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From the editor: Central Avenue walk and a #CookClub recipe for Pear and Hazelnut Grilled Cheese

This is one of those weeks where I feel really thankful for this job, one that forces me to remain up to date on Tampa Bay's constantly changing food and drink scene.

After reading Laura Reiley's story on the burgeoning Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, I also feel thankful to work and live near this downtown, where food is at the forefront of a cool cultural shift.

Laura takes us on a walk from the 600 block to the 900 block of Central Avenue, exploring the new or upcoming cafes, coffee shops and other craft food joints along the way. The stroll sounds like the makings of a perfect fall afternoon, and one I'm marking on my calendar right now.

This week's #CookClub recipe is an homage to what may be a Central Avenue trend: grilled cheese. Opening soon at 685 Central is Central Melt, an artisanal restaurant based around the melty sandwich. This recipe calls for two different cheeses, Gorgonzola and goat, that might not make it into your traditional grilled cheese. Pear slices and crushed hazelnuts push this sammy over the top.

Contact Michelle Stark at or (727) 893-8829. Follow @mstark17 on Twitter.


Pear and Hazelnut Grilled Cheese

Pear and Hazelnut Grilled Cheese


  • Softened butter
  • 2 slices whole-grain or whole wheat bread
  • Parsley
  • 1 ounce goat cheese
  • 1 pear
  • 1 ounce crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 tablespoon crushed hazelnuts
  • Honey


  1. Spread the softened butter on one side of each slice of bread. Sprinkle with some parsley. On nonbuttered side of bread, smear goat cheese. Next, place slices of pear on top, as many as you want. Cover with the crumbles of Gorgonzola and crushed hazelnuts. Drizzle with honey. Place the other slice of bread on top with the butter side facing up.
  2. Place sandwich onto griddle, or frying pan on top of the stove. Cook over low heat until the bottom of the bread is toasted. Flip sandwich and cook other side until toasted.
  3. Makes 1 sandwich.
Source: Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times

From the editor: Central Avenue walk and a #CookClub recipe for Pear and Hazelnut Grilled Cheese 10/12/15 [Last modified: Friday, October 16, 2015 5:23pm]
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