There’s a fellow gluten-free in my office and I’m usually passing along lots of tips to her about gluten-free restaurants or certain products I’ve found. A few weeks ago the tables were turned as she sort of casually said that Cheese Course now has gluten-free bread. Oh really? She hadn’t tried the bread yet, but had noticed it now on the menu one time at lunch. Their menu online had been updated to also list gluten-free bread.
Cheese Course was just a block away from my old office. I had been a good number of times, especially given the fact it just had soups and salads for me to eat previously. A lot of co-workers really really liked it (especially for the salads) and I had eaten there for a number of internal and external work lunches, plus personal lunches when co-workers were going there. I enjoyed the broccoli cheese soup and usually got that and a Caesar salad (no croutons). Not the must filling or fulfilling lunch in my books (I do eat a lot and like lots of protein), but it was decent when I had a lunch meeting there. Of course right as our office moves they add gluten-free bread…
Our new office isn’t that far from our old, although we do have to drive now to go to lunch in Midtown. After I learned this gluten-free baguette news, some co-workers were going, so I decided to join and try this gluten-free baguette. Part of the reason people like Cheese Course is that it’s good quality and has a pretty wide selection of sandwiches, salads, and a number of soups. When I was restricted to salads and soups I wasn’t ever that crazy about it, but now I was excited to have the whole sandwich menu open to me and was faced with a tough decision.
Per usual, the grilled cheese sandwiches called out to me. They have four of them with some delicious cheeses, plus you can add turkey, bacon, or ham. They also have sandwiches with more gourmet meat like prosciutto and Serrano ham. At first the scrambled eggs and bacon sandwich didn’t catch my attention (although I do love breakfast sandwiches). However after reading that it came with avocado, roasted red peppers, and Chipotle mayo, I was a lot more interested. I ended up going for that. One of the rich grilled cheeses seems more appropriate for a weekend lunch, when I don’t have to come back to work in a food/cheese coma.
This first gluten-free baguette experience we were eating it there. My co-workers’ food came out and I told them to get started of course. I then waited. And waited. I was about to get up and double check they still had my order when it came out. (Insert joke about them running to France to pick a baguette up…). I was hungry, so I won’t say I was happy to wait, but in ways it ended up being worth the wait. This is an excellent gluten-free baguette. Really the best I’ve tried in Miami (and in general, but my experience with gluten-free baguettes is limited). It’s not dry or hard. It’s chewy and soft. It was quite delicious and I was very impressed. I expected it to be pretty good, but thought the sandwich would stand more on the fillings and the bread would just be alright. Greatly exceeded my expectations. The fillings of this particular sandwich all came together very well. I especially liked the addition of the chipotle mayo (more thick like a cream cheese) and the red peppers, along with the avocado, bacon, and eggs. Only “downside” was that the sandwich was packed with fillings and its ratio to bread was skewed towards the fillings. Not the worst problem to have, but it made the sandwich a little unruly to eat. I took out some of the fillings and it worked out a little bit better. My co-worker mentioned that the egg and bacon sandwich usually comes out very large (there was a lot of egg), so I’m curious to see how other sandwiches stack up (no pun intended).
Since that first visit I did go back once to get a to-go order. My sandwich again took a lot longer than my co-worker’s order, but she also got a salad and given the quality of the gluten-free baguette I’ll have faith that it’s taking long for a reason. However what was very disappointing about this experience was that they messed up my sandwich. My prosciutto sandwich was instead a Provencal with roasted red pepper and eggplant… (even with a delicious gluten-free baguette this formerly picky eater is still too picky to eat that…). I unfortunately didn’t notice until I returned to the office and I wasn’t going to make a drive back. I gave them a call and they refunded my money and apologized profusely. Certainly not going to keep me from returning or anything as mistakes happen and this is a really good gluten-free baguette, but it was quite disappointing (I was really craving that gluten-free baguette again!).
I’ve made a few attempts to visit the downtown location near my apartment, but “luckily” it’s only open until 7 PM on weeknights nor is it open on weekends. I say luckily, because if it had more non-business day hours (that part of downtown is a little deserted outside the work day) than I would have eaten a lot of sandwiches. A lot. I’ve double checked if they are open many many times. So my wallet and body appreciate their hours.
I was very impressed with the gluten-free baguette. If you’re a gluten-free who craves bread and baguettes then I will say it’s worth a drive. Luckily with locations in Midtown, Downtown, Aventura, Pinecrest, Plantation, Weston, and Coral Springs, you have a number of locations to chose from. The baguette is excellent and the ingredients of all its sandwiches (gluten-free and regular), salads, and soups are very good quality. A lot of non gluten-free friends and co-workers are fans, so I feel confident endorsing this for the regular gluten eaters if you’re in the area. Given the name they also have tons of different cheeses available in the “market” side, plus wine, different bread products, and some meats. You might find it a great place to go before entertaining (or if you just love cheese). As I type this in the morning I’m remembering that my plan is to go out for lunch today and it might just need to be Cheese Course…
Cheese Course- 3451 NE 1st Avenue, Miami, FL 33137 (locations also in Aventura, Downtown, Pinecrest, Coral Springs, Plantation, and Weston, plus a location in Boulder, CO and The Woodlands, TX)