Great Grilled Cheese from Coast to Coast
Served at fashionable restaurants and cozy bakeries alike, here are 10 nostalgia-inducing takes on grilled cheese across the country.
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Beyond the Basic Grilled Cheese
Few dishes conjure afternoons of childhood mirth as well as the grilled cheese sandwich. Regardless of whether it's served alongside a bowl of steaming Campbell's tomato soup, the buttery classic symbolizes pure comfort. Back then the go-to dish was probably plain ol' griddled white bread oozing melted cheddar. Today the gourmet permutations are endless. Served at fashionable restaurants and cozy bakeries alike, here are 10 nostalgia-inducing renditions from across the country.
Photo courtesy of Greenspan's Grilled Cheese
Baltimore: Artifact Coffee
Cheddar from local creamery Hawks Hill is the star of the grilled cheese sandwich at Artifact Coffee, Spike and Amy Gjerde's Hampden hangout set in an old factory. Toasted on a slab of homemade Pullman loaf playfully dubbed "butter bread," it's accompanied by a mound of root vegetable chips.
Photo by Alison Kirby
More About: Artifact Coffee
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Chicago: La Sirena Clandestina
More About: Underbelly
Kansas City, Kan.: Best Regards Bakery & Cafe
Los Angeles: Greenspan's Grilled Cheese
Louisville, Ky.: Proof on Main
New York: Bar Sardine
Bar Sardine is a tiny West Village shrine for oysters and cocktails like the Manhattan Bound 'A' Train (rum, Chartreuse, Benedictine, amaro, sherry), but it also turns out a mighty grilled cheese sandwich. Executive Chef Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly amplifies a blend of Gruyere and mozzarella with eggplant-tomato tapenade and tangy beer mustard, served on filone bread from Sullivan Street Bakery.
Photo by Henry Hargreaves
San Francisco: Tartine Bakery & Cafe
Those sublime loaves of organic bread that baker and co-owner Chad Robertson crafts at Mission mainstay Tartine Bakery & Cafe provide the first assured sign that a pressed sandwich here will also be a revelation. Offerings include spicy soppressata with fontina and broccoli rabe, as well as smoky Idiazabal with quince jam (seen here). With the likes of ethereal banana cream tarts from Robertson's wife, Elisabeth Prueitt, it's obviously a prelude to dessert.
Photo by Eric Wolfinger
More About: Tartine Bakery & Cafe
Seattle: Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery
Typically it's salted peanut butter cookies and scotch-spiked drinking chocolates that entice patrons to Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, but Autumn Martin, proprietor of the Ballard Cafe, also has a way with savory concoctions. Consider her grilled cheese sandwich with Gruyere and aged Beecher's cheddar on potato bread. Fittingly, there's also a version oozing dark chocolate ganache, served alongside caramel dipping sauce, for those with a robust sweet tooth.
Photo by Annie Brady