Sometimes you just feel like a grilled cheese. When that feeling comes over you , there isn’t much to do but slap a few pieces of your favorite fromage between some generously buttered bread and go to town. Well when you can’t do it yourself, Murray’s Cheese Shop at 254 Bleecker St has got you covered…and I do mean covered, when it comes to a “warm your soul” grilled cheeser.
I was feeling cheesy at lunch today, and I knew about Murray’s, so I decided “hey it’s Friday, I’ll make the 12 block trek to get my cheese fix”. Upon entering Murray’s, I was welcomed by a wall of parmigiano of various types, looked mighty tasty, but not what I was looking for. Tucked into the right corner nearest the window is a small grill station with a couple of sandwich presses. Murray’s only has a handful of choices but it wasn’t hard to find something I wanted. I had heard about a sando ominously called “Da Bomb” consisting of braised short ribs, a slab of taleggio, grilled onions and arugula on buttered sourdough.
I thought it was going to be a slam dunk to order until I kept reading below. The equally epic sounding “Nor’easter” was a manwich of braised pork belly, smoked mozzarella, pesto, piri piri and red onion on sourdough…seriously I could’ve died after eating that (from ecstasy not a heart attack mind you).Unfortunately Murray’s failed to have a sufficient amount of bellys on hand. So my colleague and I decided to spring for “Da Bomb” and another cheeser called “The Spaniard”. This little guy was fully involved with some Serrano ham, young manchego, creamy membrillo spread and marinated red peppers.
I think you can tell by the photos that this was a gooey ordeal. The Spaniard had a little tinge of sweet and sour from the membrillo and the peppers to counteract the salty Serrano ham, and the Manchego had a wonderful earthy, nutty flavor to round it all out. However the winner by far, and I don’t want to sound cliche here, was “Da Bomb”. The short ribs were so tender and juicy and the arugula tasted like it had just been picked. Since Tallegio is one of my favorite cheeses, I was in sheer heaven. Da bomb rightly deserves it’s name because this thing was exploding with flavor. Don’t get me wrong I’d order the Spaniard again, but in this moment the bomb was hitting all of my buttons. As if simply having this place in the neighborhood wasn’t enough of a danger, they have little cards at the counter where you can collect stamps for any grilled sandwiches you purchase, devour 10 of them and you get one free. Yes please!
However the sandwiches are just a small piece of the the larger puzzle that is Murray’s Cheese Shop. There are a large assortment of cured meats, foreign sodas, fresh pasta and sauce, chocolate and more. They also have a cheese cave under the store that you can access through the red door in the back where, according to them, you can “experience the best cheese you’ve ever tasted”. A tall order to be sure, but I’ve heard rumblings that they have been known to carry Mont D’or, which as you know from my Paris post, was one of the finest gastronomic experiences of my 26 years.
But that ladies and gents is a tale for another time. Until next time, stay cheesy!