the great grilled cheese quest.
Updated: Aug 15
“Beef ragout, cheese soufflé, pie and pudding on flambé...” it's truly amazing how much you can learn about French cuisine from a singing candlestick and his culinary cabaret.
Armed with this connoisseur-level knowledge, I recently began adding some "twists'" to French classics and posting pics of my creations on Instagram. With hits like 'The Sriracha Croissant' and 'The Guassant' (a croissant filled with guacamole), my fusion cuisines were an overnight success!
To keep this momentum going, I set off on a quest to find the best of what I suspect is another American knockoff – the grilled cheese sandwich.
This assumption is based on the grilled cheese sandwich's proximity to the French 'Croque Monsieur' or 'Croque Madame.' But did I take time to research this? No way nerd, it's cheese eatin' time!
By the way, croque monsieur literally translates to “mister crunch.” It’s a bar-snack sandwich traditionally made with gruyère cheese, ham, and buttered bread. A croque madame is the same thing, but with an egg on top.
Let's get cheesy...
Burger & Fries
95 Boulevard Saint-Germain [Delivery] | 75006 Dining companion: Self (confinement)
SCORE: 0 out of 5
If you're looking for a quality grilled cheese in Paris, Burger & Fries is that shadowy place – you must never go there, Simba. Their version consists uses an inside-out hamburger bun to sandwich a single plasticy slice of processed cheese... it's 5 Guys style, but not.
Final thoughts: The place is not named Burgers, Fries & Grilled Cheese for a very good reason.
The Grilled Cheese Factory
9 Rue Jacques Cœur | 75004
Dining companion: Kate
SCORE: 3.5 out of 5 ⭐⭐⭐ .5
If you're bold enough to call your restaurant, The Grilled Cheese Factory, your namesake item better live up to the hype. This sandwich was good, the cheese was oozy in some places, but not melted all the way through. It was tasty, but it wasn't special. Dare I say that I could easily replicate this one at home?
Kate's notes: "I give it 3.5 stars as well. I was sad to find unmelted parts, which are really the essence of a grilled cheese. It ain’t called cold regular shredded cheese is it? But the grease factor was pretty great as well as the accompanying options with even more cheese.
24 rue Monge | 75005
Dining companion: Aymeric
SCORE: 4.25 out of 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ .25
Strada Cafe is a cute coffee shop & cantine with a super friendly staff. It's right by my apartment so that's also a plus. Strada's grilled cheese sandwich is probably the most wholesome on this list. Wholesomeness might not necessarily be something that you're looking for when questing for queso, but it was welcomed. All-in-all it was fresh, delicious, and I didn't feel like I was going to die afterward.
Aymeric's notes (he didn't have a grilled cheese): The grilled bacon sandwich was top notch with a ranch dressing that was almost gastronomic like. The real surprise came from the orange juice. It was very sweet with a touch of sour. I recommend this restaurant to start your Sunday with some sunlight.
15 rue de l’Ancienne Comédie | 75006 Dining companion: Xavier
SCORE: 4 out of 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐.25
Homer Lobster makes a mean grilled cheese. If you're feeling crabby then you can add lobster or crab to it as well. The bread is a homemade brioche. It's was thick, crunchy, chewy, and delightful. The portion size was smaller than the others, but I suppose that is part of Homer's 'street food' origins. Bonus Tip: Try the truffle chips, de rien.
Xavier's notes (he didn't have a grilled cheese): I give it 4 stars. The sweet, toasty bread was very good. The lobster was very good because you could taste a hint of lime and chives. I will go back one day to try the crab roll.
Klark Philly Cheesesteak & Grilled Cheese
Rue Saint-Maur 128 | 750011 Dining companion: Paul
SCORE: 5 out of 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
When it comes to an artery-clogging masterpiece of grilled cheese perfection, Klark Philly Cheesesteak & Grilled Cheese is not playing around. Their gooey-oozy monstrosity is in a league separate from any other sandwich on this list.
Paul's notes: It was amazing, 5 stars! After I finished the sandwich, I immediately fell into a coma. It completly fucked up my life, but I'd do it again.
In closing, I'd like to mention that while searching for grilled cheese locations, I found a number of shops that didn't make it through confinement, namely La Parenthèse Grilled Cheese, Mabel Grilled Cheese Shop, and a few others. My condolences, rest cheesy my friends.