Apr. 8—This is part of an ongoing series highlighting Signature Dishes at locally owned restaurants in the region. See Trib Total Media's new online directory of restaurants, Dine Local, at dinelocal.triblive.com.
The grilled cheese sandwiches — in all of their varieties — at Lupi & Leo in Hempfield have a following.
Customers from a couple of local businesses call in early with a special request for the type of warm, toasty sandwich to be served up that day. Others wait, sometimes impatiently, for the daily social media posting to see what kind of grilled cheese the restaurant will be making that day.
"It's probably one of our most popular menu items," said manager Joann Manns.
It's easy to see why — the cheesy comfort food, a childhood staple for many, gets a grownup twist with different ingredients every day grilled between two slices of Italian sourdough. Manns said the restaurant rotates through at least a dozen types of grilled cheese sandwiches. It's typically a group decision among her and the cooks as to which one will be served on a particular day.
Last week, there was buffalo chicken with ranch and cheesy garlic bread. Jalapeno popper and margherita pizza sandwiches have been popular, as are carb-loaded concoctions containing macaroni and cheese.
"We have a lot of good ones," Manns said. "We try to come up with new ones."
That happened recently when Velveeta joined mozzarella and provolone between the thick bread. Manns said she was surprised at how popular it was.
"I can't believe how many of those I sold," she said.
The ingredients for the day are placed between two slices of bread and then put on a panini press with a little bit of butter. Manns said she tries to get a photo of the day's pick onto social media before the restaurant opens for the lunch crowd. Sometimes she gets messages from hungry potential customers before she even gets through the doors in the morning.
The rotating sandwiches have been on the menu since the restaurant opened along Route 30 in November 2013. It adds a familiar item to the American eatery, owned by Robert Manns, that puts a unique twist on all of its menu items.
The grilled cheese sandwiches are $9.99 with a cup of tomato or mushroom marsala soup. For an extra $1, the soup of the day is served instead. The sandwiches are on the lunch menu, which is offered until 3 p.m.
Lupi & Leo (lupiandleogreensburg.com) is located at 201 West Drive, Greensburg (in Hempfield, across from Big Lots). Closed on Sundays and Mondays. Takeout orders can be placed by calling 724-838-8160 or online at lupiandleo.hrpos.heartland.us/menu.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .