What a perfect day to curl up with a cheesy, melty grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup. In honor of the BEST non-holiday of the year, here are some tips for creating a local, sustainable, delicious grilled cheese on your own, as well as local restaurants that can provide you with a delicious, conscious sammy. Spoiler alert: One sandwich contains lobster, salted caramel, and cheese aka the trifecta of food perfection.
To make your own local grilled cheese, you have to start with fresh, delicious… cheese. The Hudson Valley region produces amazing cheeses, and many are available for purchase at cheese shops and farmers’ markets. Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse is based in Milford, NJ, and is available at the Union Square Greenmarket. They also bake bread–one stop grilled cheese shopping!
Consider Bardwell Farm is another local cheese maker that has won dozens of international awards. Bardwell is located in West Pawlet, Vermont, and produces mostly goat cheese (goat cheese, fig, and honey grilled cheese). You can see pictures of their adorable goats and cows here.
Murray’s Cheese Shop and BKLYN Larder are two great shops to pop in and sample a wide variety of local cheeses. The cheesemongers are very knowledgeable and will guide you on your quest to the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. Murray’s even has a whole section devoted to “grilled cheese fixins” and a Melt Pack that you can order with everything you need to make the ultimate GCS — a store after my own heart, clearly. Both BKLYN Larder and Murray’s also sell breads, charcuterie, meats, jams and dozens of other ingredients to make the grilled cheese of your dreams.
Now that we have the cheese down, its time for the bread. Bread Alone uses flour, dairy products, eggs, and fruit from regional farms and is committed to using environmentally responsible practices. Bread Alone breads are available at dozens of grocery stores around the city, through FreshDirect, and at the Union Square and Grand Army Plaza Greenmarkets.
For the grilled cheese purists, you can bake your own bread using flour made with organic, local grains from Cayuga Pure Organics, available in NYC at these locations.
Want to just pick up a sandwich on your way home or enjoy one out on the town? Brooklyn Magazine has you set with the Top 10 Grilled Cheeses in Brooklyn. Celebration!
In Astoria, not only does the Queens Kickshaw feature a grilled gouda sandwich with guava jelly, black bean hummus, and jalapenos (it is as delicious as it sounds), they also support local and fair trade coffeemakers, craft breweries, and more, and have great composting and recycling programs.
Reallllly want to celebrate and indulge in what could possibly be the best sandwich in the entire world? Go to Hudson Common and marvel at/ consume their Salted Caramel Angry Lobster Fatty Melt for this week only. According to Gothamist, it’s made of “Yancy Farms White Cheddar Curds, Brooklyn Salvatore Smoked Ricotta, 2 Sisters Gouda, Tickler Cheddar, Fromage Blanc, Prairie Breeze Cheddar, and Butter Milk with Red Chili-Chipotle Lobster Salad with a caramel drizzle atop the sandwich to finish it off.” It costs $22 (which is really nothing when compared to this food nirvana) and is available through April 19.
For more grilled cheese recipes and mouth-watering photos, see Grilled Cheese Social, an amazing blog devoted to all grilled cheese, all the time.