I’m writing this piece about the Grilled Cheese Truck with trepidation. It’s not like I’m afraid of incurring the same sort of wrath encountered by Salman Rushdie – or even Allen Ginsberg (my writing isn’t even in the same stratosphere, thankyouverymuch) – but I’m worried about suffering the blogger equivalent of their respective literary fall-outs: The unfollow. <shudders, looks up and notices the wind change direction, pulls sweater close around shoulders, goes inside and locks door>
I’m just going to come out and say it: I don’t love the Grilled Cheese Truck. OK. I’ll give you a minute to make a squished face and close the browser window. I’ll just wait here til you finish.
I love bread, I love cheese. I’m a huge fan of the kind of New York City pizza that folds in half and makes suspension bridges out of the warm, melty, ooey-gooey cheese as it stretches from slice to mouth and grease runs down the palm of your hand. In the Grilled Cheese Truck’s defense, they don’t make that kind of pizza. They don’t make pizza at all. They make grilled cheese sandwiches.
What was my point here?
Right. So anyway… I wanted to keep things simple, so I ordered sharp [Tillamook] cheddar on wheat bread. My lunch buddy, John, got the Brie Melt: Double cream brie, sliced pears and honey. He added caramelized onions. I ordered a “shot” size side of tomato soup for dunking. John and I split a side of tator tots.
They offer tomato soup and tator tots! I know, right?! What the hell is wrong with me?!
Well…this: While the tomato soup and the tator tots were totally delicious, the sandwich really didn’t do anything for me. And it wasn’t because I had ordered a simple cheese sandwich without the bells and whistles; that’s how the sandwich was born and grew and became famous. If it needed bells and whistles, it would be called a “grilled cheese with bacon sandwich,” or a “grilled cheese with whole grain dijon mustard and triple cream brie sandwich,” or – my personal favorite – “grilled cheese with tomato.” The extras are excellent, but superfluous. A good grilled cheese sandwich should be able to be good all on its own.
And mine was…just ok. Really dry. Kind of bland.
It’s true, folks. But this is also just my opinion. And it’s ok with me if you disagree.
John’s sandwich was better. It was pretty good, actually…but not great. The flavor combinations were nice, there were some cool things going on with texture. It was fine.
But there was something missing.
And, ultimately I was left with the impression that the thing that’s missing from the grilled cheese sandwiches is butter.
And butter makes it better.
I know it adds a ton of fat and calories, too, but from a truck offering something called the “Fully Loaded” aka Cheesy Mac and Rib (macaroni and cheese with sharp cheddar, bbq pork and caramelized onions), I don’t know if their raison d’etre is diet food. In fact, I think it probably isn’t.
I will go back. They’re definitely cooking up some interesting stuff on that truck (kind of curious about the Harvest Melt: Roasted Butternut Squash with sauteed leeks, balsamic and agave syups). But first impressions are important, and for something called The Grilled Cheese Truck I wanted to be totally blown away by my grilled cheese sandwich. My plain-and-simple, stripped down, back-to-basics grilled cheese sandwich. But I wasn’t.
And I’m sorry. But I hope we can still be friends.