Grilled Cheese Means War: The Big Cheesy @ Openhouse Gallery

Let me set the stage- grilled cheese sandwiches from traditional to innovative,  2 days, 12 tastings, and 7 restaurants.  Only one can emerge the champion.  This is The Big Cheesy; the premise is flawless.  I consider myself a connoisseur of the croque monsieur, and having eaten grilled cheese on at least four different continents, I naturally had to show up and check it out. Throughout the day, people arrived for their one hour tasting sessions happy and excited, and one hour later shuffled out full and tired, victims to the delicious and highly decadent sandwiches being served at Openhouse Gallery in Soho.

Curious what each of the restaurants was serving up and what it looked like inside? Keep reading for more photos and to find out which shop walked away with first place!

above Little Muenster served up bite-sized, circular sandwiches cut from the center of the bread! Yes, no crust! Their goal was to recreate an adult version of your favorite childhood comfort food so the sandys were accompanied by a shot of tomato soup and a tasting of either beer or white wine.

above Big Daddy's presented a doubly decadent treat- mac and cheese inside a grilled cheese sandwich.
As if that wasn't good enough, there were jello shots on hand to chase the cheese.

above Taking a break from the action between tastings, the Lucy's Whey crew enjoys a bite of their own creation, which puts a twist on the traditional grilled cheese by adding olive oil and fig jam for a slightly sweet flavor.

above Melt Shop piles up the sandwiches before serving them to the crowd. They had three different styles of grilled cheese available, including one with pulled pork and one specifically for vegetarians.  Were they bending the rules or just being smart?

above Three tasters enjoying their grilled cheese sandwiches from Casellula.  Their traditional grilled cheese included a spicy salsa on top to add a kick of flavor.

above Murray's used really thick bread on their sandwich which also had braised short ribs and jalepeno peppers for a spicy southern kick.  We'd like to mention that the Murray's crew was also the most energetic in terms of soliciting votes.

above Tartinery was serving the most traditional of cheesy sandwiches- the croque monsieur and croque madame on bread that was literally flown in from France.  

above The the guests paired the cheesy goodness with beer from Brooklyn's own Sixpoint Brewery.

The big winner was Melt Shop, followed up by Little Muenster in second place and Lucy's Whey in third. Congrats to all!