Comfort foods have been the mainstay of many Metro Detroit diets over the past year, and few foods offer more warmth, flavor and texture than a grilled cheese sandwich. It blends crunchy toasted bread with a wide array of chewy, stretchy cheeses in a way that harkens back to childhood in the best possible way.
Grilled cheese doesn’t have a traditional history, but some culinary historians say cheesy sandwiches with a grilled element date back to ancient Rome. But some of the first toasted cheese sandwiches came about from the French – think of the croque monsieur sandwich – to creative Americans such as James L. Kraft, who came up with a blended kind of pasteurized cheese that through its processing could be used anywhere and by anyone.
In Metro Detroit, restaurants from fine-dining classics to diners to those that specialize in organic and vegetarian meals have a form of a grilled cheese on the menu. Most of these include creative ingredients and come with a side of soup, so you’ll find your palate satisfied and your belly full after any of these choice selections.
Here are five Metro Detroit restaurants that offer grilled cheese sandwiches in a way that would make even James L. Kraft proud.
Detroiters have grown to love Royale with Cheese’s “All Up in Your Grill” cheese sandwich. This incredibly rich meal includes Cheese Fondue, Smoked Gouda, Parmesan, Fried Egg and Turkey Bacon. Even better, you can dip your sandwich into a steaming bowl of its tasty Roasted Tomato Basil Soup.
Detroit’s newest kid on the block – or on the canal – has a delicious grilled cheese-style flatbread on the menu. Its Radicchio, Artichokes and Cheese flatbread comes with its home-grown Italian specialty radicchio Treviso, which is sauteed with artichokes hearts, farm leek, lemon and olive oil. The flatbread is then topped with melted taleggio cheese and crispy apple and herb salad.
Cheese is a great accompaniment to beer, and there is plenty of both available at this venerable Detroit restaurant. Locals recommend its Country Grilled Cheese sandwich, which is made with Fontina and Gruyere cheese, smoked bacon and sliced granny smith apples grilled on French bread. You also get a cup of tomato bisque for a savory companion.
Detroiters know this is the place to go for cheese of every age, size and quality. Pick up a hard or soft cheese, depending on your favorite kind of sandwich. Grab some bread and toast it up with butter or your favorite spread. Bingo: You’ve got the perfect grilled cheese you can make at home thanks to Monger’s impressive cheese selection.
This classic neighborhood bar and restaurant in Grosse Pointe Farms has a great selection of burgers and traditional sandwiches like reubens and cheesesteak. But for the grilled-cheese lover, you need to try Irish Coffee’s Grilled Cheese Burger. It is a classic grilled cheese sandwich with a ground round patty inside. It is cheesy, meaty and delicious.
Everyone knows that grilled cheese is only better when you add some savory elements to it. That is why Dime Store gets credit for putting the kid-friendly combination of ham onto its grilled cheese. Its version starts with white bread then adds fontina cheese and grilled Dearborn ham to complete the stack.