Sunday, January 25, 2015

Jan 25, 2015: The Big Cheesy Grilled Cheese Competition

What: The Big Cheesy
Where: Manhattan, NY
Summary:  Grilled cheese competition, need I say more?

My friend C sent an email out me and some other friends notifying us of an event called The Big Cheesy, a grilled cheese competition sponsored by Time Out NY, and the portion of the proceeds go to Food Bank For NYC.

Well, it sounded like a hoot and a perfect thing to do on a chilly January afternoon.

And it turned out to be exactly that! So much fun and the sammiches were so GOOD. Who knew you could do so much will grilled cheese?!


Upon entering we were handed a plate, two tickets for beers, and a ping pong ball which we’d use to vote for our favorite sandwich.


And then we entered the Arena of Grill Cheesiness (I just made that name up). The space was somewhat small, but perfectly so. Not too many people and not too overwhelming, but enough room to move around to the various tables or to just stand and chat. And it wasn’t too loud, even though the room would often erupt with cheering or an air horn – one or more of the tables celebrating when a ping pong ball was dropped into their container. Fun! (Not shown in the pictures below is a second room, not quite as big that had another restaurant.)



Our first stop, Fame by Alex Mitlow.
Personal prize I awarded them: Best Sammich Name: The Taylor Swiss
Description: I can barely pronounced everything on this sammich (see sign below). Very frufru!

I must admit, I didn’t really taste the duck liver… or maybe I did; that might be the first time I’d had it. In any case, for our first taste, it was quite yummy!


Well done, Fame.

Our second stop was Sons of Essex
Personal prize I awarded them: Best Presentation
Description: it was like a Cuban Grilled Cheese sammich. Actually it wasn’t “like” that. It was that.


Look at this presentation. Lovely!

And best yet, the taste matched the presentation. OMG, it was DELICIOUS! The absolute correct spicing and meaty and cheesy. Oh nom nom nom. Seriously. This vaulted to the top of my list (which was only two long at this point but still).

Well done to you, too, Sons of Essex.

On to our third stop, Hudson Commons
Personal prize I awarded them: Did you Say French Toast Grilled Cheese?
Description: YES, French. Toast. Grilled. Cheese.

Now, I would never have guessed that maple syrup poured over a grilled cheese sandwich would be a combination that would work at all. HOW WRONG I WAS. My friend C was already off hearing the angels singing after tasting this and after my second bite I confessed that I might just start crying over how good it was. Even as I type this, I still surprised that those two flavors go together in any way but they just did. Perfectly.

I wish you all could lick your screen and taste this, lol.


Okay, we were only half way through. Time to keep going. Our 4th stop was Mrs. Dorsey’s Kitchen
Personal Prize I awarded them: Best Mobile Kitchen
Description: This was probably the healthiest of the bunch. There were even green things on this sandwich, and other vegetables. Woah.

Now, full disclosure, poor Mrs. Dorsey had to follow Hudson Commons and I fear I didn’t like the sandwich as much as I might have otherwise. Also, I’m not a fan of the mushroom, which was a prominent feature of this one. Nevertheless, I give it props! And it sure took a good picture!

And, as I said, I loved the mobile kitchen and especially this B with its Brooklyn touque. :)

Okay, off to the next room. There was only one other restaurant here, rather than the expected two, but they had two different offerings. The restaurant was Twist and Smash’d.
Personal Prize I awarded them: Brilliantest Idea!
Description: they put mac and cheese on a grilled cheese sammich. Repeat, they put mac and cheese on a grilled cheese sammich. Brilliant!!

One offering was just the mac and cheese (if you can ever say “just” when it comes to mac and cheese) and the other was mac and cheese and bacon and chili. Just typing that makes my mouth water all over.

(and in the picture below, look at that grill in the background. You know when the grill looks like that something good is going on).

I had a great time watching them make this one. Mmmmmm.


Between the two, I enjoyed the plain mac and cheese the best – I could taste both the cheese AND the mac and cheese as different flavors and textures which was also just fun. The chili one was a little too much chili and not enough mac and cheese for my tastes, but as I was noming down on it, I was thinking that I bet my mom would love love love LOVE the chili one. And I did enjoy it, too.

I mean, how could one not. Look at these!


And then we had to make our decision. For me, narrowing it down to two wasn’t too hard: The Cuban and the French Toast Both just SO delicious and SO very different. So, it was time for a taste off!

Me about to embark on the taste off. No, I’m not enjoying myself at all.

As we were tasting our final bites, one of the chefs from Hudson Common came over to chat with us (opening the conversation with “why do you even still have your ping pong balls, your choice is easy”. Lol, well played). He was fun to talk to and obviously very excited about their grilled cheese. And I love talking to people who love what they do so much.

In the end, they (Hudson Common) did end up being my winner, as well as C’s. Mmmmmm, French Toast Grilled Cheese. And we’ll be looking up their restaurant for a possible future brunch!

These guys made a great sammich and were also just a lot of fun, giving me lots of cheers when I dropped in my ping pong ball and then posing for a good picture.

And then they photobombed me when I was trying to take a picture of the room. As I said – fun!

All in all, yummy food, good cause (with a portion of the proceeds going to Food Bank for NYC), and a great time!

1 comment:

  1. I agree--your Mom probably would have loved the chili mac and cheese! Mom