If you thought grilled cheese sandwiches only paired well with tomato soup, Baked Beer & Bread Co. has a treat for you.
The culinary masterminds at the restaurant in the Village of East Davenport have concocted a seasonal Grilled Cheese x Cocktail Pairing for Thursday, Oct. 24, beginning at 4:20 p.m. — “in Baked fashion,” said general manager Jessica McMahon, jokingly referring to the prominence of 4:20 in the marijuana-smoking community.
The event will continue until 9 p.m., or until supplies run out, at 1113 Mound St., Davenport.
Co-owner Stephanie Sellers said Baked does flight pairings fairly often, and it has done a couple of grilled cheese and cocktail pairings, too. “This one is a little different from the ones we've done in the past,” she said. “We're incorporating a little bit of Halloween and a little bit of fall into the lineup.”
Each pairing will include four 5-ounce cocktails and four mini grilled cheese sandwiches, each roughly the size of a half sandwich, for $24.
McMahon said the flight includes:
• An apple cider hot toddy made with Cody Road Bourbon Whiskey, lemon, apple cider and honey, paired with an apple cheddar grilled cheese.
• A Black Flame Candle cocktail made with activated charcoal vodka, strawberry puree, soda and dry ice, paired with a blackened breakfast sandwich. Served on black bread, the sandwich includes a blackened egg, candied bacon and pepper jack cheese.
• A Strawberry Mule made with vodka, strawberry puree and ginger beer, paired with a basil pesto grilled cheese.
• A Vampire's Bite cocktail made with grenadine, orange juice and activated charcoal rum, paired with a red velvet waffle stuffed with mozzarella, Nutella and raspberry compote.
“One of our grilled cheeses is on an activated charcoal bread, so it's like a jet-black bread,” Sellers said. “It's, like, very Halloween, which is fun.”
That sandwich — as well as the red velvet waffle sandwich — highlight Baked's brunch offerings, too. “We are really known for our brunch that we do on the weekends,” Sellers said.
Sellers made note of the dishes' and drinks' little details, such as the addition of dry ice to the Black Flame Candle to make it smoky. “Being right before Halloween, I think that's really fun and gets people in the spirit,” she said.
Sellers and McMahon said the crew at Baked likes to have fun and offer events that they would like to attend, too. A unique event such as this in the middle of the week is perfect for something different for a date night or girls' night out, Sellers said.
Plus, grilled cheese is "such a comfort food for fall,” she said. “I eat grilled cheese year-round, but I feel like in the fall, it's perfect.”
McMahon, who dreamed up the flight of cocktails, said the drinks “kind of play into the flavor profiles” of the sandwiches.
Hosting the pairings give employees the chance to have a little fun, she said, coming up with the concoctions and seeing the community react to them.
“People go crazy over them,” she said of the the pairing events.
Thursday night's pairings will last as long as supplies do, the women said. They noted that at past grilled-cheese events, they have run out of ingredients. The cocktails, the two said, will be available through Halloween.
Sellers and McMahon said Baked is always looking to do new things, and has hosted other very successful pairings, too, such as cupcakes and cocktails and beer flights and doughnuts, which it does on Mondays.
“It's just really fun,” McMahon said.
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