When I told one of The Stars editors I had discovered a really great grilled cheese sandwich for $5, he was not impressed.
By CINDY HOEDEL
The Kansas City Star
You ought to get two grilled cheese sandwiches for $5, he said, holding two fingers aloft for emphasis.
Journalists are notorious cheapskates, but I wager the Artisan Grilled Cheese sammies at Best Regards Bakery & Café could induce my fellow scribes to pry a fiver out of their thin billfolds.
Thats because owner Robert Duensing starts with seriously good old world-style bread (your choice of five kinds) and good cheeses (13 varieties) and tosses in a bakers dozen interesting extras, including fresh basil, avocado or Black Forest ham.
The Best Regards website boasts that more than 5 million combinations are possible if you select from the à la carte options.
When I challenged Duensing on that claim, he admitted he had erred on the conservative side. A math professor customer crunched the numbers using the combinations and permutations calculator at mathisfun.com and found that 17 million combinations are possible, in part because you can have between one and three slices of the 15 cheeses (but not zero, because then it wouldnt be a grilled cheese sandwich), and those slices could be of the same or different cheeses.
Where were we?
Oh, yes, so you can build your own custom grilled cheese or order one of five signature versions: Tillamook and Havarti on whole grain; roast beef and Havarti on country French; fresh basil, mozzarella, avocado and tomato on rosemary bread; roast beef, Portobello mushrooms, Havarti and Swiss on country French; and Black Forest ham, provolone and Havarti on country French.
Duensing has been in the baked goods business for years, specializing in cookies, cinnamon rolls and cupcakes, but he learned to bake bread only after leasing his current space where a baker had left behind a fancy made-in-France oven that cost as much as a Lamborghini.
It took Duensing seven months to master old-world loaves created from a non-leavened starter, and a few weeks more to perfect his sandwich-grilling technique. (For home cooks, he offers this tip: Go low and slow, like Kansas City barbecue. If it takes less than 9 minutes, you are going too fast.)
Normally the signature sandwiches range from $5.75 to $6.49, but every week you can get one of them plus a side of chips, fruit cup or cottage cheese and a ganache sugar cookie for $4.99, a special Duensing says he created just for fans of The Stars $5 lunch column.
The sandwich on sale changes every week. Check the website if you need to know. But Ive had three so far, and regardless of which one lands on your plate, you wont be disappointed.
Best Regards Bakery & Café
6759 W. 119th St., Overland Park
Hours: 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday
Parking: Free in front
Vegetarian options: Abbeys Veggie Grilled Cheese, BRB Signature Grilled Cheese
Credit cards: Yes
Send suggestions of lunch items that are fast (10 minutes or less), fresh, and cheap ($5 or less) to firstname.lastname@example.org.