The Construction Site is a relatively new addition to the Yonge and Eglinton area. Opening its doors last November, it is tucked in beside the subway entrance, where there used to be a Druxy’s deli. They specialize in grilled cheeses using gourmet ingredients in imaginative combinations. They have several large wooden communal tables for dine-in guests, giving the experience a homey feel. The menu is constantly evolving each month, with 5 staple items and a rotating weekly special. Each month they drop the least popular item and replace it with the best selling special from the month before. This has a very organic, “survival of the fittest” feel to it which I find very interesting. Who knows what the menu will look like a few months from now.
I’ve now visited twice, the first was an après bar visit while they were testing their late night hours and the second was a week day lunch. Both times the staff were friendly and eager to chat while we waited for the press to do its thing, it was quite pleasant. Every sandwich order comes with a side of their rosemary potato chips and chutney. If you’ve been following along you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of rosemary anything and these chips are no exception. They are lightly salted and have a great toasted herb flavor. The chutney is a tad sweet and is a nice dip choice for the sandwiches as it cuts the saltiness of the cheese.
My first order was “the classic” cheddar on french white bread ($5.50). I splurged and added bacon and tomato at a surcharge ($1.50 and $0.75 respectively). My initial reaction was that it was an odd up sell to charge for a simple addition like tomatoes. However, after a bit of back and forth with their twitter account (@grldcheese) I understood their side of the decision. They chose to make it an add-on to keep the base cost down. Understandable as a business decision, but I don’t entirely agree with it. The sandwich was good, but nothing too special. To be honest, I didn’t expect to be blown away by it because by definition it’s the basic version.
The friendly back and forth on twitter was what made me decide to come back and give them a second chance. I’m glad that I did. My second order was the “Cha cha cha” jalapeño havarti with feta, red onion and avocado on ancient grain bread ($9.50). This was much more impressive. While they were preparing it it looked like the entire mix was made into a guacamole-like paste and spread on the bread before toasting. This is also probably the best way I can describe the taste, it was like a cheesy guacamole sandwich. The small bits of feta and havarti cheese added a nice saltiness while the smooth avocado had a creamy texture and taste. It wasn’t too greasy or too huge and made for a satisfying lunch without leaving me feeling gross.
For sure TCS would be worth another visit, especially if they have some more interesting specials. A challenge I see for them in the upscale and health conscious “Yonge and Eligible” crowd is to keep their menu fresh enough to drive repeat business beyond the occasional fatty indulgence lunch. With their ever evolving menu I have faith this will be no problem. The owners are young and very in-tune with today’s social media driven marketplace. As I mentioned before they have a twitter account which gets you near instant responses to any questions or inquiries and they even have a twitter account (@grldradio) for music requests on their in-house stereo system. It’s a good concept, backed by good people. I’ve seen lots of restaurants in the area, I hope they can make it here.