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The Big Cheesy: Grilled Cheese Challenge

Anyone that knows me at all knows that I LOVE grilled cheese. So it should come as no surprise to you that I dedicated part of my Sunday to judging The 5th Annual Big Cheesy: Grilled Cheese Challenge.

When Jess and I arrived there was a line out the door and a bouncer. That’s right, the Big Cheesy is so awesome that it requires a bouncer!

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

These were the delicious sandwiches vying for the top prize:

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

So I suppose I should point out that I wasn’t the only judge. Not by a long shot. This event was hosted by Time Out at Openhouse, and tickets were available to the general public.

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Time Out and Openhouse partnered with Food Bank for New York City, so our grilled cheese eating was for a good cause!

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

The event included 7 grilled cheese sandwiches from 6 different restaurants, and two glasses of Goose Island beer to wash everything down. As you went, you received punches in your card marking what you had already tried and what you still needed to sample.

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

We began with the Guac & Bacon sandwich from Mrs. Dorsey’s Kitchen. It ended up being my second-favorite sandwich!

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

It was layered with cheddar cheese, avocado, diced onions, jalapeños, tomatoes and bacon.

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

This next sandwich ended up being my favorite. It was the Twisted Grilled Cheese from Twist ‘N Smash’d.

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

It featured cheddar cheese, fried chicken, chipotle mayo and an avocado spread. It was absolutely delicious!

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

It was also served with a side of popcorn, because why not?!

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

I miss it…

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

The third restaurant that we tried was from La Maison Du Croque Monsieur. They had two types of grilled cheese sandwiches!

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

The first sandwich had smoked mozzarella, bresaola, béchamel and truffle oil. You know how I feel about truffle oil!

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

The restaurant’s bonus sandwich was also tasty.

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Feeling full? We’re only halfway through the sandwiches!

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

This next sandwich ended up being Jess’ favorite. Artisanal made a delicious 5-cheese blend and combined it with its signature sauce.

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Our next stop was at Depanneur’s booth for its Hangover Special.

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

This sandwich was another one of my favorites! It had sharp cheddar cheese, hardboiled eggs, avocado, and sriracha on sourdough bread. It was served with bloody mary chips and Mexican coke. They thought of everything- I only wish that I had had a hangover that day!

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Our final sandwich was The Wheelhouse’s El Toro Bravo.

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

It had jamon serrano, manchego, parrano parmigiano, reggiano-gouda, romesco sauce, and guava preserves on ciabatta bread. And I have no idea what most of those things are!

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

After sampling all of the sandwiches, it was time to vote! We had been given orange ping-pong balls, and used them to cast our votes. Here’s Jess picking Artisanal:

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

And me voting for Twist ‘N Smash’d. Yes, that’s a cowbell:

Grilled Cheese Challenge Wanderlust in the City

The Big Cheesy: Grilled Cheese Challenge is over for this year, but you can stay updated on next year’s event, as well as other fun Time Out events, here.

~A

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5 replies »

  1. So jealous: these look amazing! If you love grilled cheese, next time you’re in LA you have to try the Grilled Cheese Truck; they have some crazy combinations of flavors including a Mac ‘n Cheese grilled cheese!

    Like

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