Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The Grilled Cheese
The Grilled Cheese. A classic. The classic. Everyone loves a grilled cheese. Maybe there are some GC lovers out there who aren't too picky or discerning about their grilled cheese; what bread, cheese, condiments, sides, and grilling methods are used to produce this very North American of foods might not matter to some. The simple combination of heat, cheese, and bread is enough. But for those like myself-no snob culinaire by any means-the type of bread, the kind and amount of cheese, and any extra ingredients or sides or flair matters. Thick, heavy rye bread? Not so much. The focus should be on the cheese, period. But let's make a point here, I don't want no Wonderbread grilled cheese. White bread is not bread; it's nutrient-less fluff. A good solid multigrain or Squirrelly bread works nicely. But, having a gut that is adverse to wheat and wheat gluten, I make my grilled cheese with European Breads Bakery Spelt Bread. And it works wonderfully. Now, to involuntarily prove the point that I am not a snob culinaire, I prefer my homemade grilled cheese with thin Kraft Singles (Lucerne variety is fine)-three of them to be specific-and maybe some ham or salami as well. Ketchup on the side? Sometimes, depends on my mood. Ewww, gross, you must be thinking. Kraft singles? That isn't even cheese. Yeah, you're right. But I can't help it. It's just like my taste for Coca-Cola. Toxic shit many would say. Yeah, I don't care though. I fucking love that toxic shit.
However, I have an open mind when it comes to most things in life, and that of course includes food. Delicious grilled cheese sandwiches can be had with real live cheese. Andrew Morrison's recent description and rave review of Au Petit Chavignol's Croque-Monsieur is luring me ever more each day to that East Hastings establishment. Also, another foodie article in The Westender on the best winter comfort food in town has been yapping away in my head at my gut telling me to get my ass down to Deacon's Corner on Main for the one of the best grilled cheeses in town. Other recent honourable mentions in The $20 Gourmet's article just on grilled cheese include: Hub Restaurant & Lounge, and The Templeton. To be honest, neither appeal to me. But Deacon's Corner and Au Petit Chavignol are calling my name. Calling, calling, c-a-l-l-i-n-g, calling, c-a-l-l-i-n-g.