Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen in Miami, Florida

Cheddar's Bacon Cheeseburger from Miami, Florida
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Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen (16455 SW 88th Street) arrived in Miami recently. Like everything else in our lives, the pandemic had delayed the opening of Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen in Miami, but it did not diminish my excitement.

Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen in Miami, Florida
Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Menu

Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen Menu Page 1
Menu Page 1
Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen Menu Page 2
Page 2

What to Eat & Drink at Cheddar’s?

Cheddar's Honey Butter Croissants
Honey Butter Croissants

A couple of years ago, Marcela and I dropped in for some drinks and appetizers at one of their locations in Tampa. All I knew about them was that they were a scratch kitchen.

We ordered their chips with housemade nacho and an appetizer platter; everything was great. I chose a beer to enjoy while Marcela went the Painkiller cocktail route.

Our waiter explained that there is a limit of 2 per person for the Painkiller. He then regaled us with stories of customers who had to be carried out when they couldn’t stand after downing two of those bad boys.

Marcela enjoyed both of hers, and she was fine, but I’m sure there are rookies out there who shouldn’t even drink one.

Chips & Homemade Queso
Chips & Homemade Queso
Loaded Russet Potato Skins
Loaded Russet Potato Skins
Cheddar's Hand-breaded Chicken Tenders
Hand-breaded Chicken Tenders
Cheddar's Wisconsin Cheese Bites
Wisconsin Cheese Bites
Cheddar's Buffalo Shrimp in Miami, Florida
Buffalo Shrimp

After ordering the apps, I wasn’t even going to look at the menu, but there it was, a Monte Cristo. Much like Marcela, who felt the need to drink the two Painkillers, I had to order the Monte Cristo even though I wasn’t hungry.

What is a Monte Cristo Sandwich?

Since Bennigan’s disappeared nationally across the comfort food landscape (except for a few select spots), there has been a hole for deep-fried sandwiches that satiate those longing for salty and sweet. Unfortunately, the only restaurant chain doing this exact variation of the Monte Cristo is Metro Diner, and it’s not even available at every location.

Many believe that the Monte Cristo sandwich originated in France as a simplified version of the Croque-Monsieur sandwich. However, the United States’ original version was a ham & cheese sandwich with French toast for buns and a jam for dipping.

The version we all currently obsess over, the deep-fried version, was popularized in 1950s California.

Bennigan’s helped spread the good word about it in the 1980s and 1990s. The Bennigan’s version was a turkey, ham, American & Swiss cheese sandwich of wheat buns battered then deep-fried.

In the 1980s, I can clearly remember it was served with a side of Knott’s Berry Farm raspberry jam.

How was Cheddar’s Monte Cristo?

Cheddar's Monte Cristo
Cheddar’s Monte Cristo

One thing I forgot to mention, two months before my visit to Cheddar’s, I ate at the only Bennigan’s open in Florida. My friends and I left disappointed after sharing a Monte Cristo; how the mighty have fallen, we thought.

The good news is that Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen version is excellent. It’s a worthy successor and easily the best deep-fried sandwich in all of the ooey-gooey lands.


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