Steve created for me a whipped cheddar pimento cheese grilled cheese with house-smoked pork confit, topped with a green tomato, Georgia peach jam that belied just a subtle a hint of chile.
If you’re a foodie, the chances are highly likely you have seen the movie “Chef” on Netflix. It’s a movie about a highly-trained chef working in a top-shelf restaurant who winds up opening up a food truck with his wife that becomes a smash hit. The success of the food truck eventually leads them to the opening of their own craft food restaurant. It’s a great movie and I’ve seen it multiple times. Tonight I feel like I stepped into “Chef” with my amazing experience at The Beachcomber Restaurant on Anastasia Island where A Street meets the beach.
The Beachcomber is owned and operated by Steve and Danielle LeClair from Syracuse, NY. They are partners with family members Don and Ashley Samora. Up in Syracuse, Steve and Danielle ran a food truck called Stevie’s Street Eats, which like in the movie “Chef” had them lined up around the block. They cranked out great food and yada, yada, yada…moved south and took over the Beachcomber. I won’t bore you with the details, I want to talk about my dinner tonight.
A few weeks ago, I was eating at the Beachcomber, talking with Danielle, and the subject of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches came up. She told me about some of the glory days of the food truck, and I asked her if Steve still made them. She assured me he did, which led me to immediately commence lobbying to get him to make one for me. And not just any grilled cheese sandwich, mind you, I wanted his best one. Tonight he made me one.
The Great Gourmet Grilled Cheese Throwdown
Steve created for me a whipped cheddar pimento cheese grilled cheese with house-smoked pork confit, topped with a green tomato, Georgia peach jam that belied just a subtle a hint of chile. I asked for the jam on the side (see ordering scene from “When Harry Met Sally“). To round it out I also ordered a basket of fries and a side of slaw. Here it is:
Everything I have ever eaten at the Beachcomber has been really good. My kids love their tacos, their wings are really good – try the grilled, blackened wings – and last week I had lobster stuffed mac and cheese balls in a Sriracha Ranch Dipping Sauce which were quite tasty.
But tonight I blazed a new trail, went off the menu and off the charts.
Tonight’s grilled cheese was the best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever eaten. It was crunchy on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside, the meat was perfectly cooked, and seasoned to perfection. The slaw was crunchy and not too wet, and the fries hot, salty and fresh. On top of all this I got to look out on the beach and see the ocean while I ate.
The Beachcomber Restaurant has been around on A Street a long time. Maybe it’s been awhile since you visited, maybe you’ve never yet had the pleasure. They have a great menu with awesome specials that change daily, a full bar, and the greatest view of any restaurant on the Island.
So stop by sometime and ask Danielle about the food truck days, and maybe, just maybe, her husband Steve will make you a grilled cheese sandwich.
You should only be so lucky.
The Beachcomber Restaurant
2 A St, Saint Augustine, FL 32080