The restaurant in The Landings has gone through a number of owners since its inception, but its new owner, Steven Bader, is taking a different approach.
Bader opened the doors to the slightly renamed “Grilled Café” in mid-August with a simpler, healthier menu and a redecorated interior.
Bader, the former general manager of Saucy Bistro and Parallax said he learned much of the trade from Zach Bruell, owner and executive chef at Parallax.
“The menu is a lot more healthier; it’s a lot more fresh,” Bader said. "Everything is made fresh, I don’t reheat.”
Patrons can expect Bader to check in with customers to make sure everything is made to their liking.
He said the new menu, which features only three types of grilled cheese sandwiches, is a reflection of his days working at Saucy Bistro and Parallax.
“A lot of those menus were smaller,” Bader said. “Take a smaller number of items and do them right.”
Still, a special order is not a problem.
“One thing I learned from Zach Bruell, I’ll make whatever the customer wants,” Bader said.
The restaurant closed down briefly while Bader redecorated the interior and redid the menu.
In addition to a new look that includes freshly painted walls, new lighting and tables and an updated sound system, the menu reflect Bader’s taste.
“I’m not a ‘Melt,’" he said, referring to the popular Lakewood location that specialized in grilled cheese sandwiches.
While there are still grilled cheese items on the menu, Grilled
Café now offers
“Skinny Pizzas” and “meatless wonders” including hummus and veggie wraps and avocado with veggies wraps.
Skinny pizza’s are ultra thin and healthy, Bader said, including the popular Tiff’s Pizza (whole grain thin crust, pesto, chicken, spinach, feta, onions and peppers) and Rita’s Pizza made with pesto, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
In a nod to the locals, Bader, a Rocky River resident, named one pizza the “RT83.”
Part of the menu, including homemade tabouli and hummus, was influenced by Bader’s Lebanese heritage.
“The tabouli is made by my mother,” he said.
Sandwiches are still the main attraction with nine varieties of turkey as well as steak and roast beef, and chicken sandwiches.
The restaurant also serves shakes, soups and salads and offers a children’s menu. Eventually, Bader would like to obtain a beer and wine license.
Bader is planning a formal grand opening for Oct. 11. Grilled Cafe is now open Mon - Sat, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Find the menu online at thegrilledcafe.com.