Where to go for Carbs and Cheese in NYC

Aside from this random heatwave, it’s been the most rainy and gray summer ever. Therefore, a little carb and cheese action is in order. Here are my go to spots in NYC for the day-brightening diet downfalls.

Beechers – 900 Broadway bt 19th & 20th

Seattle is home to many of my favorite things– The EMP Museum, Nirvana, Starbucks, my parents. Therefore,  I’m partial to anything that comes from our northwest neighbors. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is high on that list. The original Beecher’s is nestled inside the famous Pike Place Market, and it’s New York location might lack that impressive address, but it makes up for it in scenery and quality grub. You can buy various gourmet items in the front of the store, watch the cheese being made while you eat off their super affordable a la carte menu in the back, and have a classic sit down experience downstairs. I usually choose to sit by the cheese making situation to enjoy what is probably the best grilled cheese I’ve ever eaten. Thick bread, super melty homemade cheese, at the bargain rate of $7. If you’re feeling rich, go for adding the tomato soup, which will only cost you $5 more. They also have fancy grilled cheese situations with things like figs, veggies, and meat, that are also delicious, and a killer mac and cheese offering,  but it’s my recommendation to stick with the classics. You won’t be sorry.

 

Professor Thom’s – 219 2nd Ave bt 13th & 14th

You wouldn’t expect an Irish pub-style bar to have the best nachos in NYC, but for me, Professor Thom’s holds that title. Said nachos are delivered on a silver platter the size of a large pizza, and are the perfect accompaniment to Thom’s impressive beer and whiskey selection. It’s possible one could polish off the crazy-generous portion of fresh cheese, vegetables, guac, and chips all by themselves, but I’ve seen groups of ten manly men bested by the challenge. Aside from the nachos, Thom’s is a rock solid bar all around that you should also be going to anyway. Good service, great playlist, private party space, Girls/Mad Men/Lost viewing parties, and reasonable prices are just a few reasons why it’s one of my go to spots. The nachos will draw you in, but everything else about Professor Thom’s will keep you there.

Melt Shop – 55 W 26th St at 6th Ave

Outdoor seating… Perfect Location… Tater tots. SEE HERE

 

Earls Beer and Cheese – 1259 Park Ave at 97th

It’s all in the name… beer and cheese… also beer cheese… but we’ll get to that later. In a relatively tucked away shop on the Upper East Side, lies a menu that spans the globe with cheese as its common denominator. Tacos made of scallion pancakes, brie and blackberry grilled cheese, ginger and sriracha laced tomato soup, and the finest beer cheese outside of the midwest, are just a few of the things you can expect to find at Earl’s. As far as carbs go, they have a rotating beer menu and all the sandwiches and food come with crazy good bread. Some would consider Earl’s limited space a downside, but I feel like it provides the opportunity to get to know the other people there, perhaps by talking about the food, or the wallpaper that looks like a forest. You’ll see what I mean when you get there.

 

Jacob’s Pickles – 509 Amsterdam bt 84th and 85th

While all the chumps out there head to S’mac to fulfill their mac and cheese needs, I like to make my way to Jacob’s Pickles on the upper west side for their $9 version of the American classic. It’s far better than any other mac and cheese in the city, and you can enjoy it while talking to one of the plaid wearing, bearded bartenders about hot sauce and indie rock music.  They have sparkling rose on tap, every random whiskey you’ve ever wanted, and a whole display case for their pickled items… And this exists above 72nd street! In addition to the mac and cheese, their fried pickles are the bomb, I’ve been told their fried chicken is some of the best ever, and their french fries come in an obscenely large sized bowl with little squeeze bottles of ketchup, hot sauce, and honey. They also seem to hit the Black Keys and Jack White Pandora pretty hard, which is obvi a plus.

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Melt Shop

I started my career as a New Yorker in Brooklyn. This informed my idea of comfort and home and what’s involved in a night out on the town. Ideal dining conditions for me equal wooden interiors, unexpected ingredient combos, solid playlists, and still having a few bucks in your pocket when you leave. Since moving to Manhattan, the biggest challenge has been finding places that fit this mold. The highest compliment I can give a place is “I feel like I’m in Brooklyn,” and that’s the first thing I said upon entering Melt Shop in Chelsea.

Mid-Blizzard last week, I met the amazingly talented and hilarious Emmy there for a catch up session over cheese and carbs. The golden spatula at the restaurant’s door stood out amidst the snow and hinted at the goodness that lay inside. We were immediately greeted by the enthusiastic staff who helped us with the arduous task of picking what we’d order. As a veggie, my options were minorly limited. Melt seems to be a fan of pork, chicken, and bacon and includes them on most of their sandwiches. That said, I still had some great things to choose from. Emmy went with the buttermilk fried chicken, and I chose the three cheese.

Melt offers tater tots as a side, and as we are people of the human race, Emmy and I were set on getting them with all of our hearts. But due to a self-imposed $20 budget, we had to opt out of the tots. Then, the best thing ever happened. The dude taking our order gave them to us for free!! For like no reason at all!! Gotta love the Thanksgiving spirit.

Our food was bomb.com. The roasted tomatoes on my sandwich were sweet, yet smoky, prompting me to check more than once to see if they had added bacon by mistake. And we all know my thoughts on bacon. Emmy’s sandwich looked like someone gourmet’d up a KFC value meal and then encased it in bread and cheese. (Which is obvi a good thing) And holy guacamole the free tots were good. They were sprinkled in Parmesan cheese and fried in the most perfect way. Also, make sure to get the dipping sauce, cause it tastes good with just about everything. Like it’s still good when you ate all your tots and use your finger to scoop it up. (Not that I’d know.)

Even though it’s in Manhattan, Melt’s got it going on. The only problem I foresee with this place is people getting tired of me bringing them there. If you’re into enjoying yourself and not spending a million bucks, I urge you to check it out ASAP. Also, check out Emmy’s twitter. Neither will leave you disappointed.