A simple grilled cheese sandwich is comfort food — American cheese melted between slices of thick, buttered bread grilled until golden and served with a side of tomato soup. Simple, warm, oozing, delicious.
Leor Barak has dedicated his restaurant, the New York Grilled Cheese Co., to the art of the grilled cheese sandwich.
“We wanted to do something that was a comfort food for a lot of people. We realized (the grilled cheese) was something that reminded people of their youth,” says Barak. “For me it does… I would love a good, oozing grilled cheese.”
Barak sat down with the list of the Food Network’s top comfort foods in America — the first was grilled cheese — and tried to figure out “how to stuff it into a grilled cheese.”
“A list of grilled cheese on steroids,” says Barak, who describes his signature dish as “good old-fashioned grilled cheese with a modern twist.”
There’s a “Manhattan Grilled Cheese” stuffed with Mac ‘n Cheese (#2 on the list of comfort foods), the “Brooklyn Porkster” stuffed with Pulled Pork (#3), and the “Wall Street Grindr,” which is an American cheese, French fries, crispy bacon, caramelized onions, garlic butter and an egg on sourdough toast.
The eatery is not big, but it is ambitious and designed to give your inner child a delicious grilled cheese.
The menu doesn’t stop with the sandwiches. If you’re craving even more comfort, order a side: sweet potato waffle fries served with marshmallow sauce, disco fries (poutine) — fries served with cheese morsels and hot gravy, bacon lollipops ($3.95) — and a hot pork sundae ($6.95) of fries, shredded pork, gravy and Cajun American-Cheddar cheese.
Bread is put through a waffle press, which helps with scooping up the creamy tomato soup dipper that accompanies all sandwiches. And everything is made in house with their “secret” recipe.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, you realize they’re open late. Really late — as in 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
“For me, it’s comfort food at it’s best,” Barak says. “It’s something that you can’t deny that you like, unless you’re lactose intolerant. And by the way, we’re resolving that problem. We’re trying to get soy cheese in here.”
NEW YORK GRILLED CHEESE CO.
- Located at 2207 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors; 954-564-6887; NewYorkGrilledCheese.com
- Open Monday through Wednesday 12 p.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday 12 p.m. to 3 a.m., Friday and Saturday 12 p.m. to 4 a.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 3 a.m.