Late night cheese

Have you ever found yourself craving delicious comfort food, late at night but left unsatisfied due to a lack of options? Princess Café, at 46 King St. North, has provided a solution. On Oct.21 they introduced the “Cheeses Murphy,” a grilled cheese only, walk-through service available from midnight until 3:30 a.m. every Friday and Saturday.

Marc Lecompte, owner of the Princess Café since October 2010, developed the idea after noticing a lack of late-night food options around Uptown Waterloo.
“We’re so central, with so many places around us that students go to, it just makes sense to offer something to people,” he said. “Plus how many times do you come out of the bar and go ‘I’m SO hungry.”

When asked why the focus on the grilled cheese, he answered, “It’s out of simplicity. Keeping it simple is the concept, and what’s simpler than a grilled cheese sandwich?”

Lecompte emphasized that all orders are strictly take-out and briefly explained the logistics.

“The Café is completely closed and everything happens outside in the lobby. We hang up our menus and there’s no tables or chairs, only the cinema box office that serves as the order counter,” he said.

As for the menu, it puts a whimsical twist on the standard grilled cheese sandwich.

“We have six sandwiches, there’s the classic cheddar cheese on white bread, while the others are kind of gourmet,” said Lecompte. The other five options are variations on the regular grilled cheese, in which Lecompte made sure there was something for everyone.

“I wanted to put some veggie options besides the classic, so we have the ‘Sticky Frenchman’, a Brie cheese and caramelized apple combo,” he said. “We can also make any of them without meat, I worked at a vegetarian restaurant for years, so I like to keep that option open for people.”

However, the star of the menu is the ‘Cheeses Murphy,’ a mix of cheddar cheese and bacon jam, a homemade condiment quickly growing in popularity.

“People have been freaking out about bacon jam, because it’s something they’ve never heard of before. It’s a bacon puree that takes about 4 hours to make. I grab a scoop of it, add cheese, some butter and grill it. People seem to like it so far.”

We take the classic grilled cheese, and then make one of the other sandwiches around it. So it’s four pieces of bread, the classic grilled cheese on the inside and another sandwich of your choice around it. It’s a beast of a sandwich, people coming out of the bars have been eager to try it.”

“I haven’t advertised it all, I’m just seeing how far I can take it with word of mouth just to see how it goes,” said Lecompte. “People just want sandwiches. Word of mouth is spreading, and every night it has more people than the one before,” he said.

The venture is his own idea, however Lecompte doesn’t take all the credit.
“My wife, Celene, has been working really hard on it too. It’s been a real team effort, and I’m lucky to have her.”

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