Vegans, run for the hills! (Just watch out for buttercups 😉 ) Saturday March 23 and Sunday March 24, we bring back the third annual Big Cheesy grilled cheese competition. Featuring the city’s best sandwich makers, including the champions from Big Cheesy 2011 (Milk Truck) and Big Cheesy 2012 (Melt Shop), you taste all seven but only pick one as your favorite! It’s the people’s choice awards for grilled cheese sandwiches. This year’s Big Cheesy features Keith Klein’s Milk Truck, Lucy’s Whey, Melt Shop, Murray’s Cheese Bar, Say Cheese UWS, Sons of Essex and ‘wichcraft. Plus Brooklyn’s own Sixpoint Brewery. TICKETS: RIGHT HERE
What should you expect? Let’s crystal ball it back to last year. The Melt Shop’s Spencer Rubin creates three sandwiches to triangulate on voters’ tastes. Sandwich 1: Sharp cheddar and pulled pork with homemade BBQ sauce on sourdough bread. Sandwich 2: Blue and cheddar cheese with bacon and cranberry pepper jam on sourdough. Sandwich 3: Goat cheese and fontina with roasted wild mushrooms and parsley pesto. Melt Shop wins by a landslide but causes a stir. They forever change the way we prepare contestants for The Big Cheesy: One recipe!** Watch a video from last year.
Little Muenster takes second with a round gruyere, tallegio and fontina sandwich topped with pear and apple paste, prosciutto and membrillo. Served with a Little Side of Tomato Soup. The silver launches them into the Big Apple Culinary Stratosphere, a publicly-traded marketplace for foodie futures. Stock’s up. Third place goes to Lucy’s Whey, the petite Chelsea’s Market cheese shop that went with simple elegance: Cheddar, olive oil, sea salt and fig jam. Crowd loves it; Lucy’s is making its whey into a third location. Fourth place? Big Daddy’s truck-stopping foil to Lucy’s Whey: Macaroni with six types of cheese, bacon, tomato and truffle oil on Orwasher’s Bread and then chased with a jello shot. Casellula took fifth after cold-shouldering meat and offering Scharfer Max, gruyer and Emmenthaler cheeses with pickled pepper relish. Murray’s Cheese Shop stumbled into fifth place with Murray’s Atomic Bomb: Taleggio topped with braised short ribs, caramelized onions, spicy relish, jalapeno peppers, arugula and mazi piri piri hot sauce. Pulling in last, on a cruiser and looking very much like Jean-Paul Belmondo, was the Tartinery team with an Americanized croque madame. The Big Cheesy is March 23 + 24 from noon to seven pm. Tickets are $25, same as last year (no inflation, and these aren’t gas prices!), and you’ll get one hour to taste, sample, discuss, marinate on all the creative recipes and celebrate the humble grilled cheese sandwich done right! Plus, your choice of a Sixpoint Sweet Action, Bengali Tiger, Crisp and Righteous Ale tallboy. TICKETS: RIGHT HERE
**Unless you want to make a vegetarian option, too. But if you do make a veggie choice, guests can only have either the meat or the veggie sandwich.