The Best Grilled Cheese in the West

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Nothing beats a grilled cheese sandwich. In my opinion, paired with a cup of soup, it’s the perfect meal for a cold, rainy NW day.

I got to thinking about the grilled cheese yesterday, after UrbanDaddy  posted about a new restaurant in San Francisco – the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. The restaurant was started by a seven-time award winner of the Grilled Cheese Invitational (yes, this is real. No, you already missed it for 2010.).

And while I’ll definitely be taking a field trip to the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen the next time I’m in San Fracisco, I thought I’d share my current list of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve ever had.

Hog Island Oyster's masterpiece. Image from Flickr.

San FranciscoHog Island Oysters may not seem like the most likely location to have a great grilled cheese, but it is. Located in the Ferry Building, Hog Island makes the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich – Fromage Blanc, Mezzo Secoo & Cave Aged Gruyere from Cowgirl Creamery with Acme Bread Company ciabatta. Paired with an Anchor Steam and a view of the bay – this is quiet possibly the recipe for a perfect afternoon.

Seattle – While Pike Place Market’s DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine just won the grilled cheese honors at the Seattle Cheese Festival (yes, it exists. Sorry, you *just* missed it.), my top pick goes to another Pike Place location. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese may seem like an obvious choice, but I just love their grilled cheese.  They feature Beecher’s Flagship, Just Jack and World Flavor cheeseson locally produced
rustic artisan bread. Yum!

Portland's Grilled Cheese Grill. Image by Road Food.

Portland – Portland’s a bit tough, because there are SO many good places to get a grilled cheese (yes, a bit biased).  I suppose I’d have to pick the Grilled Cheese Grill, located on NE Alberta. Not only is it too darn cute (it’s a little compound of school buses that have been turned into indoor seating), but their sandwiches are just good. I know it’s boring, but I always stick to the Kindergartner – with white bread and cheddar cheese (if you’re feeling particularly old school, you can even order American cheese).

I know I’m missing a lot of good locations, so if you have a favorite, fill us in!

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