Cincinnati loves cheese. With more and more shops devoted to the stinky stuff popping up across the city, it's pretty difficult to deny. We welcome it in many forms: dips, spreads, toppings, on a board, in a sandwich... we do not discriminate. But, for now, we're going to take a moment to celebrate cheese in its most enlightened form — the grilled cheese.
The Rhined, OTR's mecca of cheese, has recently expanded their menu to include three specialty grilled cheeses ($9 each). Each sandwich is named after one their regulars. There's the Nicole, made with Prairie Breeze cheddar, Midnight Moon goat gouda and blueberry jam with activated charcoal by Prospect Jam Co.; the Chris, made with challerhocker, raclette, caramelized onions and balsamic onion stout jelly by Home Ec Preserves; and the Jon, made with Smoking Goose City Ham, raclette, Dave’s Kick Ass Mustard, Mike’s Hot Honey and pickles.
If there was a grilled cheese named after you, what would it have inside? This might depend on your mood, and thankfully, the Queen City seems to have a grilled cheese for every state of mind.
Laid Back: The Trifecta from Bay Horse Cafe ($10) is a no-frills option. Made with three cheeses — provolone, sharp cheddar and Swiss — this sammy takes the classic and gives it just a little bit of extra love. Bay Horse Cafe, 625 Main St., Downtown, facebook.com/bayhorsecafe.
Feelin' Sweet: The Rhined's Nicole ($9) is a dessert-style grilled cheese for those with a bit of a sweet tooth. With goat gouda, cheddar and blueberry jam, this sandwich offers some sweet with some savory. The perfect harmony. The Rhined, 1737 Elm St., OTR, therhined.com.
The Sophisticated Snacker: Panino's Truffle Honey + Mozzarella ($8) throws some pizazz on the classic we know and love. This grilled cheese is created with truffle honey and mozzarella, which is made in house. Yum. Panino, 1313-1315 Vine St., OTR, findpanino.com.
Fresh Foodie: Em's Sourdough Bread's "Not Your Mama's" Grilled Cheese with avocado and tomato ($7) is for those who are looking for a refreshing take on the traditional grilled cheese. Em's Sourdough Bread, 1801 Race St., OTR, emsbread.com.
The Nostalgic: Share: Cheesebar's BeeSting ($8) is a take-and-bake grilled cheese option. Fill your home with the scent of cheesy memories from your youth. The BeeSting is made with mozzarella, calabrese and basil-infused honey on Tuscan Pane with chili-flaked butter. Available only on Sundays. Share: Cheesebar, 6105 Ridge Road, Pleasant Ridge, sharecheesebar.com.