Aside from hotdogs and apple pie, is there anything more American than grilled cheese and tomato soup? Tom + Chee has carved a niche in the Nashville food scene with its fancy sandwiches loaded with savory fillings and warm soups to wash it all down. We chatted with Tom + Chee co-owner Ray Patel to find out why he decided to open the first Nashville franchise location – and the single grilled cheese that everyone flips for.
What made you want to open your own Tom + Chee?
We saw Tom + Chee on Shark Tank and that’s how it all began. It’s a unique concept that hits every demographic. Who doesn’t love grilled cheese and tomato soup? It’s something that grabs people’s’ attention, the food is very tasty, and everything is made from scratch.
How long has Tom + Chee been in Nashville?
We opened in August 2015 and have been with Fooda since March.
What is your most popular sandwich?
The Flying Pig is our best seller. It’s sourdough bread stacked with smoked Gouda cheese, all-natural roasted turkey breast, bacon, and dill pickles.
Are people hesitant to try the grilled cheese donut?
People are hesitant, but all it takes is one person to try and then it’s a chain reaction. We quickly sell out of them. Some customers get creative and order one of our sandwiches on a donut. It has a sweet, salty taste – the glaze from the donut caramelizes on the grill. Some people eat it as dessert and others dip it in their soup.
We don’t want to forget about your other menu items. What is your most popular soup?
The Creamy Tomato Basil is our most popular soup. We also have a soup of the day we rotate through, including Beer Cheese and Broccoli Cheddar. Our Green Goat salad is really popular, too. Sometimes people add roasted turkey or bacon to it, and our dressings are made in house.
Why do you think Fooda consumers voted you Best American Lunch in Nashville?
We’re the only [Fooda vendor] that cooks on-site. We take orders and make the sandwiches right there in front of our customers. They get their food hot and fresh within four minutes.
Do you plan to open any other locations in Nashville?
We plan to open more locations in Middle Tennessee. We’re opening a Murfreesboro store next year, and possibly a Franklin or another Nashville store.
Is there anything else we should know about Tom + Chee?
Our Fooda menu is a fraction what we have at the restaurant. Come in and check out the other sandwiches we have to offer.
Tom + Chee won the hearts of Nashville foodies with its menu of innovative grilled cheese sandwiches and satisfying soups. This restaurant won Best American Lunch in Nashville by a landslide – does Tom + Chee have what it takes to bring home top honors?