Top Cheese for National Grilled Cheese Month
April may be known for spring showers and tomfoolery, but more importantly: grilled cheese. Mmhmm, April is National Grilled Cheese Month, marking a 30-day ode to the great American comfort food. The rare food to transcend age groups, beloved by children and adults alike, grilled cheese has earned itself a month-long celebration. Do so by eating all the grilled cheese you can. In a city rife with grilled cheese, here's a guide to some of the best cheesy sandwiches in Chicago:
South Water Kitchen: As if the grilled goodness at South Water Kitchen — made with pear, Brie and blueberry jam — didn't merit a visit as is, the restaurant is celebrating Grilled Cheese Month with a promotion that runs the entirety of April. Chef Roger Waysok and bartender Dan Rook have teamed up to offer a new grilled cheese and craft beer pairing special every day of the month for lunch and dinner (beer pairing at dinner only). Examples of pairings include the BAT grilled cheese with bacon, avocado, and tomato, and a bacon jam-white cheddar version. At dinner, Waysok will make an appetizer version of the sandwich to pair with one of the beers. Plus, the famed pear-Brie-blueberry grilled cheese will still be available daily, and deserving of your cravings.
The Pony: When grilled cheese desires just don't stop, you can't do any better than The Pony, the bar famed for its 16-inch grilled cheese sandwich. Dubbed "The Clydesdale," this enormous slice of comfort comes with tomato-basil dip and is designed to share. Obviously. As an added bonus, for the month of April The Pony is offering a special $20 combo of a pitcher of beer with The Clydesdale.
Southport Grocery & Cafe: Likely my favorite grilled cheese in town can be found at Southport Grocery & Cafe. Most of the fanfare at this cutesy Lakeview cafe is reserved for cupcakes and cupcake pancakes, but don't overlook the cheesy mushroom melt at lunch. This supremely decadent rendition contains Brie and Swiss on buttery cornmeal country bread with sauerkraut, caramelized onions, Dijonnaise, and roasted mushrooms.
Bite Cafe: Grilled cheese and tomato soup share a supremely nostalgic plate at Bite Cafe, a Ukrainian Village standby with the essence of a diner and the soul of a masterful chef. The elevated interpretation of the classic combo features a three-cheese sandwich with cheddar, Gruyere, and provolone stacked with succulent cured tomatoes. It's served with a steaming bowl of tomato-fennel soup for dunking divinity.
m. henry: When it comes to grilled cheese at m. henry, there are two routes you can be taking: the childhood route or the adult route. One way is a classic-inspired creation made with cheddar or Swiss on multigrain with optional accoutrements such as tomatoes, watercress, bacon, and pears. The "adult" version is a grilled pain di mie with caramelized shallots, leeks, Parrano cheese, and walnut pesto. Very mature indeed.
Da Lobsta: One of the most unique grilled cheeses in town can be found at a pretty atypical location, at least in terms of grilled cheese: Da Lobsta. While most renowned for its lobster rolls, the seafood shack fuses shellfish with cheese for its lobster grilled cheese, a decadent duo of lobster meat and Havarti on thick Texas toast.
- Matt Kirouac