Melted cheese is the organizing principle at A.J.’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese Shop, which opened on Sunday in Bay Shore. The shop’s grilled cheese starts with American cheese and sourdough bread. To that basic sandwich ($5.50), customers can add pulled pork or chicken, Buffalo chicken, apples and bacon, homemade potato chips and jalapeños, honey-maple ham and grilled pineapple and even mac ’n’ cheese. No sandwich costs more than $9.50.
Speaking of mac ’n’ cheese, A.J.’s applies the same ecumenical philosophy: Have yours topped with pulled pork, bacon, steak, seafood, etc. A large portion starts at $6 and toppings range between $.75 and $3.50.
There are also salads, tomato soup, sides, desserts and a kids’ menu.
Owner Anthony Leis Jr. (whose partner is his father, Anthony Leis Sr.) graduated from Dowling College in 2013 and spent the next two years finding and readying a spot in which to make his grilled-cheese dreams a reality. “It has endless possibilities,” he said. “And you can really get creative.”
The shop is open Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday to 10 p.m. On Sundays it opens at 8 a.m. for grilled-cheese-themed breakfast and stays open to 3 p.m.
A.J.’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese Shop, 182 W. Main St., Bay Shore, 631-647-9292, ajsgrilledcheese.com