The humble sandwich is a mighty fine midday meal, and the most venerable versions of the classic grilled cheese range the gamut here, from a straightforward griddle-singed taste of nostalgia to as far from the American cheese-Wonderbread formula as possible. Here are our best ways to celebrate the sandwich on National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day (April 12) and every day.
Timeless – an MHK Eatery
With classically trained chef David Nelson in charge of the kitchen, you know to expect something different. He gives his menu staple a French twist, with a mélange of Gruyère, cheese curds and a mini mountain of caramelized onions. The bread is also smeared with rosemary-tinged butter.
We can’t argue with this breakfast and lunch spot dubbing its offering the “Ultimate Grilled Cheese.” Pretty close to the sandwich of your childhood, this one mixes American and cheddar with brittle bacon and beefsteak tomato.
M Waterfront Grille
Park Shore, Naples
Utterly refined, it’s a dainty, elegant rendition featuring fontina, brie and slices of Granny Smith apple on multigrain. It’s served with a side of mixed greens, and what seals the deal is you can upgrade to make it a soup and sandwich combo—and, it doesn’t hurt that you’ve got views of the water beyond The Village Shops on Venetian Bay along with your lunch.
Bayshore, East Naples
The choice of bread is yours—marbled rye or multigrain—in their “Grown-Up Grilled Cheese,” which is stuffed with not one but three cheeses (American, Swiss and brie), disks of tomato and salty savory applewood-smoked bacon.
10 Twenty Five
The cornerstone of a great grilled cheese is undeniably the titular queso. Here, cheddar, Swiss and Gruyère combine in a melty masterpiece between slices of rustic whole grains that has won praise for the gastropub from folks around Lee County.
(A sad note before we go: Let’s say a few final words for the recently departed temple of grilled cheese, 11: Eleven Café. The place—which dished out the sandwich in all permutations—had even Food Network star Alton Brown swooning on Facebook a few years back, but it permanently closed up shop in Fort Myers earlier this year.)