Defending the Honor of the Patty Melt at Dallas Grilled Cheese Company

If there's a Valhalla-like hall for great sandwiches, the patty melt should have a seat. When it's done right, it's a perfect thing: A burger inside a melted cheese sandwich, balanced with onions as soft as butter, built, at its best, on thick, earthy rye. Back in college, one of my favorite things to sit down with, after the tougher weeks, was a patty melt and an icy Shiner Bock at Milo Butterfingers. It wasn't the best sandwich ever; it was just what it needed to be.

So, Welcome to the Big House of Cheese (and Bacon). That's what the small square of butcher paper says, hung up like a carnivore's scroll near the lacquered wood bar, where I had the best patty melt at a grilled cheese-focused restaurant in Dallas. I was the only one at the bar on a weekday night. Bluesy rock clanged around the room. As we've mentioned before, at the Grilled Cheese Company you can add bacon to anything for two dollars. I'm not sure how you add bacon to onion rings, but CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. Wait, now I'm realizing I should have asked to add bacon to the water. CHALLENGE REVOKED.

The patty melt is eight and a half bucks, and it comes on buttery, grilled rye, with caramelized onions, Swiss (the grilled cheese part) and Dijon. The Swiss made the sandwich. It was melted to a NASA-accurate level of meltedness. The cheese stretched from the sandwich like I was in a magazine-ready photo for a patty melt. It was loaded with neatly shredded and simmered-down onions, which, combined with the Dijon, cut the richness. The burger was mercifully not cooked into rubbery oblivion. A medium rare on this sandwich would make it a warp-speed jump better. The burger itself could have used some salt and pepper, too. Also, I wouldn't have minded more dijon to counteract that heavy butteryness -- it's not a light burger/grilled cheese.

The bartender asked me what I thought, mentioning some people have had mixed feelings about the melt. He said that there have been complaints about the use of rye bread, which made me, for some reason, want to defend the sandwich: "Listen. I fucking love rye [points emphatically]. Actually, give me all the rye you have. I will now wear rye instead of socks." None of which I actually said, but the sandwich was good enough to warrant that outburst.

Do not tarnish the name of the patty melt at Dallas Grilled Cheese Company. Also, give me another patty melt.

Dallas Grilled Cheese Company is in Bishop Arts, a land where there are no restaurants and the parking lot is never crowded. It is at, seriously now, 310 W. 7th St., 214-944-5515, dallasgrilledcheese.com.