TOP TEN GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES – Washington, DC
By Nevin Martell
Photo by Elizabeth Parker
So many choices, so little time. The Ten is your guide to the best of the best that D.C. has to offer.
We’ve started digging out our sweaters and using the briskness as a talking point during conversational lulls, so we want something hearty and heartwarming when we go out to eat. Nothing is more universally comforting on a chilly autumn day than a good grilled cheese sandwich. So we rounded up 10 favorites that are a perfect panacea for shivers and S.A.D.
The triple threat at this cradle of comfort food with locations in Foggy Bottom and Park Potomac is packed with Muenster, white cheddar and Gruyere. It comes with a cup of roasted tomato soup that’s perfect for dipping.
The Swiss Bank Account at this Cleveland Park wine bar is the 1% of grilled cheeses. That’s because translucently thin prosciutto and creamy, cellar-aged Challerhocker cheese are slathered with truffle butter before the sandwich is grilled golden brown.
Bryan Voltaggio forgoes the molecular gastronomy of Volt and keeps it simple at his canalside grab ‘n’ go in Frederick. For his grilled cheese, thick slices of Tilamook cheddar are bookended between fresh slices white bread. Just like Dad used to make when he was in charge of dinner.
It’s a truck that sells nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches – genius! Our favorite is the Cherry Glen, which uses creamy chèvre from its namesake then spreads on a sweet, citrusy lemon fig jam.
The Sweetest Thing at this Catonsville hot spot will convince you that grilled cheese can be dessert. Golden-griddled triangles of thick white bread hold together creamy mascarpone cheese, raspberry preserves and gooey melted chocolate chips, which nicely offset a thick layer of funky brie.
Chef-owner Ris Lacoste tweaks the grilled cheese daily, so you never know what your sandwich might hold (a recent favorite was packed with chilies). No matter what, it comes with a bowl of steamy, silky cream of tomato soup.
The Spanish Grilled Cheese at José Andrés’ mobile homage to his favorite childhood sandwiches is brimming with Manchego, goat cheese, herby and herbaceous Murcia, veiny blue Valdeón, and a thin layer of quince membrillo.
Head out to this Arlington fromagerie for the Grown Up Grilled Cheese. Creamy camembert, a swipe of Dijon, thick beefsteak tomato rounds and a few argula leaves are pressed between layers of rustic sourdough.
This 14th Street favorite serves a haute breakfast sandwich that won our hearts over in a single bite. The Pan-Crisped Brioche Sandwich features Fontina, some slender slices of prosciutto, and a sunny-side up egg. Has the power to turn even a dreary afternoon into a good morning.
The Pappa Pomodoro at chef-owner Fabio Trabocchi’s much-lauded Penn Quarter trattoria is named after the rustic Tuscan tomato soup that stars in this stellar starter. However, it comes with several tea-sized grilled cheeses with buffalo mozzarella and basil that make this dish worth ordering even if you’re allergic to tomatoes.