Review: Gouda eats

Best grilled cheeses from the view of a lactose intolerant person

Like everyone, I love a good grilled cheese. However, my lactose intolerance often gets in the way of me enjoying more than one a year. When I do, I pay the price of a headache and a stomach ache. You may believe I am the least credible person to critique a grilled cheese, but I believe my body’s medical aversion makes me a better choice for the job. Whether your intestines are normal, or you’re a member of the “I Consume Lactose and Slowly Die Club,” the taste is still the same.

With the help of Lactaid and Tums, I was able to visit four local restaurants to determine which one offers the best grilled cheese. I based my decisions mainly off of the sandwiches’ cheese and bread, in addition to how many Tums I had to take after my Lactaid so my fellow intolerants can be prepared for how much medicine to have on hand for the event.

Red Robin

Rating: 4.5/5 tums

This was one of the best sandwiches. Arguably, there was almost too much cheese, but let’s be real, it’s grilled cheese. There can never be too much. It was filling by itself, but the side of bottomless fries was a good addition to the meal. Put together I would definitely go back.

The cheese

The cheeses were center stage. Not only was there swiss, provolone and cheddar mixed between the pieces of bread, but there was also parmesan and cheddar melted on top of the bread. The cheese was so melted that even after the sandwich had cooled down, there was still enough heat to create cheese strings after every bite. The cheese wrapped around the top piece of bread made it the first flavor to hit your taste buds instead of bread.

The bread

The rustic italian bread from Red Robin was way better than the other breads I ate. It was lightly toasted, enough to be crunchy without tasting burnt. It was also airy enough that it didn’t overpower the cheese. Though, with the large amount of cheese, it would be hard for any amount of bread to overpower it.

Cotton Patch

Rating: 2/5 tums

This was my least favorite. I had higher expectations for this grilled cheese because I know a lot of the food on Cotton Patch’s menu, such as their chicken, is very good. I would still go eat this one if I had to, but this would definitely not be my first choice for a grilled cheese stop.

The cheese

This one had three different types, but they were hardly melted. The pan was just warm enough for the cheeses to melt together, but still cool enough to where they separated after a few minutes. Along with this, the cheese didn’t fully cover the bread, so some bites were just bread.

The bread

The homestyle white toast at Cotton Patch was not evenly toasted. The edges were barely crisp while the middle section was nearly burnt. The bread was plain, which didn’t give it any extra flavor and made it hard for me to enjoy.


Rating: 3/5 tums

Sonic’s sandwich was everything you think you don’t want in a grilled cheese. It’s one I would eat if I was having a bad day and needed quick comfort food. Along with this, it’s cheaper and better than almost all the other options.

The cheese

It was severely lacking compared to the other sandwiches. There was only one slice of American, but considering that the pieces of white bread were thin, it didn’t take much for the cheesy taste to shine through.

The bread

Sonic’s white bread was saturated in butter, which made it not as crisp as the others. Surprisingly, it didn’t bother me much. It was also not cut into triangles like all the others. It seemed like a downside at first, but ended up giving more room to hold the grilled cheese since it was floppier.

Mom’s grilled cheese

Rating: 4/5 tums

Grilled cheese can be a great meal to get when going out to dinner, but a homemade one is still in the running for first place. Sometimes you just really need a home cooked meal made with love. This one was definitely more worth it than others, even if my poor intestines did have to suffer more for it.

The cheese

My mom only used slices of muenster and American, but they melted together nicely. When you looked inside you could see cheese melting. The edges weren’t as melted as the center but at least this one had cheese going to the edges so no bites were just bread. When the two triangular pieces were pulled apart, the melted cheese caused strings to hang between the two pieces. I live for the strings of cheese because it shows the gooey insides that I’m so excited to eat.

The bread

The bread was plain wheat which gave the sandwich a more prominent flavor, but also let the cheese stand out. This was also a nice change from white bread because it is more flavorful and healthier. The bread was toasted more on one side than the other, but it’s okay because my mom made it.