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As far as comfort food goes, grilled cheese sandwiches register near the top. For the month of April, you don’t even need an excuse to indulge in the childhood treat. We’ve scoured the area for melty sandwiches for every taste (grilled cheese doughnut, anyone?). Whether you’re a purist or a shameless innovator, there’s a gooey combo out there with your name on it.
Far North: Tom and Chee
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In case a regular grilled cheese isn’t indulgent enough, Fort Collins newcomer Tom and Chee (short for tomato and cheese) offers a riff straight out of every kid’s fantasy: grilled cheese doughnuts. Gut busters like Choco Bacon Bliss feature bacon, chocolate pieces, mozzarella, and chocolate mascarpone all stuffed into a glazed doughnut and griddled to warm, melty heaven. Of course, you can stick with American cheese on white bread too (just don’t forget the cup of tomato soup). 2909 E. Harmony Road, Fort Collins, 970-232-9172, tomandchee.com
North: Bistrot des Artistes at Cheese Importers
It’s only natural that you would find a memorable grilled cheese on the menu at Longmont’s Bistrot des Artistes—after all, it’s attached to the venerable Cheese Importers specialty shop. After you’ve browsed (and sampled) the assortment of cheeses in the shop’s well-stocked cooler, order the bistro grilled cheese with tomato on rustic wheat bread to enjoy in the dining area. The genius blend of fontina, Taleggio, and Gruyère strikes a savory, nutty chord. It’s a sandwich worth driving for, especially if you pick up some goodies to take home to make your own later. 103 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-9599, cheeseimporters.com
Northwest: Truffle Table
With its artisan cheese boards and generous by-the-glass wine list, this intimate LoHi bistro is the perfect place for an elegant date. It also happens to be home to two grilled cheese gems. Truffle Table offers two ways to get your fix: one with cheddar and herb pesto and a more sophisticated option with bacon, sharp provolone piccante, and spicy-sweet tomato-chipotle jam. Order the latter, and you’ll wonder why grilled cheese was once reserved for the kid’s menu. 2556 15th St., 303-455-9463, truffletable.com
Central: Hutch and Spoon
RiNo’s Hutch and Spoon has been a longtime favorite for its well-crafted sandwiches. While a grilled cheese may seem like an odd choice for an early meal, one bite of the breakfast grilled cheese, with melty sharp cheddar and bright peach chutney, and you may consider making it a requirement with your morning cup of coffee. Not into the idea of an a.m. grilled cheese? Order it for lunch instead, paired with a house-made cherry-vanilla or almond-pear soda. 3090 Larimer St., 303-296-2317, hutchandspoon.com
Despite Cured’s compact size, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the staggering array of meats, cheeses, and gourmet foodstuffs. But the next time you visit the Boulder shop, don’t leave without ordering the grilled cheese. Cured serves the sandwich Sundays through Thursdays, and the cheeses and accouterments change daily. While the sandwich might one day include mortadella, raclette, and spicy Dijon, the next it could feature bacon jam with Red Rock (a Wisconsin blue cheddar). But with quality ingredients and buttery, cast-iron pressed country bread, you’ll never leave disappointed. 1825 B Pearl St., Boulder, 720-389-8096, curedboulder.com
East: Café Mercato
Though only six months old, Café Mercato has gained a solid following for its light, southern Italian-inspired cuisine. Though the house-made pastas tempt, the hearty, panini-like grilled cheese is a great way to satisfy a craving. The mouthwatering sandwich, made with whole-grain bread, is layered with creamy mozzarella, zippy Peppadew peppers, and sweet Italian ham, and then grilled until gooey and hot. 7561 E. Academy Blvd., 303-366-1315, cafemercato.com
South: The Inverness Hotel
Chef Rodney Herworth of Englewood’s Inverness Hotel understands that after a long day of traveling, many weary visitors crave soul-satisfying comfort food. His braised short rib grilled cheese (available for room service or at the Inverness’ Garden Terrace and Fireside Grill restaurants) certainly fits the bill. The indulgent sandwich features rich, beefy short ribs, peppery arugula, tart tomato, and sweet-savory lingonberry jus. It’s practically reason enough to book a room and take a stay-cation. 200 Inverness Drive W., Englewood, 303-799-5800, invernesshotel.com