With so many restaurants in South Florida and more opening all the time, just picking where to go for dinner on a Saturday night or lunch on a Wednesday can be an overwhelming task. Sometimes, you just need a reason. This ongoing list of the favorite dishes from food writers who know the local scene will help you discover new restaurants, cafés, and eateries and maybe even a new favorite dish of your own.
A grilled cheese is often one of our very first sandwiches, one that carries on into adulthood as one of the best treats, lunches, or midnight snacks imaginable — a salty, buttery, gooey, crispy, creamy comfort-food favorite.
But we're adults now, and a couple of slices of American cheese slapped between white bread just isn't going to cut it anymore. We need more.
The question to ask any self-respecting grilled cheese connoisseur: Does it have the right amount of ooze? Is the bread thick and toasty, and baked to a golden brown? Does the butter leave your fingers greasy but not too greasy? Will this be worth the calories and cholesterol?
Luckily for you, the answer is a resounding yes at Hardy Park Bistro, where the grilled cheese sandwich is a highlight of the new breakfast menu chef-owner Philip Darmon launched several weeks ago.
"Breakfast is something we always wanted to do, so at the start of July, we decided to go off the success of our weekend brunch menu and make similar dishes available all day long," says Darmon.
One of his favorite breakfast indulgences on the menu isn't the huevos rancheros (a favorite on the brunch menu) or French toast with homemade apple compote but instead his own take on the grilled cheese sandwich. And this is one such sandwich that should come with a warning: not for the lactose-intolerant.
Let's start with the bread, two fat slices of fresh-baked white bread hand-cut and delivered fresh daily from a Hallandale bakery. It's toasted in the pan with a thin spread of butter until it's seared to the perfect doneness.
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Next, the cheese, that same bread stuffed with what seems like a half-pound of pungent raclette, sharp cheddar, and smooth Gruyère. There's so much that it oozes out the edges and onto the plate, providing a hefty weight that settles in your belly before sending you into a dairy-induced coma.
A finishing touch adds the perfect balance to the dairy-rich dish, a mass of caramelized onions baked into the cheese, lending their sweet and savory flavor to the trio of cheeses.
Hardy Park Bistro is now open for breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. Tuesday through Friday. Call 954-652-1475, or visit hardyparkbistro.com.
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 New Times Food & Drink Instagram.