I have a bad habit of fixating on things. Start to like a song? I must listen to it on repeat. Enjoy a book? I’ll read and re-read until I can quote passages at length. I get stuck, and when that happens, it’s a matter of just riding things out until I finally get tired of whatever it is that’s got me obsessed. Or at least until the next obsession comes along.
With food, it’s no different. Here lately, my foodie fixation has been pimento and cheese, particularly the version served up at Boulevard Bread Company. Sharp, tangy and just a little spicy all at once, this pimento cheese is a constant pleasure. Add in some fresh greens and a slice or three of tomato and it’s a sandwich I can eat (and have eaten) multiple times in a week.
But pimento and cheese spread isn’t a new obsession for me. Over the years, I’ve eaten enough of the stuff to make my cardiologist cry, from the neon orange Mrs. Weaver’s spread that my grandmother used to keep when we would visit her in the summer as kids all the way up to my own homemade version. A couple of weeks ago, a sales representative brought by some samples of the spread from Tom’s Tiny Kitchen, and I had to run out immediately for a box of Ritz Crackers to keep from just eating it with a spoon directly from the container. There were two flavors in that sample pack: Original, which I found to be a little heavy on the bell peppers, and Chipotle, which was exactly the right sort of balance of spice, salt and creamy cheese. Neither was the best version I’ve ever had, but as far as store-bought goes, I’d recommend picking some up from Kroger next time you’re by.
Great pimento cheese can be found all over the city. Hillcrest Artisan Meats does a version from time to time that is very similar to Boulevard’s, if a touch spicier. Copper Grill’s version is quite tasty, and has the added bonus of being topped with a smoky-sweet bacon jam. And of course no trip to Capital Bar and Grill is complete without a bite of their pimento and cheese appetizer.
Have a favorite spot for pimento and cheese in town? Have a food you’re currently obsessed with? Let me know down there in the comments—I’m always looking for the next thing I can’t get enough of.