Flatiron Lunch: The Cannibal’s Grilled Cheese is No Ordinary Sando

Every Friday we go south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.


During the late summer last year, the restaurant Resto expanded into a neighboring space and opened The Cannibal (29th btw Park+Lex), a beer shop and butcher that serves small plates at a rustic, masculine communal bar area and a small backyard patio which is open during warmer weather. When I stopped by it was full of men in suits watching ESPN’s coverage of the Australian Open. It’s basically a spot after our own hearts complete with fridges holding about 350 brews, eight taps, a back area butcher’s counter selling homemade charcuterie among other meats, and a menu that includes a Pigs Head Cuban. I decided to leave the Cuban for Clay to try, and went with another delicious sounding sandwich just at the ML ceiling, their Grilled Cheese. But this wasn’t an ordinary cheesy sandwich.

Grilled Cheese with Bacon & Pork Belly

The grilled cheese comes with still warm and melting Vermont cheddar and Gruyère overflowing their boundaries. Beneath the cheese goodness are slabs of bacon and pork belly. Yes, fatty, crispy pork belly. The porcine flavor of both are a little overwhelmed by the amount of cheese, but there were several bites throughout where things got porky. Between the cheese being right up to the very edges of the perfectly grilled bread and the price point, you best bet that I enjoyed every last bit of this $10 sandwich. Eating it itself was a little fun for me since the cheese would string after several of my bites, just like in the commercials. If only they served tomato soup, I’m sure some of you would want to come here to have an adult version of that favored childhood meal. A neighbor of mine was a frequent lunch patron and said that the entire menu is phenomenal, so I dare say we’ll be back.

The + (What someone who likes this place would say)

  • You can have a good beer with decent food during lunch, and it’s not a sports bar.
  • Though it is pricey, everything’s made from high-quality ingredients, especially the meats.
  • I love pork belly. I love bacon. I love pigs head. I love pig, in my belly.

The – (What someone who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • These are some expensive sandwiches. $14 for hot dogs? Really?
  • These are some expensive brews. Where’s the Budweiser?
  • I don’t like eating with strangers at communal tables in such tight spaces.

The Cannibal, 113 East 29th Street, (212) 686-5480


  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Where’s the Budweiser? At the risk of sounding snarky, do you go to a high end steakhouse and look to see how much the burger is, too? :-)

    The Cannibal prides themselves on their beer selection – I’m a beer geek and I’ve seen things there that I’ve never seen anywhere else. They have 40s there, but I know the people who work there and I know their personalities – it’s more for a chuckle than it is because someone’s going to come in there looking for OE.

    The beers are a little pricey, I’ll concede that much – but if I know it’s going to be good quality, and I know that the people there are well informed about the beer (the guy in charge of their beer selection has experience at two well known craft beer bars in Manhattan), then I don’t mind the extra few bucks – similar to how you’ll pay more at a nicer restaurant. In both situations, it’s worth the extra cash. :-)

    • it’s worth keeping in mind that the +/- isn’t about the personal opinion of the author… it’s more about trying to give people an idea of whether they would like the place or not.

      If you actually read the post, Blondie says that their selection of beers is right up our alley. The mention of Budweiser is to point at that if you are into cheap beer, this might not be the place for you.

      • User has not uploaded an avatar

        I always just viewed those as a more all-encompassing +/- – thanks for pointing that out. To that end, I stand behind what I said, but stand down from my contesting the Bud point – view my post as more info about the place. :-)

    • My own personal point of contention with Cannibal are the prices. BUT I *know* that everything there is made with high-quality ingredients, some of the meat even being made in-house, so I’m willing to overlook the price for a splurge. As a beer-lover, I love the selection they have and plan on stopping by more often to imbibe. Also, the cute staff doesn’t hurt.

      And yes, I do go into high-end steakhouses and look at the burger.

      • User has not uploaded an avatar

        In that case, get the Cuvee des Jonquilles. Get LOTS of it – just make sure to leave a bottle for me. Hell, I’ll split a bottle with you… lol

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Wow, thanks for this post! Sometimes I have this problem where I have all this money lying around and I don’t always know what to do with it at the end of the day. Thanks to this post, I realize that I can spend $10 of it on this cute little grilled cheese sandwich with it’s, masterfully, hidden bacon/pork belly sandwich on toasted sliced bread.

    If you are interested, there’s also this $10 soup of the day at Club A Steakhouse on E58th st that they serve. I figured that as long as it falls under the guidelines of the $10 and under limit of midtownlunch that it should totally qualify as a contender for a possible featured lunch. Since it’s a soup of the day that means it’s a total surprise each day so you never know what you’re going to get which adds an extra bonus. (Not that we need anything ‘extra’ or ‘bonus.’)

    Well now that it’s noon I’ll be heading out to try this ultra high quality sandwich that runs slightly on the small side instead of getting a fuller meal for far less. It’s not as if money is of any issue to me so this is a great way to get rid of all of those extra bills I have lying around.

    Thanks again!

    • ha! i guess it’s safe to say that you fall under the “What somebody who wouldn’t like this place would say” section. we should just replace all the minus comments with your sarcastic tirade.

  • Just a serious bit of info for those who crave a great grilled cheese sandwich: Nowhere near any ML boundaries I know of, but Le Cheile in Washington Heights (181st ST, 1 block downhill from the 181st St A station) has an AMAZING “Giant Grilled Cheese.” Words don’t do it justice, but it’s a perfect combo of cheese and semi-crusty bread and a bit of greasy, with a mix of cheddar and swiss in thick bread. Tastes exactly like what you want from a grilled cheese, despite the massive size. Bacon and tomato are optional.

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