The Grilled Cheese Eatery
57 Unquowa Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
The Grilled Cheese Eatery in Fairfield admits it serves “comfort food,” but hopes to show its customers how they can satisfy their cravings and still eat healthy – although how a grilled mac and cheese sandwich qualifies may be stretching things just a wee bit. The menu does include build-your-own salads and home-made soups, which turn a grilled cheese sandwich into a meal, but as good as they are, they are but the supporting cast to the stars – the bevy of grilled cheese delights for which this eatery is named and known. The Cubano (with Swiss and fontina grilled with pork and ham), the Blue Buffalo (boneless buffalo wings grilled with blue and jack cheeses and celery) and The Frenchy (gruyere and ham with bechamel sauce) are big favorites, and there is an extensive list of veggies and dipping sauces that can be added to these and any of the other big, thick, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu. There are sandwiches made with goat cheese, havarti and even short ribs, but as creative as things get here, this spot still reserves a place of honor for the sandwich that started it all: the original, simple, grilled cheese which is lovingly called “The Kid.”
Milford Travel Plaza Food Court
I-95 Southbound Service Area
Milford, CT 06460
From a little grilled cheese stand that started in a highway service area food court in Milford in 2009, Cheeseboy has spread to two more locations in Connecticut, as well as seven more scattered about Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. Expansion and franchising has not dulled their palates, however. The original stand in Milford and the pair that opened in Darien are still among the best places to get grilled cheese in the state. While the newest place in Boston is a sit-down restaurant, the original and other stands are “grilled cheese to go.” The menu includes simple, classic grilled cheese sandwiches on a small variety of breads, as well as more ambitious combinations with turkey, bacon, veggies and chipolte. One of its most popular grilled cheese sandwiches is the Cheeseboy Choco-Melt; a combination of creamy American cheese and Nutella grilled on cinnamon-swirl bread.
The Bleu Squid Bakery and Cheese Shop
Olde Mistick Village
27 Coogan Blvd.
Mystic, CT 06355
Although billed as a “bakery and cheese shop,” the Bleu Squid also serves up a mean grilled cheese at its “Grilled Cheese Café.” It serves “hundreds” of grilled cheese sandwiches every week, and while it will do just about any combination of cheeses, veggies, meats and breads, its signature sandwich is the lobster grilled cheese. This doubly rich delight is the most famous item on the menu, as befits a New England seashore town, but the cafe also does wonderful things with fontina, chicken, bacon, extra-sharp cheddar, roasted artichokes and other delights that can be stuff in and stack on a basic grilled cheese.
Melt Mobile’s mission is to spread gourmet grilled cheese to as many parts of Stamford and Greenwich as it can reach with its food truck. Darlene Andersen and Diana Hall are a talented duo, and the ever-changing quartet of sandwiches they serve from their food truck attest to that talent. One day in early April, for example, they offered the Blanco Melt – a combination of five Italian cheeses with truffle oil and wild mushrooms or tomatoes on grilled Tuscan bread. There was also a Philly Melt, a Chicken Bacon Ranch Melt and a Jalapeno Popper Melt on the menu. Melt Mobile has a devoted clientele that follows it on Facebook and Twitter, and it is repeatedly asked to bring the cheesy goodness to other neighborhoods. Darlene and Diana do a nice variation on the Monte Cristo, dipping the ham and cheese sandwich in French toast batter before grilling, and even do some grilled cheese-like desserts.
The Cheese Truck
New Haven, CT
There is always a unique grilled cheese of the day on the menu at The Cheese Truck – also known as the Caseus Cheese Truck, in honor of the famous New Haven cheese monger which backs this mobile sandwich restaurant. One day in April that daily treat was the “Caesus-Dilla” – a variation on the quesadilla grilled and stuffed with salsa from Stone Gardens Farm. The day before that it was a roast beef with a smoky blue cheese. The Cheese Truck uses only top-of-the-line cheeses, many of them imported, when making its signature grilled cheese sandwiches. The Cheese Truck, on occasion, shows up at farmers markets and colleges in the New Haven area, notably on the Quinnipiac campuses. It has also been known to appear at Lake Compounce Amusement Park. Most days, however, The Cheese Truck can be found somewhere along College Street in the Elm City. Fans of grilled cheese, however, always know where this treasure is parked.
Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.