Favorite Dish: The Country Girl Melt From the Grilled Cheese Gallery in Northwood

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Few things in life are more satisfying than a melty, gooey, grilled-cheese sandwich. The grilled-cheese sandwich is an American childhood staple, so perfect it can hardly be improved upon.

Except you're a grownup now, and yes, that's mac and cheese inside that sandwich. So, yes, perfection actually can be improved upon, and there's a new Palm Beach County restaurant you'll need to visit to get your grilled-cheese groove on.

The Grilled Cheese Gallery, located it the heart of West Palm Beach's Northwood Village district, is a new casual eatery that specializes in re-creating everyone's favorite childhood meal into a gourmet masterpiece.

According to owner Jeff Thompson, the idea to open a restaurant dedicated to cheese and bread came to him when he began serving over-the-top versions of the sandwich as a drink-topper for a brunch-time bloody mary served at his nearby restaurant, O-BO.

"Everyone just loved the one with the grilled-cheese sandwich served on an onion ring, so it got me thinking," says Thompson.

The Grilled Cheese Gallery menu offers several varieties to choose from, as well as a daily special or two, all grilled up into toasty, cheesy perfection between two slices of your choice of thick-cut white bread, sourdough, ciabatta, wheat, or challah. The Country Girl (pictured here) is a daily special that punched up a regular offering with the addition of a cayenne- and nutmeg-laced macaroni and cheese.

That includes more than a dozen grilled cheese sandwiches, starting with the Classic — hearty, thick-cut white bread layered with melted cheddar. If that sounds boring, it is when compared to the Chesterfield, a marriage of pulled pork, caramelized onions, and house-made hickory barbecue sauce. Or the Mondial, a pile of prosciutto with mozzarella and fig jam on fluffy ciabatta bread. There's even a cheesier version of the cheese steak — dubbed the Gallery Steak Melt — that combines grilled hanger steak with a cheddar-Gruyère blend, caramelized onion, and kimchi.

Although the dairy-free or gluten-free crowd may squirm at the thought of eating too much cheese and bread, even those with dietary restrictions can get in on the grilled-cheese action here. The restaurant offers a choice of gluten-free bread and vegan cheese for customizable versions, while the Disco uses tofu, marinated cucumbers, vegan cheese, and kimchi accented with a homemade sriracha aioli to make the choice easy.

As if cheese, meat, and bread combos aren't draw enough, the new spot also offers four types of Canadian-style poutine (fries topped with gravy and homemade cheese curd, in case you were wondering).

The Grilled Cheese Gallery is located at 430 Northwood Road, West Palm Beach. Call 561-628-2466, or visit facebook.com/The-Grilled-Cheese-Gallery.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.

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