The great thing about fake holidays like National Soup Month, International Pi Day or National Grilled-Cheese Sandwich Day is that you might not even know they're approaching until they are here, and then you have a justifiable reason to overeat delicious food, instead of just shamelessly doing so (like any other day of the year). Rewind to three hours ago, when Gut Check learned that today is National Grilled-Cheese Sandwich Day and made it our mission to not only celebrate with lunch, but with undertaking the most delicious research imaginable: tracking down the ten best grilled cheese sandwiches in St. Louis. Definitive and arbitrary, our list is compiled with Gut Check favorites old and new, bacon-filled and vegetarian-friendly from all points of the city.
Tin Can (1909 Locust Street; 314-241-9330): Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a classic combo at its best and most tastiest at Tin Can. This perennially awarding-winning sandwich is served with sweet-tomato bisque and your choice of a side -- we suggest the tater tots for a true comfort food fix.
The Crow's Nest (7336 Manchester Road; 314-781-0989): The grilled-cheese-and-chicken sandwich at the Crow's Nest consists of cheddar, mozzarella, an apple-rosemary compote and hazelnut-steeped honey. So, yeah, check that out, A.S.A.P.
Foundation Grounds (7298 Manchester Road; 314-601-3588): What do you get when you combine cheddar and Parmesan with tomatoes and spinach on grilled pugliese? You get the grilled cheese sandwich at Foundation Grounds, and if you're smart, you'll get it soon.
Blueberry Hill (6504 Delmar Boulevard; 314-727-4444): Though its hard to order anything but a burger and buffalo fries at Blueberry Hill, the "The Gentry" pairing of a cup of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich makes for a mighty fine meal.
John D. McGurk's Irish Pub (1200 Russell Boulevard; 314-776-8309): The grilled three-cheese sandwich at McGurk's oozes with Monterrey jack, cheddar and chevre goat cheese melted between fresh roma tomatoes and Guinness onions served on sourdough bread, which is the perfect meal to pair with a pint of ale on its spacious outdoor patio.
Half & Half (8135 Maryland Avenue; 314-725-0719): If "foodgasm" was a real word, its definition would most certainly be "the grilled cheese sandwich at Half & Half." Piled high with cheddar and fresh tomato on brioche, this meat-free sandwich baby is the stuff that grilled-cheese dreams are made of.
Eckert's Country Restaurant (951 South Green Mount Road, Belleville, Illinois; 618-233-0513): A tasty take on a classic, the pesto grilled-cheese sandwich at Eckert's Country Restaurant in Belleville, Illinois, is a summer seasonal menu favorite, made with fresh sourdough bread, butter and grilled with slices of mozzarella and provolone, zucchini, red onion, tomato and, of course, zesty pesto.
The Mud House (2101 Cherokee Street; 314-776-6599): A beloved spot in Benton Park, the Mud House's food and drink menus feature high-quality ingredients and delicious offerings. Its "The Goat" sandwich features goat-cheese spread, cucumber and apricot chutney greens on toasted wheat bread. If you're anything like Gut Check, you'll find yourself visiting the Mud House on a weekly basis for this addicting sammy.
Fozzie's Sandwich Emporium (1170 South Big Bend Boulevard; 314-932-5414): Fozzie's is a magical land for sandwich enthusiasts, and though its many appetizing menu items might outshine its "The Big Cheese," it delivers for those in search of grilled cheese, combining Swiss, mozzarella and gouda cheeses with spinach and oven-dried tomatoes on wheat bread.
Crown Candy Kitchen (1401 St. Louis Avenue; 314-621-9650): There's a lot to love at Crown Candy Kitchen in downtown St. Louis, and Gut Check has a particular soft spot for the landmark eatery's adult grilled-cheese sandwich made with American cheese melted between thick-sliced Texas toast ordered with a classic chocolate banana malt.
Honorable mention goes to Market Pub House (6655 Delmar Boulevard; 314-727-8880), where a calorie-bomb called "the Cardiac Arrest" uses two grilled cheese sandwiches (one made with American cheese, the other with pepper Jack) as buns for a burger topped with cheddar cheese, bacon and BBQ sauce. It didn't make the list only because it's technically neither burger or grilled cheese sandwich, but instead a Frankenstein monster meal we can't wait to devour.
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