Photograph by Ryan Kurtz
The words grilled cheese are a promise to the diner. There will be bread, buttered and placed on a hot surface. And there will be cheese, in excess, melted into a beautiful gooey mess. Simply hearing the words sends me back to my childhood, perched in front of the television with a plate on my bony little knees. But when a friend first told me about the short rib grilled cheese at Moerlein Lager House, I was skeptical. People go to the Lager House for the atmosphere—the site of Riverfront Stadium’s first base, the awe-striking view of the Roebling Bridge, and Great American Ball Park across the street (despite the horrific cacophony on game nights). They don’t necessarily go for the food. The short rib grilled cheese changed my mind. It starts with braised beef short rib, pulled apart and topped with a sweet onion relish. Covering everything is a big slice of butterkase (that’s butter cheese for you Amerikaners). The meat is delectable—tender and juicy. The cheese, while tasty, is less melty, more sticky. And the kid in me would have gone for another slice. But it’s not often one has the opportunity to order kid food off the adult menu. I, for one, intend to seize it.
Moerlein Lager House, 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, downtown, (513) 421-2337, moerleinlagerhouse.com
Originally published in the November 2012 issue.