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BACK-TO-BACK! MELT SHOP EDGES OUT SAY CHEESE FOR BIG CHEESY 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP AT OPENHOUSE

A year after winning the Big Cheesy with three recipes, Manhattan’s Melt Shop went back to back with just one: Widmer’s aged cheddar and brick spread with Nueske’s thick-cut bacon and cranberry onion chutney on Levain Locale bread. A second-day surge allowed Spencer Rubin’s shop to edge out Say Cheese UWS and Sons of Essex to claim the Big Cheesy Champion Cheeseboard. With more than 1,500 guests, Big Cheesy gave New Yorkers the chance to vote for their favorite. Congrats to Melt Shop, Say Cheese, Sons of Essex for placing top three! And, to ‘wichcraft, Murray’s Cheese Bar, Milk Truck and Lucy’s Whey, thanks for joining and helping New Yorkers have the best afternoon of the year. Keep on expanding those cheesy empires! And, check out dozens of pictures courtesy of Openhouse and fromage-homaging guests. (And if that’s not enough: Meet the contestants in this N9 video).

 

Melt Shop founder Spencer Rubin cuts through one of 1500 servings of his Nueske Nuthin But Trouble sandwich (unofficial name). (Photo: Openhouse)

 

The un-Instagrammed shot of Melt Shop's secret weapon: The spatula tat. (Photo: Openhouse)

 

Across the room, Say Cheese's marscapone and Nutella had the ladies swooning. Served on a graham cracker-dusted brioche. Unheard of! (Photo courtesy of Say Cheese)

 

Say Cheese's French onion sandwich with gruyere, swiss, homemade French onion soup compote, secret garlic butter on sour dough bread. (Photo courtesy of One Girl's Dish)

 

The Lower East Side's Sons of Essex pulled fans onto the bandwagon with great cheer, a wooden tie and delicious recipes. (Photo courtesy of One Girl's Dish)

 

Sons of Essex's truffle grilled cheese with gruyere, goat cheese, parmesan, sauteed mushrooms and baby arugula. (Photo courtesy of Seth Levine)

 

Murray's Cheese Bar went classic with a five-cheese blend dipped in chipotle tomato soup. Winner? No. Best shirt? Yes. (Photo: Openhouse)

 

Murray's five-cheese blend at the griddle. (Photo: Openhouse)

 

Tomato soup on the left. (Photo courtesy of One Girl's Dish)

 

'wichcraft's grilled cheese featured hen of the woods mushrooms on day one and spicy pork on day two. (Photo courtesy of One Girl's Dish)

 

2011 champ Milk Truck surprised pundits with a meat-laced sandwich. (Photo: Openhouse)

 

Keith Klein's Milk Truck featured blue cheese, cheddar, bacon, mushrooms, spicy McClure's pickles and caramelized onions. (Photo courtesy of One Girl's Dish)

 

Lucy's Whey's wich included buttered pan de pie, sharp cheddar from the Cabot Coop in Vermont, local apple butter with a hint of chili chutney, a layer of fromage blank and a slice of ham. (Photo: @carolinebytes)

 

A good-looking dish via @emilygiove.

 

A six-pack of sandwiches via @comicnerd1988

 

Derek dressed in suit n tie. From left 'wichcraft, murray's cheese bar, milk truck, say cheese, sons of essex. Photo via @ugeats.

 

O hey there robotini at #3DEA via Quest for Queso.

 

Brunettes love them some blonde cheeses via @emilygiove.

 

Double scarf, date afternoon via @meghankathleen.

 

Fromage montage via @galcohen.

 

Sons of Essex sandwiches via Quest for Queso.

 

Why so serious? via @akc005

 

Knucklin down for the two-day 1,500-guest #BigCheesy via @ugeats.

 

Finally a glitter nail shot! The super seven by @ashleygildin.

 

Keith Klein's Milk Truck dished out two blue-cheese sandwiches via @seriouseats.

 

Lucy's Whey's American as apple pie sandwich via @seriouseats.

 

Via @WFOSponsors.

 

Melt Shop's via @MeltShop.

 

Big Cheesy-winning sandwich via @garciasbueno. #nofilter!

 

Melt Shop uncut via @seriouseats.

 

Another Melt Shop shot via @wfosponsors.

 

Flashing Ms via Melt Shop

Flashing Ms via Melt Shop

 

All smiles via @pjshives.

 

Milk Truck self portrait.

 

Milk Truck's cheddar blue bacon via @WFOSponsors.

 

Murray's Cheese: Our favorite! via @coolhunting

 

Murray's perfect pairing via @seriouseats.

 

I want em all via iman-gination tumblr.

 

Hay Hay Murray Chay via @stefanienicoleross.

 

Friendliest greeters known to man + woman. Big Joe LaPadula and Vicky.

 

The good folks at Party Up hooked up foosball and mini basketball in the #BigCheesy lounge.

 

Sweet pano via @GrandCentralBid

 

Blonde on Blonde. Twins all smiles with a Murray's and a Melt Shop.

 

Sons of Essex provided the energy all weekend.

 

Untitled (four delicious sandwiches) via @emilygiove.

 

Another fromage homage collage via @randinm.

 

Lucy's Whey sandwich board via Quest for Queso.

 

The elaborate chocolate and marscapone concoction via @seriouseats.

Say Cheese's french onion sandwich via @comicnerd1988

 

 

Another look at the french onion sandwich via @seriouseats.

 

Double trouble via Say Cheese's Instagram.

 

Sixpoints and Melt Shop via @darap411 of The Skinny Pig.

 

Righteous! via @BrunchCritic.

 

See what they did there? The ever-clever SOE via @rugoto.

 

19th-century chic via @clarkmkendall.

 

The Sons of Essex truffle sandie via @seriouseats.

 

Undeniably sweet hat via @sorkness.

 

The most colorful sandwich pic of the competition via @Carolinebytes.

 

A Sons of Essex stack ready to hit the road via @emilygiove.

 

Wooden tie! One for the company scrapbook via @WFOSponsors.

 

Bacon-encrusted SOE via @meghankathleen.

 

A closer look at that wooden tie via @seriouseats.

 

The @SarahElHarper won two free tix courtesy of Brunch Critic.

 

About to indulge in a generous Milk Truck portion. Via @emilygiove.

 

Unstoppable 'wichcraft creativity with hen of the woods mushroom. via 'wichcraft Instagram.

More 'wich via @seriouseats.

 

'Wichcraft love via @brent_kic.

 

With berkshire pork and fontina cheese via @seriouseats.

 

 

Taking a break from their 16 locations across the city. Thanks for joining! via 'wichcraft.