New York Grilled Cheese  
2207 Wilton Dr.

My mother was a lousy cook.

When we were sick we never got a nice cup of chicken soup. We got Campbell’s cream of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich; the only things mom knew how to make, other than reservations. So forgive me if I’m a little biased towards a restaurant that offers dozens of variations on my one childhood comfort food.

This ain’t my mama’s grilled cheese we’re talking about either. New York Grilled Cheese dishes up gourmet variations on the classic and they all come with delicious tomato bisque that is as far removed from Campbell’s as you can get and still call yourself soup.

All sandwiches are cooked on a giant waffle iron. Not only does this serve to keep the bread from getting soggy, it provides lots of nooks and crannies into which the cheese can melt and caramelize. The best part is that every sandwich is a combo, served with a tangy tomato bisque redolent of herbs and citrus. The 4 oz. cup is just the right amount if you like to dip your sandwich, and a great chaser for those of us who prefer to enjoy them separately.

Sandwiches have a New York theme and most have a base of American and cheddar cheeses; the “Broadway Classic” adds Swiss to the mélange served on toasted sourdough bread brushed with melted garlic butter.

The “Wall Street Grindr” stuffs cheese, waffle fries, bacon, crispy onions, garlic butter and a fried egg between toasted sourdough bread.

The “Manhattan” features toasted country bread enveloping gooey cheese and house-made mac and cheese.

The “Brooklyn Porkster” takes the classic cheese combo and adds pulled pork with bbq sauce, crispy onions, & crunchy dill pickles on toasted sourdough bread.

The “Soho” deviates from the usual cheese combo, combining sweet brie, crispy onions, crunchy bacon and berry marmalade on toasted oatmeal wheat bread.

For those who like a bit of heat, “Harlem Jalapeno” adds crispy jalapeno poppers, crispy onions, and sweet chili aioli to the classic cheeses on toasted country loaf. The one sandwich that extends beyond New York City’s borders is, of course, a salute to Buffalo’s famous wings. The Blue Buffalo combines blue, jack, American and cheddar with buffalo chicken on toasted country loaf.

Man (and woman) do not live on sandwiches alone, so some sides are in order. Waffle fries are the mainstay, either regular or sweet potato, and they come with an array of dipping sauces; sweet chili aioli, house-made Buffalo, sweet mustard aioli, bbq and marshmallow (surprisingly good with the sweet potato fries).

Other sides include a “Hot Pork Sundae” - fries topped with shredded pork, gravy and grated cheeses and, of course, “Disco Fries” (aka poutine); fries, cheese curds and gravy. For those with a taste for the spicy or unusual, check out the jalapeno poppers and bacon lollipops. If the dipping portion of the soup isn’t enough, you can order a larger portion of the creamy tomato basil bisque. Beer, wine and soft drinks are available.

When the father-son team who own New York Grilled Cheese first opened in this spot, they planned on serving frozen yogurt, but quickly saw the market was oversaturated. Rather than call it quits they embraced dairy in another form and Wilton Manors is the better for it.

New York Grilled Cheese isn’t perfect, the décor is overly lit and sterile (it still feels like a frozen yogurt shop) and the awkward layout forces you to choose between two dining rooms, neither offering much in the way of comfortable seating. Service ranges from spectacular to ditzy and, on one occasion, “Why did you bother to come to work today?” rudeness.

There are rumors that a second location is opening in Boca and that there are plans to franchise. Stop in now while you can still say, “I used to go there when…”


New York Grilled Cheese presents “Cheese-O-Rama 3” on Sept. 9 to benefit SMART Ride at its flagship location, 2207 N. Wilton Dr., from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Hosted by New York Grilled Cheese “Den Mother” Daisy Deadpetals, the event features a silent auction, 20 percent back from each check donated to the charity, as well as $1 for everyone who checks in on Facebook.

SMART Ride takes place Nov. 13-14. For more information on the ride, go to