In what has to be the tastiest expedition ever attempted, PEOPLE.com's new Great Ideas Channel decided to scour America for the most creative grilled cheese sandwiches.
Needless to say, these aren't your average grilled cheese sandwiches. These gooey (and often gutsy) midday treats are peppered with mouthwatering ingredients like quince jelly, caramelized onions and maple bacon, and at least one of them needs to be eaten with a spoon!
READ: White Pizza Grilled Cheese Recipe
As People soon came to realize, choosing the best cheesy eats was no easy feat. Keep reading to see which sandwiches they included in their top ten.
(Tupelo Honey Café)
Shoo Grill Cheese, Have Mercy
You’ll love eating the Shoo Grill Cheese, Have Mercy at Tupelo Honey Café in Asheville, N.C., as much as you’ll love ordering it. (The owners say this sandwich is so delicious and filling that it makes diners exclaim, “shoo mercy!”) We’re inclined to believe them: Havarti and pimento cheeses, caramelized onions, maple-peppered bacon, ham, fried green tomatoes and fresh basil are packed between housemade sourdough slices, and heated to melty perfection.
12 College St., Asheville, NC; tupelohoneycafe.com
(Beauty & Essex)
Grilled Cheese, Smoked Bacon & Tomato Soup Dumplings
At first glance, this may look more like a fancy appetizer than an old-school comfort food, but look — and taste — again. At Beauty & Essex in N.Y.C., classic grilled cheese and tomato soup inspired chef Chris Santos to “create these dumplings so you could have those two great tastes that go great together in one bite,” he says of his Grilled Cheese, Smoked Bacon & Tomato Soup Dumplings. The secret to its flavor? It’s packed with a secret blend of five different cheeses “for maximum melty cheese goodness.”
146 Essex St., NYC; beautyandessex.com
(Pepe Food Truck)
Spanish Grilled Cheese
Need a grilled cheese fix on the go? If you’re in Washington, D.C., track down Pepe, the Spanish sandwich food truck from legendary chef José Andrés. There’s a reason lines form early in front of his meals on wheels: The grilled cheese comes on fresh ficelle bread (a thin baguette) with a blend of aged manchego, Murcia goat cheese, chèvre, blue cheese and a smear of membrillo (a quince marmalade) for a touch of sweetness. A quick stop in the panini press gives each sandwich a golden brown crust and ooey-gooey center.
See twitter.com/pepefoodtruck for locations