418 S. Washington Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
There is a reason that Cafe Muse devotes an entire tab on its website to its grilled cheese sandwich: it’s that good. The sandwich combines three cheeses – havarti, fontina and mozzarella – and adds basil, tomatoes, organic bread and a tiny bit of honey. All of Muse’s ingredients are fresh and from local farms and businesses. The sandwich was featured in Esquire magazine in 2008, in a “Best Sandwiches of America” story, and received even more attention a few months later when Gayle King (Oprah’s BFF) came to Royal Oak and interviewed Muse’s chef, Greg Reyner, for Oprah’s show. A few years later, in April 2011, it was named “one of the perfect grilled cheese sandwiches in America” in Reader’s Digest. One might think this “magical” sandwich would be expensive, but it’s a reasonable $8.25 currently at Cafe Muse, and that includes a side of chips or the salad of the day.
5169 Trumbull St.
Detroit, MI 48208
The Woodbridge Pub also offers a unique grilled cheese sandwich – it includes smoked gouda, Michigan fontina cheese and sliced apples on an Avalon farmhouse Italian bread. You can add bacon for $1, as well. Woodbridge also offers a gluten-free bread option. The pub is located on the border of Wayne State University, and is a small restaurant that was opened by Jim Geary in 2008, when the neighborhood didn’t have a lot of restaurants in the area. The building was actually abandoned and Geary took on the large project of renovating it and opening it as Woodbridge. Woodbridge also uses locally sourced food – in fact, most of the food used there is grown or sourced within five miles of the restaurant.
4620 Cass Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
The Cass Cafe is a favorite in Detroit, and it also has an interesting grilled cheese sandwich. The sandwich is named the “Cass Avenue Grilled 5 Cheese,” and includes pepperjack, white cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss and American cheeses on sourdough bread. It is also stuffed with greens, sun-dried tomatoes and red onions. The meal is $6.50 and you can upgrade to a deluxe with fries for $1.50 more or onion rings for $2 more. Don’t forget to check out the cafe’s art gallery, which is chock full of work from local artists, too. The cafe is in the process of expanding its menu to include more vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well as seasonal entrees.
One Eyed Betty’s
175 W. Troy St.
Ferndale, MI 48220
One Eyed Betty’s may be known for its beer, but it also makes a fantastic grilled cheese sandwich – called, immodestly, “Ridiculously Good Grilled Cheese.” It comes on an English muffin, which is made fresh daily by a Berkley bakery nearby, and it contains gruyere, sharp yellow cheddar and white cheddar cheeses. You will also receive a side of tomato jam in case you want to add a bit of sweetness to your sandwich; the jam is made with tomatoes that have been marinated in balsamic and brown sugar. The entree is $8 and comes with a side of fries and a pickle. Parking is available in street lots nearby and at meters along Troy St. and 9 Mile.
Detroit, MI 48226
So what if you want it all – a great grilled cheese and a beer to boot? If so, check out the Detroit Beer Company, located downtown near Grand Circus Park. Start with one of DBC’s ales or lagers – there are up to eight house beers on tap at any given time – before perusing the menu. DBC’s Country Grilled Cheese ($9.99) includes fontina and white cheddar cheeses, smoked bacon and slices of Granny Smith apples, grilled on French bread. The sandwich is served with a cup of tomato bisque soup, and all DBC sandwiches are served with a side of French fries, bistro chips or cole slaw. DBC opened in September 2003 and is located in the historical Hartz Building, close to Comerica and Ford Field.