THE DISH

Mad for the Madtown grilled cheese

Unique HopCat sandwich includes apples and honey

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Before City Pulse, I worked as a server at HopCat in East Lansing for over three years. Like any good server, I studied the menu to make suggestions for our guests. What better way to study than to try the foods myself? My go-to employee meal was the Madtown grilled cheese. I ordered it so much, my manager once told me I wasn’t allowed to order it anymore — he was joking, but I thought he was serious at first. It’s been my favorite meal since I first tried it back in 2018. 

The sandwich, which is vegetarian-friendly, is different from a traditional grilled cheese, and you definitely have to be a cheese lover to enjoy it. The Madtown comes on sourdough and is made with three cheeses — dill havarti, smoked gouda and muenster. The trio of cheeses complement each other nicely, but that’s not even the best part. The garlic aioli is what makes it amazing. It also comes with apple slices and honey, giving the sandwich a touch of sweetness. 

The dish is served with a cup of roasted red pepper gouda bisque, and the bisque is topped with queso fresco and scallions. If you’ve ever been to a HopCat (a Grand Rapids-based craft beer joint, with multiple Michigan locations), you likely know about the Cosmik fries — formerly known as Crack fries. The fries have a special seasoning on them that not only makes them irresistible, but also pairs perfectly with the grilled cheese. The combination is a filling, but tasty meal. 

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