Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen arrived in Miami after what seemed like years. The pandemic delayed the opening of this Cheddar’s in Kendall, but it did not diminish my excitement.
Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Menu
What to Eat & Drink at Cheddar’s?
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 was fine, but I’m sure there are rookies out there who shouldn’t even drink one.
After ordering the apps, I wasn’t even going to look at the menu, but there 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 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 between battered wheat buns, then deep-fried.
In the 1980s, I remember it was served with a side of Knott’s Berry Farm raspberry jam.
How was Cheddar’s Monte Cristo?
I forgot to mention that 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 of the Monte Cristo is excellent. It’s a worthy successor and easily the best deep-fried sandwich in all ooey-gooey lands.
Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen
16455 SW 88th Street
Website – https://www.cheddars.com/locations/fl/miami/kendall/2200
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/cheddarskitchen
Monday 3:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Tuesday 3:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Wednesday 3:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Thursday 3:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Friday 11:00 am – 12:00 am
Saturday 11:00 am – 12:00 am
Sunday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm