Cheese is one of my weaknesses. I love cheese, and cheese loves me (my thighs, specifically). Whether it's fries or pasta or salad, cheese makes almost everythingbetter (though not everything, as evidenced by Kinton Ramen). When I was younger, before I was old enough to operate the stove by myself, one of my favorite snacks was slices of cheese microwaved on bread - my primitive version of a grilled cheese sandwich. Grilled cheese sandwiches have come a long way since then, transformed into a trendy item featured in food trucks and dedicated restaurants. From gourmet lobster grilled cheese to ethnic kimchi grilled cheese, there is no shortage of options. It had been awhile since I'd indulged my cheese craving, so when I saw that we were staying fairly close to the Kensington Market, I knew that I had to make a stop at The Grilled Cheese, which has been featured on You Gotta Eat Here.
From the outside, The Grilled Cheese has a rather rustic appearance with a log-cabin exterior. It would be easy to pass right by if you didn't know where you were headed. The interior is equally simple, with plain wooden tables and benches, walls lined with shelves of pickled vegetables, and a chalkboard menu. Clearly, the food is the focus here.
The menu ranges from the classic plain grilled cheese to the aptly named "The Beast" and everything in between. We settled on the Grilled Motzy and the Apple Crisp. As we waited for our food, we watched the kitchen staff prepare the various sandwiches. I was a little disappointed to see the kitchen dishing out store-bought potato chips from a bag.
Our sandwiches came out within fifteen minutes of ordering. I could barely contain myself waiting for Nhi to take the pictures. Above is the Grilled Motzy, composed of fior di latte (cow's milk mozzarella), basil pesto, sundried tomatos, arugula, and balsamic. The pesto and sundried tomatos complimented each other nicely, and the arugula was a fresh addition that made the sandwich overall less heavy. I couldn't taste the balsamic, however, and because of the strong savory flavors in this sandwich, cheese wasn't so much the star as a supporting character.
The Apple Crisp was my favorite of the two, consisting of cheddar cheese accompanied by caramelized apples, red onions, and your choice of either avocado or bacon (I, of course, went for the bacon). I loved the sweetness and crunch of the apples, contrasted by the saltiness of the caramelized onions and bacon. The cheddar cheese held its own, better than the fior di latte in my opinion. Both sandwiches were served with the aforementioned store-bought potato chips and a pickle, which was extremely sour.
Overall, The Grilled Cheese serves up solid sandwiches at an affordable price ($5-$10). It's a good choice when you're craving some comfort food, although I'd describe the food here as grilled sandwiches with cheese rather than grilled cheese sandwiches.