Award-winning Mac & Cheese: check. Beer Cheese Soup: check. Grilled Cheese: check. Poutin: check. Check. Check. Check. The Cheese Bar at the Boardwalk at Towne Lake in Cypress, Texas should be a destination on every cheese lover’s checklist, and just in time for National Cheese Lover’s Day, January 20.
It’s true, owners Troy and Melissa Boyce met serendipitously at The Melting Pot bar (Pittsburgh, PA.) Troy, while intending to hit the local watering hole after a slow night waiting tables, instead decided to visit his bartender buddy at the Melting Pot for a few free drinks. Melissa, on vacation at the time, remembers the tall, handsome Troy saddling up to the bar with his copy of The Da Vinci Code and a pack of Marlborough Reds. The rest of the night was spent throwing darts, singing karaoke and hitting the comedy club. Luckily, they exchanged numbers.
In a phone call from a layover they began their courtship and after Troy visited for Valentine’s Day the question was simple, the answer even simpler. One of them needed to move. Troy would be moving to California. In March 2006 he moved, in May he proposed and in August they were married.
Troy, a manager for several Outback steakhouse locations, wanted to make a lifestyle change and landed a job running the cheese department for two separate locations of Giant Eagle Market District in Pennsylvania. Because of Troy’s asthma the couple and their daughter moved to Cypress in 2014. In Cypress, the local grocery store’s mild to sharp cheddar selection wasn’t going to cut it for these two; in 2016, they opened their passion project: The Cheese Bar.
Melissa constantly rotates fresh imported as well as domestic cheese selections while Troy is involved in kitchen operations in every way; including pulling fresh mozzarella. The Cheese Bar’s menu covers all the major cheese dish categories and offers several beers on tap (they have the legendary Celis White), as well as a concise wine list. They also bring in a selection of classic charcuterie stalwarts like soppressata, Black Forest ham and capicola.
Troy has assumed the role of Cypress cheesemonger with his goal being “[to] tell the story of the farmer, the process. My passion is to sell his [passion].” He is currently preparing to take the ACS Certified Cheese Professionals test; a 100 question test that only 783 people have passed.
Alfred The Third’s Triple Cheese sandwich served with crunchy homemade potato chips and peach jam will quickly top your list of best grilled cheese sandwich ever. It’s a combination of Aged Cheddar, Butterkäse, and Havarti and couldn’t be more perfect in terms of amount, texture and cheddar flavor.
The Boyce’s have been told by Canadian patrons that their Poutine stacks up with the best of them. The cheese curds, coming from Wisconsin (known for producing the best cheese because of minerals found in the soil), are fried just long enough to melt but hold their form. The curds are mixed with French fries and topped with an oozy brown gravy and fresh green scallion tops.
The shining star of the meal was the Beer Cheese Soup in a pretzel bread bowl. There are six different cheeses involved (Havarti and Butterkäse were all I could squeeze out of Troy) as well as St. Arnold’s Love Street beer; the combination was unreal. The Cheese Bar is looking like a good spot for Valentine’s day; with or without a date.
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So, how is The Cheese Bar celebrating National Cheese Lover’s day this Saturday, January 20? With free samples. In case you didn’t hear me, I said free samples. And they are open late.
The Cheese Bar is located at 9945 Barker Cypress Road and is open Mondays 11 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays to Thursdays 11 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday 11 to 11 p.m. and Sundays 11 to 9 p.m.
In Katy, The Cheese Bar is located at 23501 Cinco Ranch Boulevard and open from Sundays to Wednesdays 11 to 9 p.m. and Thursdays to Saturdays 11 to 10 p.m.