Senior Grilled Cheese Correspondents Eleanor Babwin and Eliza Staples set out to find the best grilled cheese sandwich in Morningside Heights.
For scientific purposes, we ordered these sandwiches as is without any additional toppings, although tomato would have been greatly appreciated in many circumstances.
The Strokos grilled cheese featured a hefty amount of delicious, plasticky American cheese. The bread was very well toasted (maybe they used the mayonnaise trick?) Honestly, it is just a good American grilled cheese. One of the reviewers said, “If I were under the influence of something this is what I would want,” and they were absolutely right. It’s the Platonic ideal of a grilled cheese. One con: you should eat it at Strokos while it’s still warm otherwise you get into hardened melted cheese territory. Also, grilled cheese is not technically on the Strokos menu, but they were very accommodating of our request, and we really appreciate them for that. Overall, this grilled cheese is ideal for when you’re on the go. (“For the woman with things to do!” said one reviewer.) This is only helped by its proximity to campus and its relatively low price. Strokos grilled cheese, we love you.
We would like to preface this review by saying we knew full well that we were not going to get a standard grilled cheese from Milano. After a momentary pause from the guy behind the counter, he suggested we get a Caprese, and neither of us has ever been known to turn down one of those. Despite not being a standard grilled cheese, it has the necessary elements. This was a delightful sandwich, a grilled cheese with a college degree if you will. It is more expensive than the others, but double the weight. If Strokos was the “under the influence” grilled cheese, this is the “under the influence, but with a business major” cheese sandwich. This sandwich makes you feel safe and the general ambiance of Milano is unparalleled. There has not only pesto and tomatoes but fresh basil and some outstanding bread. Be prepared to get personal with this sandwich, but oh, what a treat.
* Note: we were sadly unable to take a picture of the Milano sandwich because we were too excited about eating it. Oops!
This is another classic grilled cheese. The bread was crisp, buttery, and left our fingers glistening, which is a key indicator of grilled cheese quality. The cheese of choice was American, but Tom’s does have options for cheddar and Swiss, both of which could be excellent choices. The major qualm with Tom’s grilled cheese is that it was cut horizontally rather than diagonally. Now, this might just be a matter of preference and certainly does not disqualify the points this grilled cheese made, but it is something to consider. However, they made up for it by including a nice pickle, which makes for a great chaser after the grease of the grilled cheese.
Hex and Co.
This is one fancy grilled cheese. We got ciabatta. We got sharp cheddar. We got a fig jam!! There was tang and sweetness. Hex and Co’s grilled cheese was slightly more expensive than the others, but the ingredients were higher quality, and there was still some good heft to it. This is a grilled cheese with a college degree from the top grilled cheese program. This is a grilled cheese that you buy for the love of your life.
Pret A Manger
The defining feature of Pret’s grilled cheese was rosemary. There was a good amount of grease, but it was appreciated. We believe some sort of white cheddar was featured, but it was a bit overpowered by the rosemary, so bear that in mind if you do not care for rosemary (one reviewer does not!). The cheese crisped around the corners and glistened in the sun. This is the kind of grilled cheese begging to be dipped in a nice tomato soup, which, fortunately, Pret offers. This grilled cheese just got back from study abroad and wants you to know how life-changing it was.
This grilled cheese was confusing. We are once again in secret menu territory, and for a well-loved establishment such as The Shack, it was a little disappointing. There is a strange grilled toast flavor, and we expected better cheese. It is a very small sandwich, so it is good for children or if you are not super hungry. There is a nice sweet flavor from the iconic potato bun, and the actual construction of the sandwich is interesting: it’s like a burger but with nothing else save for American cheese singles. However, instead of devoting more time to a mediocre sandwich, we want to take this time to declare our love for the Shake Shack Mango Passion Lemonade. Holy cow, this stuff is amazing. It is such a perfect summer drink, we cannot quite put into words the magic of the lemonade, yet will be writing heaps of love poems to it. In conclusion, come for the grilled cheese, stay for the lemonade.
Eliza’s Pick: Strokos. This grilled cheese is my evidence that God exists and wants us to be happy.
Eleanor’s Pick: Hex and Co. If a charcuterie board was put into a panini press.
Images via Bwoggers