Little Stinker-Greatest Grilled Cheese on the Planet
Rob Kaufelt at Murray's Cheese is brilliant. First he creates a cave for affinage under the store, then cheese classes, then he expands to Murray's Salumi. Not to rest on his laurels, he's now added a grilled cheese bar! Create your own "melt" or choose one of the suggested combos. For me there was only one choice: the "Little Stinker". Virginia's Grayson cheese (one of my favorite domestic curds) grilled on caraway seeded rye with (what else?) Niemann Ranch ham. OMG! Run, don't walk. It doesn't get any more American on the 4th of July.
Not to tinkle on Rob Kaufelt's brilliance, but innovative Anne of Saxelby Cheesemongers (Essex Market) was offering pressed Grayson-and-Rick's Picks on Sullivan Street ciabatti with Evans' butter at least a year ago. She ran afoul of the Board of Health because she didn't have a permit (I strongly suspect that someone WITH a permit in the Market ratted her out). I'm glad I was able to snag one before she had to discontinue them; it was one great sandwich.
I notice that Murray's is also offering field trips to dairies--something that Anne has been doing for, if I recall correctly, at least two years.
Not to detract from Murray's, I also adore Anne (whom I believe started her cheese career at Murray's). In fact, I remember too that it was Anne who introduced me and the rest of NYC to Grayson's. Murray's and even Citarella now carry it. I also remember getting the ultimate sandwich at Essex Market a while back-it was a duet of egg and cheese right before Kenny Shopsin reopened there. A Saxelby/Shopsin McMuffin. That was one for the gastro-history books!
Went back for another Grayson grilled cheese this time with proscuitto di parma. Any additional condiment would be a crime. The chocolate Van Leeuwen ice cream milk shake, even without any chocolate syrup, was also delish. Dairy overdose.
Open Letter to Rob Kaufelt:
Dear Rob-went to the store today and was informed that Grayson was no longer an option for the melts. Needless to say, I immediately called a suicide hot-line after which I was sedate enough to try the Taleggio in lieu of the Grayson in my melt. It didn't work. The stinky, grassy barnyard aroma of the Grayson melts unlike anything else. If you don't bring it back, I will start a fast in protest in front of the store. All kidding aside, please, please bring back the Grayson to the melt bar. Respectfully, Guttergourmet.