Fall feels like the perfect time to bite into a favorite cool-weather comfort food: grilled cheese. Warm, gooey and best with cup of steaming soup, it's a predictable autumn lunch pick. But here are a few interesting varieties that get a little funky with the fromage.
Aquitaine. This fancy French spot serves a kimchi grilled cheese ($10.50) that pairs the spicy fermented veggies with Vermont cheddar. Unexpected? Yes. Excellent? Definitely.
Audubon. This hipster-friendly haven of classed-up comfort food and creative cocktails has a hearty grilled cheese ($12) of sharp cheddar with Honeycrisp apples, prosciutto and whole grain mustard on sourdough.
Brass Union. A little spicy, a little sweet. The Somerville restaurant-slash-game lounge has a winner in its grilled cheese and tomato soup combo ($11). Monterey Jack is melted with a fig jam and greens.
Coppa. Chef Jamie Bissonnette's corner eatery in the South End is already a popular brunch spot. Here's one reason: the Panino de Taleggio ($10), a great grilled sandwich that pairs the semi-soft Italian cheese with wilted greens and fried eggs. For an extra two bucks, add prosciutto.
Kings. This kitschy, retro-inflected Back Bay eatery and bowling alley is like an adult playspace. Naturally, it puts a slightly more mature spin on the childhood favorite. An apple and pastrami grilled cheese ($10) pairs the fruit slices with cheddar and apple butter on sourdough. Instead of traditional tomato soup, it comes with pumpkin bisque.
Roxy's Grilled Cheese. Food-truck fans have loved the Green Muenster ($6.50) since the original, mobile version of this grilled cheese slinger got rolling. We're just glad that the new brick-and-mortar eatery in Allston offers a fixed place to find the gooey Green, loaded with Muenster cheese, guacamole and bacon.
Saus. The Faneuil Hall-side poutine purveyor happens to have an excellent wild mushroom grilled cheese ($8). The confited 'shrooms can get a lift of truffle for an extra dollar. They're paired with melted sharp cheddar and a blue cheese vinaigrette on whole wheat.
Thinking Cup. If you only know this trio of coffee shops for their java, take note of the extensive lunch sandwich offerings, including a build-your-own grilled cheese menu. Choose your bread (from brioche to bell pepper focaccia) and cheese (provolone to Havarti), then load it up with fixings like caramelized onions, coffee BBQ sauce, maple honey ham and pickled jalapeños, to name a few.
TR Street Foods. Tavern Roads' lunch-only annex puts chef-y spins on street food. The result: a grilled cheese of smoked cheddar with tomatoes and asparagus on rye bread. Smokin'.