Nearly eleven years ago, when my husband and I were first married, we took a meandering road trip from Denver to Baltimore (actually, we were moving back to Baltimore for me to return to art school, but I didn’t stick with it!). On that road trip, we visited one of my husband’s childhood friends from Michigan and he took us to a Grand Rapids restaurant called Marie Catrib’s. It was a lovely, little restaurant and it was there that I first had Marie’s Grilled Cheese (I believe it was called the Adult Grilled Cheese on the menu, at the time). That grilled cheese sandwich was the most memorable part of the trip. I remember writing down the ingredients in my little sketchbook and I made it a couple of times, years ago. It had been far too long.

Admittedly, this is not a budget sandwich. Purchasing all of the ingredients definitely felt like preparation for a special occasion and, this time around, that special occasion was simply a mid-winter pick-me-up. Consider it an investment in your happiness, temporal though it may be.

With a combination of goat cheese, cream cheese, and feta, this grilled cheese is creamy and decadent. The basil and tomato contribute a juicy, fresh element that perfectly complements the cheeses. Cracked red pepper adds a subtle layer of spicy flavor and all of this is graciously topped off with a drizzle of olive oil.

The original Marie’s Grilled Cheese doesn’t include tomato, but I added it, because, in my opinion, most every grilled cheese can benefit from tomato.

I admit, I wouldn’t normally lay the cream cheese on quite as thick as I did for this picture. I added a bit to the edges before photographing, to make it look a bit more voluptuous!

The amount of ingredients used per sandwich is truly discretionary. I use about two tablespoons of each cheese on each sandwich.

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

Adapted from Marie’s Grilled Cheese by Marie Catrib


  • Your Favorite Bread
  • Goat Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Feta
  • Fresh Basil
  • Tomato, sliced
  • Olive Oil
  • Cracked Red Pepper


  1. Heat oil for grilling in a large skillet. I use butter and olive oil for this sandwich.
  2. Grill the inside of your sandwich bread.
  3. Remove the bread from the pan, with the grilled side up, and spread and crumble the cheeses. Sandwich the two slices of each sandwich together and place them back in the skillet.
  4. Grill both outer sides of the sandwiches.
  5. When both sides are golden, to your liking, remove the sandwiches from the pan. Open the sandwiches to add the basil, tomato, cracked red pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!

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