There’s not a month of the year that isn’t chock full of food holidays.
Every day has a food holiday, every week celebrates something tasty and every month promotes dishes, ingredients and food related activities that are celebrated over the course of weeks.
National Grilled Cheese Month is observed in April and I am here for all of it.
A good grilled cheese is one of the most simple, satisfying, comforting, perfect dishes on the planet. Fantastic bread crisped up with a good cheese layered and melted like a thick comforting blanket in the middle is all the makings for a gratifying hit.
We are nearing the end of comfort food season with warmer weather taking over and the smell of flowers and days filled with the promise of pleasurable sunlit baths. That’s why April is the perfect time to toast the change in weather with this endlessly pleasing dish and thank it for getting some of us through the winter blahs.
Sure it’s easy enough to make a grilled cheese worth drooling over in your home kitchen, but there are several restaurants that bring their special stamp to the humble grilled cheese that could win a popularity contest with kids and adults alike.
Here’s a look at some of the destinations I would include as worthy of consideration if you too would like to have a moment celebrating National Grilled Cheese month while you are out and about this next week, or really anytime, because sometimes the best medicine comes in a hot, buttered, cheesy, toasted package.
430 E. 5th St., Dayton
(937) 938-6405 or https://blindbobs.com
Blind Bob’s understands that there are two types of grilled cheese lovers in this world — the puritans who believe you can only defile this timeless classic by adding anything else to it and those that see their grilled cheese as a starting point to build and create with creativity and reckless abandon. For that reason they have a simple grilled cheese listed for ($7), you name the cheese and they’ll take care of the rest. For those who see their grilled cheeses through a more complicated lens there’s the deluxe grilled cheese ($8) with four slices of cheese (your choice and combo of cheddar, American, pepperjack, provolone, Swiss, Bleu, Feta and goat cheese and topped with any other veggies, meat or anything else you can think to add (additional charges may apply), so go crazy and don’t forget the fantastic pickle soup!
250 Warren St., Dayton
(937) 228-2626 or https://228coco.com
This panko crusted crispy brown sourdough dream is stuffed with flavorful mozzarella fontina, white cheddar and provolone and served with a beautiful tomato bisque on the side as a perfect companion. Dip, dip, dip, dip, dip to your heart’s content as this match made in heaven gives you every bit of flavor and satisfaction you had hoped for in this moment. The $13 you will pay will seem like the deal of the century in hindsight. It’s that good.
300 Wayne Ave., Dayton
(9937) 224-7822 or www.dubpub.com
For those who will be lifting weights and need the double hit of protein and calories the Dublin Pub Monster Grilled Cheese may be in order ($9.99). It comes with Swiss, Monterey jack and cheddar, but it’s the addition of either turkey ($2.99) or brisket or corned beef ($4.99) that really ups the ante. And at this spot there are always options depending on your end goal for health choose Jack’s garlic green beans as your side and to seal yourself completely in a carby shell of comfort there are the cheese fries that never disappoint, but occasionally leave a faint pang of regret.
The Florentine Restaurant
21 W. Market St., Germantown
937-855-7759 or www.theflorentinerestaurant.com
If you haven’t been to the Florentine in a while and love a good grilled cheese then it’s time for a road trip. Not only will you find an “Ultimate Grilled Cheese” ($13.99), but you’ll find a lot of history at the second oldest inn in Ohio, the first being the Golden Lamb in Lebanon. The Germantown restaurant takes sliced brioche bread crusted with Parmesan cheese and filled with roasted basil, fresh tomatoes, provolone, Swiss and Colby jack and marries it together in a carb loaded union of toasted cheesy goodness.
5531 Far Hills Ave., Dayton
937-434-4750 or www.meadowlarkrestaurant.com
Meadowlark is one of those places that can elevate simple foods and ingredients to a rapturous gourmet level. Meadowlark’s is not a grilled cheese, it’s a GRILLED CHEESE, the kind of dish you will tell your friends about and go to bed dreaming of. It’s all in the ingredients — terrific bread and your choice of delicious cheese. Choose from white cheddar, Gouda or Gruyere for $11.95 or change this classic up with several options: Swiss Gruyere with red wine and grilled onions (this is my personal favorite, red wine is brushed on the inside of the bread), grilled Gouda with asparagus and almonds, or grilled ham and Gouda with a sweet and spicy Jezebel sauce.
Tank’s Bar and Grill
2033 Wayne Ave., Dayton
937-858-5121 or www.tanksbarandgrill.com
This is a restaurant that bills it’s entire menu as “ultimate comfort food,” so it’s a good bet you’re going to find the grandaddy of sandwich comfort on the menu, but it’s not any old grilled cheese — it’s Tank’s “My Way Grilled Cheese” ($8.99). Sure you can do your own way — and after you hear this you may want to — but if you want to do it Tank’s way you are going to get Swiss, cheddar, provolone, American cheeses melted and topped with lettuce, tomato, banana peppers, mayo, mustard and horseradish on toasted dark rye bread. It’s not for everyone, but if you like all of those ingredients I can tell you it’s worth trying. Get it with a cup of Tanks famous ‘Road Kill’ beef chili that’s one of the best in town and you have a winning combination on your hands.
Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water. Menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look at? E-mail Alexis Larsen at email@example.com with the information and we will work to include it in future coverage.