BOSTON (CBS) — The grilled cheese has gone gourmet, and James DiSabatino is the man you have to thank for it.
“We like to take the idea of the grilled cheese you grew up with and kind of turn it upside down,” DiSabatino said.
DiSabatino is the founder of Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, which started as a fleet of successful food trucks and now boasts this sit-down spot in Allston where customers are flocking for a gooey, golden taste of nostalgia.
“It never really goes out of style,” said DiSabatino. “It’s something people always crave, and it just gives you a lot of opportunity to be creative.”
Of course, it all starts with the classic grilled cheese, and Roxy’s prides itself on using the best possible ingredients–like thick slices of Vermont Cheddar and organic bread from Iggy’s Bakery.
“It’s really nice and dense and chewy,” said DiSabatino. “It’s not gonna fall apart like Wonder Bread.”
And instead of spreading that bread with butter, DiSabatino prefers to use mayonnaise.
“Mayo has a higher smoking point, so you’re not gonna burn it,” he explains. “And it just makes for a perfect color, a perfect crisp, and it’s really easy to apply, and personally I just think it’s more delicious.”
You can get your grilled cheese basic with fresh tomato, or bursting with bacon and guacamole. Try goat cheese, fig jam, and arugula, or caramelized onions and braised beef.
“People are used to eating a grilled cheese sandwich that’s really small and thin, but we like to fill people up,” said DiSabatino.
Going beyond grilled cheese, Roxy’s also makes some of the best burgers in Boston. These juicy, West Coast-style patties are sizzled up on a flat top and served on fresh baked Portuguese Sweet Rolls, following James’ food philosophy of letting great ingredients speak for themselves.
“I think the idea for us is to keep it simple, don’t go crazy, I don’t think you need to put hash browns and fried eggs on burgers, that’s what breakfast places do, they can do that,” said DiSabatino. “Keep it classic, keep it classy, and keep it delicious and simple.”
Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.