The great thing about living in Wyomissing is the amazing selection of restaurants we have between our town and neighboring West Reading.
The downside about having a food blog is that I have to spread out my visits to the closest places in order to cover the entire county.
I hadn’t visited a West Reading restaurant since October and our National Pizza Month visit to Georgio’s.
Three months is about as long as I can stay away, especially with a gift card to Say Cheese burning a hole in my pocket.
Of West Reading’s abundance of restaurants, Say Cheese has one of the most desirable locations, sitting on the corner of Penn and Sixth Avenues. In the summer, outdoor seating adds to the ambiance, but that feels like an eternity away.
Five years ago, if you would have told Julie that I wanted to go to a cheese-themed restaurant, she would have laughed in your face.
At the time, I thought I hated cheese. As it turns out, I don’t hate cheese. I just hate American cheese, and anything made by Kraft.
There’s definitely no Kraft Singles at Say Cheese.
In addition to the restaurant, Say Cheese serves as a fine cheese shop, with a wide selection of artisan cheese from around the world to take home with you.
This allows for creative cuisine, and, with the marketplace right inside the door, a unique set up to the dining area. Our table was at the very front of the building in what would have once been the window display for a retail store.
For those who enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, Say Cheese has plenty of options to pair with your meal. For those, like me, who prefer something a little softer, they have Reading Draft Soda.
The closest I got to ordering alcohol was my cup of cheddar beer soup, the day’s special.
It was simple but good, with the namesake ingredients shining through. Thick croutons and bacon were added to the creamy soup, adding much-welcomed texture and a little bit of salt. All in all, it was a great first impression.
Our entrees arrived shortly after I finished my soup. For me, it was braised short ribs and hominy grits.
The boneless short ribs were pull-apart tender (no knife needed) and the demi glace wasn’t bad, but what really made the dish was the herb mascarpone chevre (goat’s cheese). It was creamy and sweet and really complemented the demi very well.
Hominy grits aren’t my favorite side, and these were ok, a little buttery for my taste, but I enjoyed the vegetables – Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and tomatoes.
Julie was a fan of her smoked salmon mac n’ cheese. According to the description, it was a six-cheese blend with smoked salmon, white wine and chives topped with asiago bread crumbs.
We both expected to taste the salmon more than we did, but instead what we got was the nice smoky flavor of the meat, always a great addition to mac and cheese. And the bread crumbs added a much needed crisp texture to the creamy dish.
A small portion of the mac and cheese came home with us. I left nothing on the table.
Our final total was just under $50. I had a $30 gift card to help (otherwise, I probably would have let the Pennsylvania Dutch in me come out and not ordered the soda or the soup).
Say Cheese is certainly among the best that West Reading has to offer. It was a very good meal. I just wish I could have gone sooner.
Say Cheese Restaurant & Cheese
600 Penn Ave
West Reading, PA 19611