City Eats (which, by the way, I have decided is a mostly useless site that seems to exist just to inspire my blog posts) recently released a list of the Ten Best Grilled Cheeses in DC. Not only have I not been to just a handful of the establishments on their list, but I think they missed a few! And, as everyone knows by now, I am the district’s #1 cheese lover. I might not be the most knowledgeable, or the snobbiest, but man do I love cheese. See previous blog evidence here (I do not think this evidence would hold up in court or follows the rules of an appropriately cross-referenced article on Wikipedia but it certainly holds weight in my book).
KL’s Top Grilled Cheeses in DC and Arlington:
- Earl’s Sandwiches. Why do more people not know about this place? It’s a gem of a sandwich shop tucked into the area between Courthouse and Clarendon. I like to go there when I need a little pick-me-up and order the grilled cheese special, which has asparagus, tomato, and cheese on buttery toast. It is greasy, perfectly-cooked perfection. Total indulgence and right in the neighborhood.
- Northside Social. Can I rave enough about this place? This Clarendon coffeehouse has a lot of virtues (previously extolled on this very blog), and its grilled cheese is one of them. One coworker raved that it was the best grilled cheese in the DC area. I hardly ever order it because Northside has many other tempting bites to offer, but when I do, I am always very happy. It comes with a side salad so you can feel slightly more virtuous about eating it.
- Shake Shack. This is my non-traditional pick, because it’s really a veggie burger and not a straight up grilled cheese. Shake Shack’s veggie burger is composed of two very thinly sliced and breaded Portobello mushrooms which are then stuffed with cheese and fried. You end up with a glorified mozzarella stick. Then they put it on a bun, with the special sauce. Heaven. Who could resist fried cheese on a bun? Not this girl. I have been to Shake Shack more times than is appropriate for a vegetarian.
Okay, so that list is pretty short – mostly because I try not to stuff my face with cheese everywhere I go (despite mounting evidence to the contrary). But these three places are clutch.
I will admit that one of my favorite grilled cheeses is the homemade kind: plain white bread, lots of butter, and sliced American cheese. Sorry to those of you out there who are groaning with disappointment, but when you need comfort food nothing beats that and a bowl of Campbell’s tomato soup. Childhood right there. But on days when I want to feel a little more like a grown-up, I might make one of these: