Best Sandwiches [1]
2014 Best Sandwiches in America: Grilled Cheese

2014 Best Sandwiches in America: Grilled Cheese

Who makes the best sandwich? Restaurant Hospitality’s editorial staff narrowed down the large field in our first Best Sandwiches in America contest to 18 finalists. See all winners >>

Winner: Inverted Grilled Cheese

Restaurant: Hotel Derek, Houston

Sandwich creator: Chef Shannen Tune

Inspiration: “One kind of cheese is never good enough for a grilled cheese. And bacon. Always bacon!”

Key ingredients: Boursin, white cheddar, blue cheese, pesto, Texas toast, bacon. Served with tomato bisque

Why it’s special: Its wildly inventive shape

Price: $11

Food cost: 16.3 percent

Awards: Winner of the Houston Celebrity Chef Game Day Recipe Challenge; “It’s everything a sandwich should be, all wrapped up in crispy bacon,” Zagat.

What the judges said: It’s funny how one gets nostalgic about the grilled cheese sandwich mom made with Wonder Bread and cheese slices. That’s love, because our older selves now know that mom’s grilled-cheese sandwich was, well, just ok. These days chefs are making incredible grilled cheese sandwiches using the same basic formula mom used, but with terrific ingredients. Chef Shannen threw all that out the window and decided to reinvent the sandwich entirely. In a move that would make Dr. Frankenstein proud, he’s turned it inside out, creating an entirely new monster of flavor and texture. His version requires the use of an oven to crisp the bacon and melt the cheese. No laboratory necessary. How about next Mother’s Day you make this for the woman who rescued your little self from a thousand bad dreams? You owe her that.

Honorable mentions
 
• Award Winner: Melt Shop, New York City
• Grilled Cheese: Tiburon Tavern, Tiburon, CA

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