Everyone has their own definition of comfort food. My definition has three parts: 1) ice cream, 2) mashed potatoes, and 3) grilled cheese. When it comes to grilled cheese, I don't want anything fancy. Save your hoity-toity cheese and artisanal, house-made whatevers and give me a good piece of bread and melty American cheese. Throw in a healthy serving of ketchup for dipping and I'm in heaven.
When I heard rumors that Stoney's, a bar on P Street off Logan Circle, served up this town's best grilled cheese, I had to check it out. Stoney's was located on L Street for nearly 40 years but was forced to close and it relocated to Logan Circle. I've read complaints that Stoney's lost much of its dive bar charm but really, how can you keep your dive bar cred when your neighbors are a lululemon and a Whole Foods?
I wasn't interested in atmosphere, I was focused on grilled cheese. The Super Grilled Cheese with tomato, bacon, and onions caught my eye. I was a bit hesitant to order this fancied up version because I usually don't like toppings on my grilled cheese. After one bite, I knew I made the right choice. The bread was the perfect middle ground between too soft and too toasted, and the bacon gave a salty touch that was balanced out by the juicy tomato. The raw red onions added a good texture contrast, but I realize raw onions aren't everyone's idea of a good time. The cheese was awesomely American and amazingly melty. When we return, I'll probably order the classic grilled cheese just to test it out, but the Super Grilled Cheese was pretty darn super.
B skipped the grilled cheese and went for the fish 'n chips. They were good but not anything to go racing back to P Street for. There's a reason everyone talks about Stoney's grilled cheese. Order the grilled cheese.
Thank you Stoney's for turning a blind eye to the latest culinary trends and focusing on classic, no fuss grilled cheese sandwiches. My comfort food-craving tummy salutes you.
Second Thoughts From B
Not much to add here. Like J, I was craving comfort food but unlike J, this came in the form of fish 'n chips. My conclusion should sound familiar however... order the grilled cheese.
While it certainly fit the bill since comfort food doesn't have to be great food, my fish lacked the crisp and crunchy shell that so perfectly contrasts with flaky white fish. Instead, it was a loose and soft - bordering on mushy - exterior that was not exactly what I had in mind.
As for the grilled cheese, I have long enjoyed extra sharp cheddar to spice up the original recipe but have never been drawn to additions like meat or veggies. But once again, I can't disagree with J. The addition of bacon, onions, and tomato elevated this simple sandwich without taking away its soul. Order the grilled cheese.