The toasted sandwich is the ultimate in hand-held tucker. When bread, butter and cheese come together, they create a symphony of flavour and texture that is, quite frankly, unbeatable at any time of the day or night. The added bonus is that the piping hot toastie is perfectly designed to get us through this cold snap. So as we wait patiently for the spring weather, here are our top picks for Melbourne’s best toasties.
Tailor-made for the morning after the night before, get your gob around Stagger Lee's barbeque beef brisket baby, bursting with Stone and Wood onions, cheese fondue (yes, you read right), a fried egg, dill pickles and grain mustard. Keen for a dose of hair of the dog? Suck up the “bucket of blood” i.e. peppercorn vodka, red wine, vegemite syrup and tomato juice. Trust us on this one.
Maker & Monger
If you haven’t stopped by Maker & Monger’s cart at the Prahan Market yet, make it a priority. As well as their infamous raclette, smothered onto confit potatoes (drool), these guys also do a mean toasted sandwich. For your next hot cheese injection, you can’t go past the All-American grilled cheese sandwich, featuring Cabot cheddar from Vermont and Monteray jack from California—this bad boy is undoubtedly one of the best toasties in Melbourne. Knock back an apple cider to complete your feast. Hurts so good.
Two Little Pigs
Croque-monsieur is basically just French for toasted sandwich. And croque-madame is a fancy way of saying toasted sandwich with an egg on top. Here at Two Little Pigs, the croque-madame is simple, but she is divine. Think fried egg and grilled cheese above layers of hand-sliced grandmother ham and lashings of bacon-infused béchamel sauce. If you’ve still got room after this bad boy (who are we kidding) slurp your way through a perfectly tart passionfruit, strawberry and yoghurt smoothie.
The boys at Richmond’s Slowbeer welcome brews from all over the world and don’t discriminate on their menu either. With four international sandwiches to choose from, we were drawn to The Frenchman, which packs lombo (cured pork loin), Cremaux d’Argental (soft French cheese) spiced Syrian figs, crushed walnuts and spinach leaves into a toasted Phillippa’s panini roll. Wash this down with a bottle of Rochefort Trappist 8 (think dark fruit notes with a spicy finish) and you’ve got a match made in heaven.
Is there a difference between a jaffle and a toastie? Turns out there is. To qualify as a jaffle, the sandwich must be toasted using a jaffle iron and is thus characterised by its triangular indentations. Now that we’ve got the technicalities out of the way, let us introduce you to The Mama at Jaffle Jaffle. Embodying the ultimate in uni-student cuisine, this creation involves trapping some house-made spaghetti Bolognese and parmesan between two pieces of bread until you bite into it and let the goodness ooze out. Feeling indulgent? Finish your meal with a classic milkshake and your food baby will thank you.
Melbourne is completely overrun with food trucks these days (this is not a bad thing) and one of the best out there is Toasta which puts an interesting new twist on our favourite comfort food. For something a bit special, we ordered the Charlie, which brings shredded chicken and bacon together, with some Swiss cheese, basil and walnut pesto and roast capsicum. Team this up with a white peach and raspberry house-made soda for something a bit different.
The big plus for the toasties on Two Row’s menu is that they all come with a fried Pickle Bear dill pickle to cut through that cheesy goodness. Our pick of the litter is The Dan, which sees the classic combo of smoked ham, gruyere and beer mustard come together on a toasted pretzel (!!) bun. The perfect pairing for this bad boy has to be the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Wiezen (try and say that five times fast), a German smoked wheat beer which will complement that tasty, tasty ham.
Image credit: Toasta Food Truck