Restaurant: Mono Cheese
Type: Cheese-based food and cafe beverages
Prices: Food from 2,000-5,900,
Mono Cheese: Cheese-Lovers Unite!
Don't be fooled by the basic cafe decor and bizzare name. Like a cheese diamond in the rough, Mono Cheese has some rare and delicious cheese-based food items to try.
Treat yourself by starting off with a "Cream Cheese Hole." Slightly misleading name aside, a "Cream Cheese Hole" is simply a freshly toasted bagel with your choice of ten different types of hand mixed flavored cream cheese. The price is only 3,500 won and the amount of cream cheese is generous. Most of the flavors are fruity or chocolatety, but have no fear! There are plain, jalapeño, and pimento flavors for savory cream cheese-lovers. Also, don't worry about making any cream cheese related mistakes because you can try the flavors before committing to an entire bagel full. The crowning gem of the "Cream Cheese Holes" is the "Salmon Cream Cheese Hole." It's a bigger commitment at 5,900 won, but it comes with a sizable layer of salmon and a stack of fresh lettuce. It was reported by one local cheese-loving Cheongju resident to be "totally worth it."
If you're still hungry, you can move on to the grilled cheese sandwiches. Mono Cheese uses real shredded cheese on their sandwiches instead of cheap sliced cheese. You get good cheese bang for the buck on the grilled cheese sandwiches at a range of 2,000 to 3,300 won. Bacon lovers can't got wrong with the Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese. A quick word of caution on the grilled cheese: some of the flavors, including Classic and Jalapeño Chili, are too sweet for people who believe that cheese sandwiches and sugar should not mix.
There are various paninis and sandwiches to choose from, though no real stand outs on the menu. Connoisseurs of cheese-based sandwiches might be disappointed, but in Cheongju, you take whatever cheese you can get. The panini bread is made with squid ink. Even though the bread is very dark in color, it doesn't taste much different that regular bread. Please don't leave Mono Cheese without trying a Strawberry Cheesecake Shake. There's no false advertising here. It's just like drinking a piece of strawberry cheesecake and comes with an adorable little slice of cake on top.
Hours for Mono Cheese are 8 am to 10 pm weekdays and 10 am to 10 pm on weekends. The wait time can be a little long if a big group comes in but it's worth it. So, gather up your cheese-loving friends and pop in for brunch or lunch!
There are 2 locations, both centrally-located, in Cheongju: