The Big Cheesy Aftermath
We came, we saw, we conquered some grilled cheese sandwiches at The Big Cheesy. The event was held in a really cool gallery space in SoHo. Five competitors offered some creative and scrumptious grilled cheese sandwiches, and Goose Island poured three different IPAs. We were given orange ping pong balls to put into tall plexiglass columns to cast our vote for The Big Cheese of The Big Cheesy 2015.
First up was Mrs. Dorsey's Kitchen representing Brooklyn. Their grilled cheese had: mushrooms sauteed in truffle oil, onion bacon jam, arugula, and grape tomatoes. Oh, and mozzarella cheese! It was a solid sandwich to start, with lots of my favorite flavors (truffle! mushrooms! arugula!!!). The only thing I could nitpick on was that there may have been too much going on at once, and I forgot I was eating a primarily grilled cheese sandwich.
Next was Hudson Common with a french toast grilled cheese. This sandwich had a whopping seven cheeses and was drizzled with maple syrup. Not sure where it was, but there was definitely a hint of truffle (truffle, squeeee!) in there somewhere. Super goopy stringy cheese, but quite messy. Hudson Common earned an orange ping pong ball from Alex, who said "it was hot, crispy, gooey cheese: what I want in a grilled cheese." And then some! Extra props to Hudson Common because Alex explicitly does NOT like truffle, and their use of truffle was so subtle that it won him over.
Then, Sons of Essex served La Cubana, a grilled cheese with slow-roasted pulled pork, Virginia ham, Swiss cheese, mojo onion, and jalapeno. Although the Swiss cheese in mine wasn't quite melted to grilled cheese texture, I loved this sandwich and it got my orange ping pong ball vote of confidence. I mean, this had the flavors of a good Cuban sandwich, but somehow the bread on mine was so crisp that I felt like I was crunching on potato chips. Can't quite put my finger on it, but I had a delicious savory taste lingering in my mouth that the other sandwiches didn't quite achieve.
Right next door, Fame by Alex Mitow was serving up the punny Taylor Swiss sandwich with Gruyere, Swiss, and Danish fontina, truffled duck liver mousse, walnut pesto, and Granny Smith apples on garlic buttered challah bread. Sounds amazing, but my little sampler of sandwich was missing like 50% of these things so I'm not really in a place to critique :-(
Lastly, Twist and Smash'd, who participated in last year's Fries of New York with that amazing spiral fry. They offered two grilled cheeses: one with mac & cheese (!) inside and another with chili mac & cheese (!!) inside. I wasn't crazy about the Franken-sandwiches and bits of mac & cheese were falling out all over, but the mac & cheese itself was great: super creamy, no frills, and just the right consistency of cheese sauce. I'd peel off the bread and just eat the insides of this one.
All in all, really fun event! Undoubtedly delicious, and set the bar really high for all my grilled cheese foodventures.
At publication time, no winner has been announced.