a fond memory from my university of virginia days is stopping at the university diner for an improbable concoction called a "grillswith": two grilled glazed donuts topped with a mound of vanilla ice cream, with the glaze taking on a light caramelized crispness.
i met the savory equivalent of the grillswith at amy's bread, the popular 16-year-old bakery known for its handmade traditional breads and fanciful cupcakes. this trio of cheese biscuit, sliced ham and cheddar adds up to more than the sum of its parts when pressed in a panini grill ($4.25). you gotta like cheese to appreciate the hot, ridged biscuit, since it's studded with cheddar and cheddar oozes lacily over everything. i fell under its spell, and friendly manager kerrie sent other goodies my way (and this is one friendly spot, with the staff cooing over babies and regulars chatting in line) to demonstrate amy's "special breakfasts." two country buttermilk biscuits or half a baguette comes with coffee, butter and jam ($4), but this biscuit was hard, cold and not as flavorful as one from popeye's. yet, kerrie offered to warm it and told me an amy's secret: sandwich prices are slashed late in the day-at least, if any are left! sandwiches are made fresh and sell out quickly; it's best to arrive at 11 a.m. and check amy's website for other locales. -- amy's bread 672 ninth ave. (between 46th and 47th streets) 212-977-2670 www.amysbread.com