Why another cooking blog?

I decided to create this blog as a way for family and friends to see what I'm cooking and to share interesting food related tidbits I come across.
I'm frequently asked for recipes so I thought this would be a good place to start collecting the old, new, and funky recipes that I have.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I know what I'm having for lunch...

April is national grilled cheese month... how am I just learning this now? Looks like a place in Houston made the cut for this short list of great grilled cheeses. Way to represent Houston!

Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
Let’s hope you didn’t miss that key April deadline. No, not Tax Day. I’m talking about April 12, National Grilled Cheese Day. If that illustrious date did pass you by, not to worry: Unlike failure to file your taxes, there are no financial penalties. Plus April is National Grilled Cheese Month, so there’s still plenty of time to celebrate.
I’m pretty much of a grilled cheese purist: I just need some bread, good melting cheese and plenty of butter. But there are lots of professionals out there who think much bigger than me. Here are some of the country’s more remarkable grilled cheese sandwiches.

Melt Bar & Grilled - Cleveland, Ohio area locations
You’ve got to love a place that knows and respects its local specialties. Exhibit A: Melt’s Parmageddon, a sandwich stuffed with two potato and cheese pierogi, Napa vodka kraut, grilled onions and sharp cheddar. Fans of The Big Lebowski will recognize The Dude Abides: homemade meatballs, fried mozzarella cheese sticks, rich marinara and provolone. Devotees of another classic movie might order The Godfather, which includes three-cheese lasagna made with fresh fennel-oregano pasta sheets, spicy red sauce and provolone, plus garlic-spiked bread.
April’s sandwich special is the Corny Beast. Here’s how they describe it: "Our wicked version of the almighty corndog! An ultra jumbo all beef dog char-grilled then stuffed inside the sandwich with double American cheese. Slathered with our special cornbread batter then deep fried. The result is pure carnival goodness!"
As an added bonus, if you get a tattoo of one of Melt’s three logos, you get 25 percent off for life.
Outerlands - San Francisco, California
This is not one of those 101-ways-with-grilled-cheese spots. You won’t find grilled cheeses on their dessert menu, or even at dinner. But at lunch they do offer a glorious grilled cheese made on superthick house-made bread, brushed with garlic oil (smart!) and crisped up in a hot cast-iron skillet. Plus it’s only $5. It’s so good, it has a spot on SF Weekly’s list of San Francisco's 10 Best Sandwiches.
Beecher's Handmade Cheese - Seattle, Washington and New York City
How smart is it to specialize in grilled cheeses at an artisanal cheese shop? At the cafés at both their original store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market and their newer Manhattan outpost, Beecher’s serves a selection of grilled cheeses that vary according to the location.
In Seattle, you’ll find the Dungeness Crab & Flagship sandwich ("flagship" references their signature cheese, a nutty gruyère-cheddar hybrid). New York City has a daily changing Big Deal sandwich - for instance, a Cuban-esque grilled cheese. Soon you’ll be able to take Beecher’s grilled cheeses to other states; they’re opening a kiosk at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle this summer.
Pinewood Café - Houston, Texas
The grilled cheese possibilities are practically limitless at Pinewood Café, right near the Houston Zoo in Hermann Park. The build-your-own grilled cheese bar has 12 kinds of cheese (from fontina to Velveeta), eight breads (including jalapeno cheddar if you want to up the cheese quotient in your sandwich), plus six proteins (bacon!) and 13 veggies, a category that ranges from cool items like pico de gallo and pickles to carrots, which I don’t plan on putting on a grilled cheese any time soon.
Butcher & Bee - Charleston, South Carolina
Their menu changes daily: They post photos of their chalkboard on their Facebook page for fans to preview. Since their October 2011 opening, one of B&B’s periodic specials is the regionally appropriate grilled cheese with pickled okra, candied pecans and pimento cheese. They also spread pimento cheese and honey on their regularly appearing ham and cheese.
Rye - Louisville, Kentucky
Rye owner Michael Trager-Kusman and chef William Tyler Morris met while working at The Breslin in New York City (where they happen to serve one of my all-time favorite melted cheese sammies, the Oven-Baked Three Cheese sandwich). At Rye, look for another monumental grilled cheese, served with a sweet, tangy chile onion marmalade that takes it over the top.
More from Food & Wine:
Best Grilled Cheese in the U.S.
Best Burgers in the U.S.
Best Steak in the U.S.
Best Bars in America
Spring Recipes
More grilled cheese goodness:
Best wines for grilled cheese
A cheesy summer meltdown
Five tips for a not-so traditional grilled cheese
Grilled cheese, please!
Grilled cheese and...grape jelly?

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