April 12 is National Grilled Cheese Day. Here are five of the best places on Long Island to satisfy your cheese craving. Just take a look at some of these unique and over-the-top grilled cheese sandwiches. You will want to come back for more.
1. AJ’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese
182 West Main Street, Bay Shore
Did you know that there is a shop on Long Island that is dedicated primarily to making grilled cheese? Not only does this place have amazing grilled cheese, but it has a wonderful story to go with it.
Young Anthony Leis graduated from college in 2013. Having worked in several restaurants, Anthony decided he wanted to pursue opening his own quick service restaurant which would specialize in gourmet-style grilled cheese sandwiches. He started experimenting on his own, and came up with a new twist on the classic comfort food. He then began looking for a location and a partner. His dad, also named Anthony, stepped up to the plate, and the father-and-son duo opened AJ’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese almost two years after Anthony Jr. graduated college.
The shop prides itself on using fresh, healthy ingredients. Eighteen grilled cheese sandwiches are featured on AJ’s menu and range from traditional grilled cheese to The Hawaiian–grilled honey maple ham and grilled pineapple with melted cheddar; The Veggie Melt–sautéed broccoli, onions, red and green peppers with melted pepper jack; the Lobster Seafood Grilled Cheese–with a blend of lobster, crab and seafood with melted cheddar, or their most decadent sandwich the Truffle Grilled Cheese, featuring Muenster cheese with white truffle oil. All of these sandwiches are served in between slices of sourdough.
2. C’est Cheese
216B Main Street, Port Jefferson
C’est Cheese (pronounced say cheese) is a lovely cheese shop located in the heart of Port Jefferson Village. They offer fine artisanal cheeses, boutique wines and craft beer. They also serve lunch and a light dinner menu which features many cheese related items, as well as fifteen varieties of grilled cheese.
Talk about gourmet grilled cheese, why not try The Homestead–smoked Gouda, roast beef and rosemary aioli, or The Scamorza–smoked mozzarella with prosciutto di parma and sundried tomato pesto. Then there is The Parisian, made with brie, apples and honey, or The Capra which is goat cheese, fig preserve and greens. There are three types of bread to choose from–white, wheat or marble rye—and each grilled cheese sandwich comes with a small side salad with mustard shallot vinaigrette.
3. Melt Shop
Located in the Food Court at Roosevelt Field Mall, 630 Old Country Road, Garden City
The Melt Shop prides itself on serving the best and most popular comfort food around. They use only the best artisanal ingredients, and the bread used for the sandwiches is made fresh daily. Everything is made from scratch.
The Grilled Chicken with Muenster cheese, roasted tomatoes and truffle mayonnaise on multi grain toast is a sure winner, as is the Maple Bacon made with aged cheddar, Wisconsin Brick Spread and Maple Glazed Bacon on white. Feeling really hungry? Go for their biggest grilled cheese, The Burger Melt, which features Melt Shop burger blend, pepper jack, pickles, caramelized onions, cheese sauce and burger sauce on sourdough.
4. Say Cheese Grilled Cheese
655 East Park Avenue, Long Beach
This simple eatery is just what Long Beach longed for. Say Cheese opened in late December of 2016, and is dishing up thirteen Signature Melts plus Make it Your Way options. Signature Melts include The Mighty Mac, a hearty grilled cheese filled with creamy mac and cheese; The French Onion made with gruyere cheese and French onion compote, and for wing lovers, try The Buffalo Bill made with crispy fried chicken, wing sauce, chunky blue cheese sauce and pepper jack cheese.
Signature Melts are served on either sourdough or wheatberry bread. The Make it Your Way option offers patrons a way to customize their sandwich. You can choose from ten cheeses, then you can add small additions which include items like jalapenos, sliced tomatoes and caramelized onions, or large additions which include barbecue pulled pork, certified Angus beef short rib, or fried or grilled chicken.
5. Roast Sandwich Shop
827 Walt Whitman Road, Melville
Roast Sandwich Shop is primarily a take-out soup and sandwich shop who believes that “a great sandwich starts with all-natural whole roasted meats cooked in-house daily, and served with fresh produce on hand-crafted artisan bread.” Only two grilled cheese sandwiches are presently offered, but it’s worth the trip over to get them. The Angry Turkey Melt is made with avocado spread, tomato, jalapeno bacon, pepper jack cheese and chipotle mayo on grilled sourdough. The Braised Brisket Grilled Cheese is made with beef brisket, cheddar, Swiss and Havarti cheeses on Country White Bread.