There are two kinds of grilled cheeses in this world: classic and new.
Classic is simple: two pieces of buttered white bread, toasted of course, holding melted American cheese.
New is: all the stuff that people are piling onto the classics.
Here are five faves for both in Dallas-Fort Worth:
Dairy Queen (multiple locations): Lots of grease and cheese served on buttered, toasted bread. My fave.
Montgomery Street Cafe: This long-running breakfast and lunch spot with bend-over-backward-for-ya service makes a simple, wholly satisfying grilled cheese. Get it with a side of butter beans. 2000 Montgomery St., Fort Worth.
Highland Park Soda Shop: On weekends, people line up for seats at the counter and tables for a press-made grilled cheese, served with a handful of pickle chips. Order an egg cream to wash it down. 3229 Knox St., Dallas.
Fred’s Texas Cafe: You might get a coupla stares from other diners if you order a grilled cheese instead of a belt-buster burger. They’ll turn into stares of envy as you chow down on Fred’s greasy, cheesy heaven. 915 Currie St., Fort Worth.
Norma’s Cafe: The mile-high Texas toast is what makes Norma’s grilled cheese so great. Comes with a pickle spear and a side of smiles from your friendly waitress, darlin’. 1123 W. Davis St., Dallas (also a location at 17721 N. Dallas Parkway).
Lee’s Grilled Cheese: Highly recommended: Billy the Kid, one of the few goat cheese grilled cheeses in the area. And it’s a beauty, topped with roasted red peppers and a spring salad mix. 5040 N. Tarrant Parkway, Fort Worth.
Reata: One of the perks of working downtown: I have easy access to Reata’s grilled cheese, a nice, melted mess of Muenster, Gruyere and sliced tomatoes served on buttered sourdough, toasted to a crisp. 310 Houston St., Fort Worth.
Lili’s Bistro: The big lunch draw at this Magnolia Avenue hot spot is the burger, but try the Grown Up Grilled Cheese, a trio of cheeses — Jack, Swiss and cheddar — melted over bacon and tomato slices on grilled Texas toast. 1310 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth.
Olenjack’s Grille: Long an Arlington American-food fave, it serves a killer five-cheese mashup — a combo of American, cotija, white cheddar, fontina and Gruyere — on thick, toasted Pullman white bread, buttered on both sides, the way it should be. 770 Road to Six Flags E., Arlington.
Stone Street Martini Lounge: This new upscale Dallas bar serves the ultimate in grilled cheese decadence: a lobster grilled cheese, made with whole pieces of Maine lobster meat, melted brie and provel, tarragon and a dab of grainy mustard, all on toasted focaccia bread. Wait till payday for this one; it’s $16. 1520 Elm St., Dallas.
Café Modern at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, The Grape in Dallas and The Cedars Social in Dallas also serve groovy, fancied-up grilled cheeses, but their menus rotate. Call before you go.