Tom + Chee

File Aug 20, 5 47 12 PM


Rapidly-growing franchise Tom + Chee has a new store in Fort Collins, the 28th in the franchise, owned and operated by locals Ryan Neff, his brother, Tyler Neff, and their mother, Louise Munoz. The Neff brothers, originally from Littleton, are CSU graduates who have chosen to keep Fort Collins their home and their place of business. Tom + Chee was first seen on the popular TV show, “Shark Tank,” where founders Trew Quackenbush and Corey Ward pitched their restaurant concept to a team of multi-millionaire/billionaire entrepreneurs, hoping for backing on their idea so that they could expand into a full franchise. Entrepreneur and “shark,” Barbara Corcoran, bought into the idea, invested, and gave the franchise the capital, support and business education tools needed to grow quickly in just over five years, now boasting more than 30 locations nationwide and several more set to open this year and next.

Four months after their April 10, 2015 opening, Tom + Chee is off to a high-throttle start at its south Fort Collins location at 2909 East Harmony Road. The restaurant specializes in comfort food, specifically tomato soup and grilled cheese, but this is not a basic or plain menu in any way. With nearly 60 possible sandwich offerings and a rotating and constantly evolving selection featured on the present menu, a new regional sandwich featuring Hatch green chilies that is underway and launching soon, and specialty delicacies such as “grilled cheese donuts,” Tom + Chee is tapping into America’s love affair for all things comfort food related and giving us options that run the gamut from classic grilled cheese sandwiches to those made “extra crunchy,” or with special ingredients such as goetta, a German-inspired meat-and-grain sausage, pin-head oats and spices blend, popular in Ohio, the home state of Tom + Chee.

Tom + Chee Fort Collins won the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Taste of Fort Collins for their Classic Grilled Cheese Donut and their S’more Donut offerings. They also boast “No fryers, No freezers, No microwaves” and serve only fresh ingredients, freshly-baked bread, and a list of vegan and gluten- free options. They also have their beer and wine license, offer happy hour daily and a solid list of craft beers. They are close to being a fully “scratch kitchen,” making nearly all products in house.

Scene faves: Armagoetta Crunchy Grilled Cheese Sandwich (goetta, spicy cherry pepper, fried onion, sweet hot mustard, pepper jack, hardy white + pumpernickel rye). ($7.95) Hippy + Chee (hummus, cucumber, mixed greens, tomato, cheddar, wheat berry bread) ($5.95) Donut pick: Strawberry-Lemonade Donut (fresh strawberries, candied lemon, mozzarella, lemon mascarpone on a grilled donut). ($5.45) Soup: Creamy Tomato Basil (Bowl: $4.75)

We can’t wait to eat here on a cold winter day. Tom + Chee are comfort food specialists and this is fare that hits the spot and supports local, friendly, and committed ownership by CSU graduates, a bonus that we can feel good about as much as getting our cheese fix.

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