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National Grilled Cheese Month: Where to get your cheese on in April

Saturday - 4/6/2013, 11:23am  ET

GrilledCheese_Getty.jpg
April is National Grilled Cheese Month and lots of D.C. area restaurants are making it easy to get your cheese on. (Chicago Tribune/McClatchy-Tribune/Getty Images)

April is a cheesy month

Nycci Nellis, The List Are You On It and Foodie and the Beast

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Nycci Nellis, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON - As if you needed a reason to indulge in grilled cheese, April is National Grilled Cheese Month. And lots of local restaurants are making it easy to get a cheese fix these next few weeks.

Bourbon Steak

Bourbon Steak is making April the cheesiest month ever by featuring four special sandwiches -- one for each week -- in the bar and lounge throughout the entire month of April. Recently appointed Executive Chef John Critchley takes the classic American staple to new heights with the addition of treats like truffle pecorino, foie gras butter and onion jam.

Bartenders Jamie MacBain and Duane Sylvestre will alternate with Head Sommelier Julian Mayer to offer optional wine and cocktail pairings with each special. This week's offering is the Moody Blue Cheese with Charred Radicchio on Pumpernickel. Next week features a Cabot Clothbound Cheddar with Onion Jam on Rye.

Brasserie Beck

Brasserie Beck keeps true to its Franco-Belgian roots with a Croque-Monsieur available for lunch, brunch and dinner. Add a farm-fresh egg — and voila — it's a Croque Madame.

Firefly

Firefly currently offers the Cadillac Grilled Cheese on its menu. This special ode to the grilled cheese is filled with Gruyere, cheddar, béchamel and garlic-herb butter on country white bread.

Red Apron Butchery

At the new Red Apron in Merrifield, Va., Nate Anda created a Smoked Pimento Grilled Cheese. The cheese is Wisconsin cheddar, and believe it or not, it's the mayonnaise that's smoked, not the cheese, itself.

The pimento cheese is a mix of the cheddar, smoked mayo, chopped roasted red peppers, piquillo peppers, scallions and chives. It's slathered on white pullman baked by Tiffany MacIsaac.

Jaleo DC

Jaleo DC provides a terrific take on the American staple with its Grilled Cheese with Manchego, Murcia, Valdeón and goat cheese topped with truffle oil.

Bayou Bakery

There's more pimento cheese to be had at Bayou Bakery. Keeping it Southern, Bayou Bakery grills its pimento cheese on buttery Texas toast. Chef David Guas serves the dish slightly warm on the outside with a cold, cheesy center.

Ripple

Ripple has a grilled cheese menu year round. New Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley is making it her own with the latest offering, the B & B -- a roast beef, Cashel Blue and garlic aioli concoction.

RIS

Chef/Owner Ris Lacoste creates a daily grilled cheese that blends market produce with some of the finest cheeses and proteins from around the region. Favorites include grilled cod and provolone with house made tartar sauce or grilled eggplant and mozzarella with a chunky tomato dipping sauce.

Clyde's Tower Oaks Lodge

Clyde's Tower Oaks Lodge serves up a Mexican Grilled Cheese with house-made jalapeño-cheddar bread, griddled with tomato, cheddar and mozzarella. The dish is served with fried yucca and chipotle aioli.

For those who prefer to make their own grilled cheese sandwiches at home, Righteous Cheese Owner Carolyn Stromberg has a few favorites:

  • Jersey Gold, a young cow's milk Gouda from West Vigrinia. Make with caramelized onions. It's also great with Comté.
  • Mahon, a salty cow's milk from Spain. Make with Mortadella (from Red Apron).
  • Green Hill, a double-creme from Georgia. Try this cheese sandwich with fig jam.
  • Landaff, a buttery, grassy cow's milk from New Hampshire. Grill this one on its own.
  • Tumbleweed, a cheddar from New York. Try this with andouille sausage (sliced lengthwise), cornichons and mustard.

And when making a grilled cheese, remember to grate the cheese (not slice) so it melts at the same rate the bread browns. Also, butter the bread, not the pan.

Nycci Nellis is the founder of www.TheListAreYouOnIt.com and host of WTOP's Foodie and the Beast on Sunday mornings. Follow @NycciNellis and @WTOPLiving on Twitter.

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