Previously on The Blog About Nothing... in London!

  • stamaria Santa Maria
    Best Pizza in London
  • tapcoffee Tap Coffee
    Coffee time in Warren St
  • exmouthespresso Bean Review
    Exmouth Espresso Blend
  • kurobuta Kurobuta
    Japanese Tapas
  • oddonos Oddono's
    Gelato in Chiswick
  • smokehouse Smokehouse
    Mouthwatering Burgers and BBQ
  • firehouse No 197 Fire Station
    Complete disaster
  • irisandjune Iris & June
    Independent Coffee Shop in Victoria
  • coffeeguide The Not Official London Coffee Guide
    Humble take on the independent scene
  • dumdum Dum Dum Donutterie
    They don't have Cronuts but they do Cros
  • bonanza Bean Review
    Bonanza's Espresso Blend
  • moo Moo Cantina
    Lomito Time
  • chorbizarre Chor Bizarre
    Restaurant with personality
  • squaremilebelen Bean Review
    Square Mile's Belen Espresso
  • ottolenghi Ottolenghi
    Not as good as usual!
  • quantus Quantus
    European cuisine in Chiswick
  • pearlliang Pearl Liang
    About Time for a Chinese

In a Grilled Cheese State of Mind

I got to this article/slide show in Food and Wine magazine of the best grilled cheese in the US, by that time I was coming back to one of my favourite places in the world NYC and in the extensive list of places some of them were in three of the five boroughs. Consequence challenge accepted, that weekend as Billy Joel would say I’m on a Grilled Cheese State of Mind. But it wasn't that easy, cold day, terrible weather, snowing, it was like a mission impossible. 

Taking the Greyhound on the Hudson River line: Bouchon Bakery 

My first stop was in the Columbus Circus, Thomas Keller’s Time Warner location Bouchon Bakery, there is another one in Rockefeller Center. Time Warner location was perfect, amazing view in the second level of the Circus through the building huge windows. The place was packed, a couple people in front but got quite fast a sit in the small bar. Got a cappuccino and some bread and remembered what my grandpa used to do, dip the bread in the coffee, did it immediately, an instinct reaction, good memories and childhood flavours for a cold snowy day. 

The Bakery Cafe
The View
Coffee Time
The option there a classic grilled cheese with tomato soup. The soup was nice, good spices, warm and creamy, excellent for the day, sandwich looked home made, loved the buttery flavour in the toasted bread, it was spongy and equally toasted, nice cheese with excellent clean flavour, but as the sandwich was getting colder it was losing its qualities so eat fast! 

Bouchon Grilled Cheese
Bouchon Bakery 
T: +1 212 823 9366
Cafe / Bakery
Aprox Damage: $20 
Area: Midtown West
Borough: Manhattan
Twitter: BouchonBakeryTW
Bouchon Bakery on Urbanspoon

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I know what I’m needing and I don’t want to waste more time: Artisanal Fromagerie, Bistro and Wine Bar 

Second stop was Artisanal, I went my way to Park Avenue, to find Terrance Brennan French bistro, perfect Parisian atmosphere, the paper tablecloths, the music, the art deco decor, the interior was inviting to stay. I ordered a French hot chocolate which was outstanding, rich and not too bitter, the cup was huge, easy to share it, and a ginger and carrot juice, interesting combination a little bit watery, finally I decided about my sandwich. 

The Bistro
Love when they bring the butter with the cover
Hot Chocolate
6 succulent les sandwiches, my option as I was in a fromangerie the Big Cheese, I wanted at that point more cheese. 4 cheeses in this creation, Fontina, Tallegio, Gruyere, and Emmenthaler, you can add tomato or bacon but I kept it traditional. Presentation was nice, came with crisp and they were spectacular, a rustic bread, equally toasted, nice buttery flavour not too overporwering, and the cheese combination was perfect, the flavour was spot on, amazingly the sandwich kept the crunchiness and flavour till the end. 

Big Cheese
Artisanal Fromagerie & Bistro
T: +1 212 725 8585
French Bistro
Aprox Damage: $30
Area: Murray Hill
Borough: Manhattan
Twitter: ArtisanalBistro
Artisanal Fromagerie & Bistro on Urbanspoon

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Now I need a little give and take, the New York Times, the Daily News: The Queens Kickshaw 

My path took me to this gothic and industrial cafe in Queens, Ben Sandler and Jennifer Lim opened the The Queens Kickshaw offering fancy grilled cheese sandwiches and craft beers recognising the food and cultural diversity of the area. Have to say the service wasn’t good when I arrived, the place was almost empty and the waitress kept my waiting for more than 10 minutes, then something changed, the place started to get full and the service improve completely. 

First I ordered the FLIGHT, a 4oz sample of each of their four draught beers, Jonas Bronck Kingsbridge Kolcsh from NY, Weyerbacher Verboten from PA, Laughing Dog Alpha Dog from ID, and Dogfish Head Chicory Stout from De. The sampler was excellent, I love beer, so it was nice, the pale and citrus flavours from the Kolsch, the toasted malts from the pale ale, floral notes from the IPA and finally the coffee and strong flavour of the stout. 

Beer Time
Aerial View of the FLIGHT
You have 8 options, I asked my waitress for a recommendation, as I was hesitating between a couple, at the end went with her thoughts, the Fontina Val d’Aosta, Fontina cheese, marinated mushrooms, and basil pesto on an open face focaccia sandwich, green salad and toasted pine nuts on the side. The sandwich was amazing, the cheese, the mushrooms, the pesto, the flavour, open face, brilliant, give me more, not sure if qualifies as a grilled cheese but with that flavour who cares, I guess is grilled and has cheese right? Side salad good but want more grilled cheese! Though is quite good combination, this one became one of my favourite sandwiches period. 

Kickshaw Fontina

The Queens Kickshaw 
T: +1 718 777 0913
Sandwich & Craft Beers
Aprox Damage: $25 
Area: Astoria
Borough: Queens
Twitter: QueensKickshaw
The Queens Kickshaw on Urbanspoon

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Don’t care if it’s Chinatown or on Riverside: Beecher’s Handmade Cheese 

My final stop was Kurt Beecher Dammeier’s new shop in the Flatiron district, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese originally from Pice Plake Market in Seattle, opened in 2003, and eight years later Kurt took his award winning cheeses to the big apple. Love the place huge shop, a counter to order some coffee and food, a huge window to see the cheesemaker in action, and a wine cellar, cheese and wine OMG I’m in paradise! 

George, George, Cheese!
Love my stool
Five options, all handcrafted and grilled to order, featuring artisan cheese, and the bread supplied by Harlem Hot Bread Kitchen. Also, soup, mac & cheese, salads, etc. I wandered around the shop trying different samples of their signature cheeses, at the end ordered the flagship grilled cheese sandwich and a tomato soup. The sandwich comes with flagship, just jack, basil, tomato, and whole grain mustard. I sat near the cheesemaking kitchen to see the cheesemaker in action, the soup was nice, great flavour, nice condiments, the flagship was perfectly toasted, the cheese was excellent, perfectly melted, nice flavour. 

The Chosen One
Beecher's Flagship
Beecher's Handmade Cheese 
T: +1 212 466 3340
Cheese Shop / Cafe / Wine Cellar
Aprox Damage: $15 
Area: Flatiron
Borough: Manhattan
Twitter: BeechersNY
Beecher's New York Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Cheese reminds me the Seinfeld episode “The Foundation” 

George: So uh, Wrath of Khan, huh?
Jerry: Yeah. Was that a beauty or what?
George: What was that line again? Something about finding your way in a shadow?
Jerry: No, no, no, it's "She's not really dead if we find a way to remember her"
George: That's it, that's the line, that destroyed my life
Jerry: Problem?
George: The Rosses have started up a foundation, Jerry, and I have to sit on the board of directors
Jerry: Hey, board of directors. Look at you!
George: Yeah! Look at me! I was free and clear! I was living the dream! I was stripped to the waist, eating a block of cheese the size of a car battery!
Jerry: Before we go any further, I'd just like to point out how disturbing it is that you equate eating a block of cheese with some sort of bachelor paradise.
George: Don't you see? I'm back in
Jerry: All because of Wrath of Khan?
George: Yes!
Jerry: Well, it was the best of those movies


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