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A couple weeks ago, Fort Greene newbie Food Freaks won Brooklyn Based’s Grilled Cheese-Off, narrowly beating out Brooklyn Flea favorite Milk Truck for the title of the neighborhood’s Best Grilled Cheese. Now Brooklyn Victory Garden, the provisions shop in neighboring Clinton Hill, is joining the fight from just across the border, opening fire on Fort Greene’s grilled cheese sandwich scene from their right flank.

The Fork in the Road blog tipped us off to the news: Brooklyn Victory Garden, reknowned for its bounteous supply of local cheeses, meats, and breads, has started pressing them all together, creating an alchemy the powers of which we can barely fathom. And just in time for fall? Well played, BVG, well played.

We spoke with Tess, the “Ma” of this mom and pop shop, about their foray into the seriouser-than-you-think world of grilled cheese.

Why grilled cheese?

Because grilled cheese is awesome. Seriously. Who doesn’t feel better after eating a grilled cheese sandwich?

What makes a great grilled cheese?

Great ingredients. We have an amazing cheese case and like to show off. Also, it’s important not to smother it with too many extra toppings. Let the cheese do its work.

Tom and Tess of Clinton Hill's Brooklyn Victory Garden - sandwiches are now being served.

Did you have a grilled cheese mentor? Influences? (We heard a rumor that the sandwich masters from Greenpoint’s Eastern District were involved?)

We did a lot of research (eating!) to see what was around town – lots of good stuff out there. Yup, Eastern District schooled us in Sandwich Making 101. They have wonderful, simple sandwiches.

Tell us about your grilled cheese. What makes it special?

Our signature sandwich is “The Beavy” named after our mascot, the BVG beaver. (No beavers or mascot beavers were used in the making of this sandwich). It starts with VT Shelburne Cheddar, we then add Beth’s Farm Kitchen Chutney (still experimenting with flavors), and surround it with a hearty Balthazar multi-grain bread. Toast it up good and it warms the heart.

Anything else new on the shelves or in the works at BVG?

Toasted bagel sandwiches will launch this weekend (Oct 8). New pastas and pasta sauces came in that we’re excited about. We now carry chocolate milk from Pittsford Dairy…that is we carry it on the shelves when Tom isn’t carrying it home for himself – he’s hooked.

And the holidays are approaching, so we’re re-stocking the local gift side of the store too.

BVG is coming up on our one year anniversary. Can’t believe it at times – it happened so fast. But we’re constantly trying to expand our merchandise and keep local suppliers/farmers/entrepreneurs on our shelves.


Want the whole story behind Tom and Tess’s never-ending adventure at Brooklyn Victory Garden? Check out our conversation: Brooklyn Victory Garden Adds A Little Local Love to Clinton Hill

Ready to try the new grilled cheese in town? Stop by Brooklyn Victory Garden at 920 Fulton Street  (btwn Washington Ave & St. James Pl), in Clinton Hill

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