A grilled cheese sandwich is one of the most basic comfort foods going.
Two slices of bread, a square of yellow cheese (or cheese-like stuff if you are on a student budget) and you have a quick, easy and delicious meal that, for most of us, always hits the spot.
But a grilled cheese can be so much more than that.
After all, there are so many variations on its two basic ingredients that those combinations can be mixed and matched almost endlessly.
And then if you begin stuffing additional ingredients inside as well the humble grilled cheese sandwich can take on a whole new culinary persona.
There are any number of New York City eateries that offer their own twists on the grilled cheese and these range from the plain but delicious to the truly outre.
Here is a look at some of our current go-to favorites.
If a restaurant has the nerve to christen itself Cheese Grille then they have to be able to deliver on the grilled cheese sandwich front surely?
And the good news is that here they certainly do just that and more.
The menu reads like a grilled cheese connoisseur's wildest dream come true. Sure you can go for The Classic, which is simply cheddar on Levain Pullman bread but still absolutely a creation of gooey perfection, but why stop there?
How about a Crispy Goat, a genius combination of Chevre, Goat Gouda, Applewood bacon and avocado on multigrain? For the meat lover there is the Sloppy Joe, which is cheddar, ground beef, mascarpone and pickled jalapenos on Levain Pullman and for those with more exotic tastes a gooey mix of Chevre, Asiago, tomato, basil and truffle oil on multigrain makes up The Mediterranean.
Heck even the vegan option, made with Daiya Vegan Cheese, is pretty darn good.
Cheese Grille is located at 188 Allen St
Murray’s Cheese Bar
Another cheese lover's paradise this fast becoming iconic shrine to dairy offers pretty much cheese everything.
Fondues, tasting platters, cheese curds, cheese fries and of course, mac and cheese.
The one dish that keeps people coming back time and time again though is the Murray's Melt. Just which cheeses make up their 'secret melt blend' no one is quite sure, but it's a recipe for magic on a sandwich.
Served on Pullman loaf and with a side of slightly smoky tomato soup, the only thing that could make it any better is some perfectly cooked Nueske's bacon, which fortunately you can add for just a couple of bucks more.
Murray's Cheese Bar is located at 264 Bleecker St
La Maison du Croque Monsieur
Let's be perfectly blunt here. Croque Monsieur is just a fancy French term for grilled cheese sandwich because that really is what it is.
And if you want to get into the world of fancy French grilled cheese then this is the place to start for sure.
A traditional Croque Monsieur is a grilled combination of bread, cheese and ham, served here as the Croque Mr. Henry and livened up with a generous smear of creamy Bechamel.
But there are more than a dozen other 'Mr's' to 'meet' as well, each of them offering a different twist.
On the tamer side, there is the Mr Antonin, comprised of roasted turkey, Provolone, sage and cranberry sauce and the vegetarian-friendly Mr. Gore, a combination of Portobello mushrooms, Coach Farm goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts.
The more adventurous however may want to try the Latin-inspired Mr Joaquin, which consists of ham, roast pork, Gruyere and spicy mustard. Or, if you are truly bold, give the Mr Gonzalo - banana, Nutella and mascarpone - a whirl.
La Maison du Croque Monsieur is located at 17 E 13th St
A growing concern, there are now three Melt Kraft locations open for business in New York City and two more in Philadelphia.
All of them are based around serving up the cheesy spoils of the Valley Shepherd Creamery in New Jersey and are dedicated to the art of the over the top grilled cheese sandwich.
All of the sandwiches are made on freshly baked bread and there is something for everyone.
The 'simple' Classic is a combination of three farm cheeses (you choose) and is basic but wholly satisfying.
The Brielle is a light tasting combination of brie, pine nuts and cranberry chutney while The Somerset is a wonderfully rustic combination of aged Gruyere, cured ham, pickles and mustard.
And then there is the legendary Valley Thunder. An overstuffed combo of 18-month aged cheddar, al dente macaroni and beef brisket.
Yum. It's fast becoming a legend in grilled cheese 'circles', so you owe it to yourself to try it at least once.
The New York Melt Kraft locations are 101 MacDougal St, 151 E 43rd St and 211 7th Avenue, Brooklyn.