meatless monday: grilled cheese is a dangerous kind of meatless

murray's cheese bar did it up right with a "secret cheese blend" (buttery) and smoky tomato soup

murray’s cheese bar did it up right with a “secret cheese blend” (buttery) and smoky tomato soup (image via serious eats).

This weekend was The Big Cheesy, an annual competition of local restaurants, food trucks, and cheese mongers, to create the world’s best grilled cheese. The ever-humble sandwich of childhood lunches (who doesn’t remember sliced cheddar on buttered bread served with a side of Campbell’s tomato soup?) has come a long, long way. And yes, taste-testing grilled cheese sandwiches for an hour was as amazing as it sounds.

A few of the meatless standouts from the lively throwdown: Sons of Essex did a version with gruyere, goat cheese, and parmesan blend, and added some sautéed mushrooms and arugula. Say Cheese busted out a clever concoction of Swiss, gruyere and parmesan on sourdough, with a schmear of homemade French onion soup compote (they also did a dessert grilled cheese: S’mores on a sweet brioche). Tom Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft did a simple, unassuming fontina and mushroom number that was so perfectly crunchy and gooey that I had to go back for a second sample. See all the competitors’ here.

Looking outside at our wickedly nasty Northeast “spring” (whipping winds and, natch, snow), a little grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch sounds about right for today. Here’s to recreating a classic. xx

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