April puts the cheese in Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese has come a long way since we were kids. The sinful cheesy treat of yesteryear has grown up into a gourmet delight with a growing array of wild and wonderful combinations.  It even has its own month long celebration --as well as a separate day of honor.  April is National Grilled Cheese Month, and Friday is National Grilled Cheese Day

Interested in getting a taste?  To honor these auspicious occasions restaurants all over the country are features their take on this gooey gourmand staple.

Here is a list of the top 10 grilled cheese sandwiches, some so unique that they will have you saying, “this is definitely not my mom’s grilled cheese.”

1. The Queens Kickshaw

(The Queens Kickshaw)

This little café is tucked away in the New York City neighborhood of Astoria, Queens is definitely the place to go for grilled cheese when visiting any of the five boroughs. Its menu has a whole section dedicated to this cheese delight with six different varieties. Try a cheddar and mozzarella with tomato soup, or be a little more adventurous with  a sandwich filled with gouda, black bean hummus, guava jam, and pickled jalapenos.

2. Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar and Eatery

(Bayou Bakery)

This Arlington, Virginia eatery has a certain southern flare about it. Chef David Guas kept with the restaurant theme when creating his grilled pimento cheese. Two thick buttery pieces of Texas toast filled with sharp cheddar and their house made cream cheese.

3. Brasserie Beck

(Brasserie Beck)

Chef Robert Wiedmair brings hearty Flemish cuisine to Washington D.C. For the cheesiest month he has created a tasty Croque Monsieur; fluffy brioche bread piled high with rosemary ham, gruyere cheese, and a mornay sauce. It’s a fantastic treat for any meal of the day. Add a farm fresh egg and make it a Croque Madame.

4. The Melt

(The Melt)

It’s simply known as “grilled cheese happiness.” This California-based fast and casual restaurant uses all natural and wholesome foods to create their grilled cheese. In celebration of their favorite month The Melt is giving away 10,000 grilled cheese sandwiches while supplies last. Sign up here.

5. Omni Hotels

(Omni Hotel)

This grilled cheese is a sinful combination of tender juicy short rib and sharp creamy cheddar cheese. It makes up one of the many items on Chef Gerry Tice’s street food menu at the Omni Parker House in Boston. It’s a creative blend of that classic combination meat and cheese.

6. Heritage Grill

(Heritage Grill)

How do you create the perfect New Orleans style grilled cheese sandwich? Well Chefs Haley Bitterman and Steven Marsella have found the answer. Combine seasonal crawfish (crab when not in season) with fontina and white cheddar.  The filling is spread on seven grain bread and grilled to perfection.

7. Bourbon Steak

(Bourbon Steak)

Throughout the entire month of April this Washington D.C. establishment will be serving up a different grilled cheese sandwich each week. This classic staple will be given a gourmet twist with ingredients, like truffle pecorino, foie gras butter, and onion jam. If you get thirsty, any of the friendly bartenders will be happy to serve you a drink created to pair perfectly with your sandwich.

8. Clifton Inn

(Clifton Inn)

The Clifton Inn of Charlottesville, Virginia  takes a classic grilled cheese and makes it your way with a choice of cheese. Choose from American, cheddar, or Gruyere served on a house made pan de mie.  Sometimes the simplest of things are the tastiest.

9. Capital Bar and Grill

(Capital Bar and Grill)

Only in Little Rock, Arkansas can you get a pimento cheese sandwich with tangy sriracha chilly sauce. It’s a fantastic combination of spice and cheese topped with roasted red peppers to add subtle sweetness. They really add a big pop of flavor to this southern classic.

10. Greenhouse at Jefferson

(Greenhouse at Jefferson)

Order this French classic in Washington DC and be treated with smoky Virginia ham, nutty gruyere, and a creamy mornay sauce.  Take it from a Croque Monsieur to a Croque Madame by adding a sunny side up egg.