We Present You The Big Cheesy Contestants: Vote For The Best Grilled Cheese Of 2012.

BIG DADDY’S
80s styled restaurant where massive burgers, crispy tater tots and thick milkshakes reign supreme. Big Daddy’s takes fun seriously – if you couldn’t tell by the wall lined with toys and lunch boxes from a bygone decade. Big Daddy’s is infusing its creativity into The Big Cheesy with an unheard of combination of two comfort foods. “Our inspiration was to combine two of our favorite delights,” says Julie Orchier. “Mac n cheese and grilled cheese!” Comfort food mixed with comfort food? It’s true: Big Daddy’s Grilled Mac & Cheese is like the Turduken of arm chairs but it’ll also have, get this, bacon and lobster and truffles. Sweet, salty, earthy, cheesy. All in a few bites. That’s umami for you.

 

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Big Daddy’s bringing the cheesy into our lives.

 

CASELLULA
Sharing handmade cheeses with diners from all over the city is made a little easier when you have 40 on hand at all times. But it’s harder when you take into account the sweet and savory pairing for each kind of cheese. Casellula, then, is somewhere in the middle of hard (like Barilotto) and soft (like Tomme de Chevre au Muscadet). Honey, nuts, pickles, herbs, candies, cakes, jams all factor in this midtown cheese and wine bar. Expect a grilled cheese sandwich that’s just like your mom made it – if your mom was chill and had experience at fine restaurants in the city like owner Brian Keyser. “The bread should be toasted or grilled so there is crunch on the outside before your teeth sink into the soft, creamy, gooey, satisfying melted cheese.” Expect perfect minimalism, perfected, out of Casellula’s recipe.

 

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Casellula
shares their passions for cheese and wine on West 52nd.

 

LITTLE MUENSTER
Order a grilled cheese to go from Little Muenster, and they deliver it assembled but uncooked. Uncooked? Uncooked! Sealed in a Boska Bag you then drop into a toaster oven. Voila: Fresh, insanely gooey home delivery of a Muenster creation like the Maytag bleu cheese, muenster and pear puree sandwich or the gruyere, Chevre, leek confit and pancetta. You could also head to the 13-seat restaurant on Stanton St where the space and signage is as beautiful as the creativity of their sandwiches. Ask for the bone marrow butter

 

Get your ticket to The Big Cheesy!
Stop going to Spitzers! Go to Little Muenster on Stanton St.

 

LUCY’S WHEY
Lucy’s Whey curates an All Star lineup of artisanal and farmstand American cheeses and is so local they serve bread from their Chelsea Market neighbor Amy’s Bread. Lucy’s Whey cheesemongers sometimes head up to Casellula for cheese tastings, showing that the competition between the two this weekend will only last two days. They also hold their own cheese classes. For The Big Cheesy, Lucy’s Whey will be serving its crowd-pleasing Prairie Breeze Cheddar from Milton Creamery in Iowa and all-natural fig and honey spread. It’s the most requested sandwich, and they’re banking it’ll be the most voted-on ‘wich come this weekend.

 

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Check out Lucy’s Whey at Chelsea Market or in East Hampton.

 

MELT SHOP
Honeybadger don’t care about diving head first into a beehive, and Melt Shop don’t care about setting up shop in a city that hasn’t supported a grilled cheese store since Grilled Cheese NYC went bottom-up in ’06. “We aren’t trying to break any records by over-fancifying the grilled cheese,” says Spencer Rubin, a humble quote from a pretty innovative business owner. Melt Shop boasts a lineup largely consisting of meaty sandwiches like the (roast) beef n blue, buttermilk-fried chicken with jalapeno jack cheese and tuna melt (classic!) with sharp cheddar. “We like to put interesting twists on it, but at the end of the day if it is good it is good and good food is what inspires us,” he deadpans.

 

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Melt Shop, stacking cheese outside the Citigroup Center at Lex and 53 St.

 

MURRAY’S CHEESE SHOP
Live, die, go to heaven and end up at some point in your infinity years there, you’ll end up strolling through Murray’s Cheese Shop. It’ll probably be on Heaven’s version of the corner of Bleecker and Cornelia occupying two retail spots and filled with cheeses, meats, breads, condiments and soups. “Could you imagine being surrounded by the world’s best cheeses day after day and NOT dreaming up a way to enjoy them all melted on crispy, buttered bread?” Beth Griffenhagen asks. Two recent creations? A fried-tempura sandwich with pheasant pate and another with short ribs. Short ribs.

 

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Since 1940, Murray’s Cheese has been adding cheese to that nasally New York whine.

 

TARTINERY
There are so many good-looking, well-dressed French folks at Tartinery on Mulberry St., you’d think owner Nicolas Dutko would’ve forgotten about the humble grilled cheese. He didn’t. But he kept it French, so instead of a grilled cheese, it’ll be a grilled ham and cheese, a crunchy mister, a croque-monsieur. Or, with an egg, it’ll be a croque madame. Dutko is keeping the final recipe under wraps but expect an open faced tartine, ca va?

 

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Tartinery is in Nolita but may soon be expanding uptown. Follow the wave.

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