Two of us arrived just after 6pm, and were happy to see the place wasnt crowded at all. Walked in with no reservation and asked if we could have a table in the middle section by the kitchen. This was no problem and we were seated immediately with big smiles.
I ordered a glass of Muscadet, mainly because it was less expensive and I assumed even their cheap wine couldnt be bad. Well thank heavens they happen to pour a taste in your glass for approval first, before filling it up. I thought it was dry to the point of sour-just not what I wanted to drink with grilled cheese. I felt a little embarrased (as you can clearly see my ignorance of French wine) but asked if they would mind changing it for a Sauvignon Blanc which I thought wouldnt be dry. No problem at all and my glass was whisked away and replaced. However while the SB was better, it mystified me-it smelled quite heady and perfume-ey, yet still tasted on the dry side. Well good enough, so on to the food!
Husband (aka the curmudgeon because he is not very adventurous in his eating habits) ordered the classic grilled cheese. I was giddy with choices-everything on the grilled cheese menu looked delicious. But down at the bottom I see sliders and it mentions cheese, pancetta, avocado, grilled onions-all things I like and not a word about beef. So dummy-me, I somehow assume these are simply a pair of grilled cheese sandwiches stacked similar to those White Castle mini-burgers. What the waiter sets down in front of me is, however, two small hamburgers with the named ingredients as Garnish. Doh...so when they said sliders they MEANT sliders. Well this has a happy ending because I thought these were the best little burgers Ive had in years. Each was a little over 2 in diameter and a good inch thick. Well done on the outside, verging on rare on the inside and FULL of juice-a bite or two and its running down my hands. Great little bun too. Somehow I get a visual of Gene Hackman in French Connection II-where hes in a carnivorous mood and describes this hamburger he wants-juicy and with onions and dripping-well thats what I got. Huge yum for me. The curmudg was very happy with his simple grilled cheese and said so. When he has nothing to complain about, thats big.
Both plates came with a pile of lightly dressed greens and a huge order of fries. The fries were separately swaddled in a white cloth napkin but were barely warm. We asked for a fresh batch and again they were more than happy to accommodate and apologized. The next batch came in 2 minutes, perfectly crispy hot. I think Jars are a touch better than these but I still ate many, many more than I should have. The bill came to about $45 for our food and my wine.
It wasnt till drifting off to sleep last night, that I realized I couldnt remember anything about the cheese on my burgers. In fact Im not even sure there WAS cheese on them. Oh well I guess it says something good about Campaniles that you can go there for one thing, end up eating something completely different and still be utterly satisfied. Sometime soon I will have to return for an ACTUAL grilled cheese sandwich, and make sure I follow through...
P.S. This is my birthday weekend and my hopeful plan is to eat deliciously all the way through it based on hounds recs, reviewing as I go.