for weddings – catering available.
Gayle’s at Baconfest Chicago 2014:
At Baconfest Chicago:
Grilled Cheese – The Abreo