DISCLAIMER: There’s such a thing as a grilled cheese, and then there’s such a thing as a melt. A grilled cheese consists of bread, cheese, and some sort of spread – any time you throw an extra ingredient in there, you’ve crossed the bridge into melt-land. If we’re going to get technical, the following is a list of tasty melts around town that have cleverly disguised themselves as grilled cheese.
Lincoln Square Grilled Cheese
Clocking in at four full slices of bacon, the Lincoln Square Grilled Cheese combines the likes of a traditional grilled cheese with a BLT (sans L), and surrounds the salty goodness with two slices of challah bread. “Because challah bread is made from egg yolk, you can use it as French toast,” explains chef Alejandro Gomez. “It’s pretty much made to be French toast and it cooks the bread evenly, so we use that in our grilled cheese, too.”
The bread and bacon are crisp, the tomato is fresh, bursting with flavor in your mouth, and the Swiss and American hold it all together. Perhaps we could all take a leaf out of the diner’s book and start putting breakfast items in our sandwiches, or maybe we should leave it up to the professionals.
Lincoln Square Pancake House
Various Locations, eatatlincolnsquare.com
Return of the King
Books and Brews doesn’t boast a full menu, but they’ve got the right idea – they offer snacks and specialties. The atmosphere is cozy and whether you’re looking for a book to read, a game to play with friends, a local brew, or a grilled cheese, you’re in the right place. Cheddar, provolone, and smoked gouda piled into your choice of bread and served with Broad Ripple chips, the sandwich is creamy comfort food at its finest. Grab your favorite Tolkien novel and one of their ever-changing craft beer choices to pair perfectly with this tasty treat.
Books and Brews
9402 Uptown Dr.; booksnbrews.com
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Pure Eatery’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich is something of a masterpiece. Traditionally on sourdough or wheat (although the chef assured me that a myriad of off-menu bread ptions exist), it is filled with Swiss, creamy havarti, stretchy provolone, tomato and homemade pesto aioli. And somehow, the cheese is melted to perfection, yet the bread isn’t the least bit greasy.
“We don’t use any butter or oil,” says chef Dan Hillman. “We use a Panini press. There’s some oil in the mayo from the pesto aioli that seeps into the bread and gives it extra crispiness, though.” The sandwich is served with chips and a pickle, but to eat anything before devouring this grilled cheese would be blasphemy.
8235 E. 116th St., Fishers & 1043 Virginia Ave.; pureeatery.com
Deluxe Grilled Cheese
The Deluxe Grilled Cheese is everything you’d want after downing a local pint or two at a pub with friends – greasy, with big portions and quality ingredients. Served on sourdough and stuffed with fresh spinach and tomato, steamed mushrooms and topped with beer mustard, the sandwich speaks for itself. Skip the post-bar munchies and satisfy your need for cheese with this monster.
5406 N. College Ave.; twentytap.com
Off Menu Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese can get eccentric, but Loughmiller’s Pub and Eatery gives you exactly what you order. It’s sourdough bread filled with American cheese and stuffed with just about whatever you want – bacon, avocado, tomato, or anything else they put in other sandwiches. Oh, but you don’t see it on the menu? That’s because you simply have to know it’s there, and ask for it.
“We used to have the grilled cheese on our menu, but we have a small kitchen and found that at lunchtime it takes up too much space on the flattop,” explains manager Scott Bennett. “But if you know we have it, we will still certainly make it for you.” It might sound like they’re simply willing to throw their extra ingredients on a sandwich for you, but the resulting gobs of melty American cheese is too delicious to pass up, and it’s the ultimate grilled-cheese-craving satisfier.
Loughmiller’s Pub and Eatery
301 W. Washington St.; loughmillerspub.com
For the ride-or-die cheese lover, grilled cheese is basically its own food group. It’s “easy” to cook (unless, of course, you waited two minutes too long and your bread came out looking like the inside of a chimney), simple in the ingredient department and delectably warm and gooey. Because someone somewhere has made a day for everything, Grilled Cheese Day is today, April 12, and you should probably eat a grilled cheese, or five, to celebrate.