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!
These were the delicious sandwiches vying for the top prize:
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.
Time Out and Openhouse partnered with Food Bank for New York City, so our grilled cheese eating was for a good cause!
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.
We began with the Guac & Bacon sandwich from Mrs. Dorsey’s Kitchen. It ended up being my second-favorite sandwich!
It was layered with cheddar cheese, avocado, diced onions, jalapeños, tomatoes and bacon.
This next sandwich ended up being my favorite. It was the Twisted Grilled Cheese from Twist ‘N Smash’d.
It featured cheddar cheese, fried chicken, chipotle mayo and an avocado spread. It was absolutely delicious!
It was also served with a side of popcorn, because why not?!
I miss it…
The third restaurant that we tried was from La Maison Du Croque Monsieur. They had two types of grilled cheese sandwiches!
The first sandwich had smoked mozzarella, bresaola, béchamel and truffle oil. You know how I feel about truffle oil!
The restaurant’s bonus sandwich was also tasty.
Feeling full? We’re only halfway through the sandwiches!
This next sandwich ended up being Jess’ favorite. Artisanal made a delicious 5-cheese blend and combined it with its signature sauce.
Our next stop was at Depanneur’s booth for its Hangover Special.
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!
Our final sandwich was The Wheelhouse’s El Toro Bravo.
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!
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:
And me voting for Twist ‘N Smash’d. Yes, that’s a cowbell:
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.