Food snobs at New York Magazine are lamenting that Artisanal (2 Park Ave, NY, NY) has included a “grilled cheese bar” into their lunch menu. Oh boo boo boo, they can’t make ends meet so they are serving sandwiches. Please, NY Mag, get off your high horse and hear the muffled cheers of the people: sandwiches are amazing! I’m surprised it took Artisanal so long to realize that their cheese cave delicacies are much tastier melted into bread than eaten off a little sampling platter. Even if NY Mag can’t get behind it, I certainly can! I’m here to tell you that you can too! The people have spoken! Change we can believe in! These grilled cheese sandwiches are delicious!
There are three grilled cheeses on their menu: cheddar with apple and bacon, tallegio, croque monsieur and a croque madam. (They’ve also got a pulled pork sandwich and a sirloin burger, neither of which sound very French.) I sampled both the cheddar and the croque monsieur and both were fantastic, though neither were particularly cheap.
First up, the cheddar with apple and bacon ($15.50). This one was much better than I expected, mostly becuase I hate fruit in my food. But this morsel had only the thinnest slices of apple that were warmed up and only slightly crunchy. Both sides were nicely browned and the cheddar and bacon were fantastic as only cheesy bacon can be. Yum.
The croque monsieur ($16.50) was also amazing. The same bread slices filled with gruyere and prosciutto, pan fried until melted and golden brown, and then slathered with more gruyere. It was like eating a big brick of molten gruyere with veins of prosciutto. I’m not sure about anyone else, but that’s pretty much what I think about when I stare at the floor on the subway: gruyere, gruyere, prosciutto… you know how it goes.
Now I know Artisanal is trying to make their menu friendlier during these harsh economic times, but who are they kidding? $15 for grilled cheese is absurd. Seriously. These sandwiches are fantastic, but unless it’s a special occasion or you want to get a taste of exactly how these sandwiches should taste or you have a mild to strong sandwich obsession, you should make these at home. These are street snacks, after all! Grab some cheese and toast some bread with a little meat and voila.