There's something about the weather turning colder that makes me want to eat comfort food and listen to The Decemberists. While "The Crane Wife" is soothing enough to make me forget about my heating bill, I turn to grilled cheese when I need comfort without a side of woe.

There's something about the weather turning colder that makes me want to eat comfort food and listen to The Decemberists. While "The Crane Wife" is soothing enough to make me forget about my heating bill, I turn to grilled cheese when I need comfort without a side of woe.

Many bars, diners and other eateries serve the classic food. But not all grilled cheese is created equal, and the price isn't always easy to swallow. After an extensive search, I've found the best bang-for-your-buck grilled cheese.

A grilled cheese should be just that - it's got to have real cheese, not processed American "cheese product." (But if you're like Alive photo editor Will Shilling and prefer your sandwich "bad school-cafeteria style," your best bet is Jack's Diner, which gives you two slices of American for only $2.65.)

You can get a real grilled cheese for a buck on Mondays at Bodega, where the delish mixture of cheddar, Swiss and provolone ordinarily costs $5. But even if you can wait until Monday rolls around, you'll likely have to stand around until the 13 groups in line in front of you finish multiple rounds of drafts before you get seated.

For a cheap sandwich without the wait, four places in town sell a real grilled cheese for less than $4. The Blue Danube and High Beck Tavern each offer your choice of bread and cheese for $3.50, and for the same price Cafe Lola grills mozzarella and cheddar on fresh Italian bread. But your best bet for a quintessential, better-than-your-mom's sandwich is from the specialists at Gooeyz.

The Valuey Gooeyz ($3.70) has an ample amount of mild cheddar melted on soft white bread that's cut in half. The crust is slightly crispy yet not so hard that you feel the need to nibble around it. It's the smoky flavor and butter-induced moistness that push this sandwich ahead of the competition.

When you're finished, you'll need several napkins to get the grease off your fingers, and you'll be happy that Gooeyz lives up to its name.