Grilled cheese gets (and totally deserves) an entire month devoted to celebrating how wonderful it is. There's no better place to celebrate National Grilled Cheese month than fromage-focused restaurant Bar Pastoral, which is offering a $12 flight of three grilled cheeses throughout April. The three sandwiches are all made with perfectly buttered sourdough bread, but they're vastly different.
The first sandwich, a traditional grilled cheese made with Widmer's one-year cheddar, is served with a tomato tapenade that's just sweet enough to balance the salty sandwich. The tapenade was my favorite accompaniment, and it complemented all three sandwiches perfectly.
The second, a Castelinhos grilled cheese served with charred scallion pepper jelly on the side, was denser than the cheddar sandwich and lacked the toasty texture of its cheddar counterpart. The Castelinhos melted perfectly between the fresh bread, but the extremely sweet and tart scallion and pepper jelly overpowered the sandwich. It also left an unpleasant aftertaste and brought out a bitterness and greasiness in the cheese that I didn't perceive before. Skip it in favor of the tapenade.
The third sandwich was dessert—an extra-rich Scharfe Maxx Extra grilled cheese served with chocolate ganache. By the time I got to it, the once-creamy ganache was almost a completely solid paste, which not only made it hard to dip, but also contrasted sharply with the fatty, creamy cheese. The pairing combined two bitter and very rich elements and crossed the line between complex and overwhelming. It was a battle between the strong flavors of the cheese and the chocolate, both of which seemed to compete for attention and left me wanting some sweetness—and water.
The grilled cheese flight is available from 5–11pm through April 30.