Toronto's Best Grilled Cheese
Chef Rodney Bowers, of Hey Meatball, tucks into T.O.’s tastiest grilled cheese
by Karen Aagaard
What happens when this gregarious chef sits down to a table strewn with new wave gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches? He chooses the old-school, triple-decker diner classic, of course.
GOLDEN STAR, 7123 Yonge St.
Never mind truffled mushrooms, onion chutneys or garlic aïoli drizzles. The ever- affable Bowers discovers he likes his sammies “straight up.” “This is the winner; this one hit home,” he says of Golden Star’s triple-decker with bacon.
Lobster grilled cheese
JOEY DON MILLS, 1090 Don Mills Rd.
“This one even looks amazing,” says Bowers, eyeing this lobster grilled cheese. “The bread’s great: it’s rustic, and it really holds up.” The magnanimous chef also likes how the lobster has been seasoned but wishes there were a little more cheese.
THE CONSTRUCTION SITE, 2200 Yonge St.
Taking a bite of this new takeout joint’s funghi grilled cheese, Bowers admits he likes that the sandwich is “flat, almost squished.” He also enjoys the crispy Parmesan bread and the balsamic drizzle.
CHEESEWERKS, 56 Bathurst St.
“This looks pretty solid,” says Bowers, sampling Cheesewerks’ Charleston grilled cheese sammy. “There’s a nice double-cream brie in here. The bread is great.... But there’s so much of this
onion jam in here. It’s overpowering.”
STOCKYARDS, 699 ST. Clair Ave. W.
“Although I really like panini-style sandwiches, here’s a classic mistake: one side is much darker than the other.” After a few bites, Bowers says he’s disappointed by the “unripe fruit” (pear)
he finds inside.
THE GRILLED CHEESE, 66 Nassau St.
Sampling the Grilled Cheese’s Blackjack sammy, Bowers admits he’s disappointed by what he finds inside. “I mean, the crust is great; the toast is buttery, cooked to perfection. But the tomato inside is mealy, and again, there’s not enough cheese.”
UNCLE BETTY’S, 2590 Yonge St.
Bowers is confronted once again with a case of “awesome bread, so-so filling,” while sampling an Ultimate grilled cheese from Uncle Betty’s. “The toast is so crispy and buttery, but the mac ’n’ cheese and meat loaf are definitely underseasoned.”
Classic with tomato
STEVE’S RESTAURANT, 3788 Bathurst St.
“The bread’s not bad,” says Bowers, digging into this tomato-and-bacon grilled cheese. “But I think the bacon’s a bit undercooked, and unfortunately the tomato they’ve added isn’t very ripe.”