Ezra’s post below dovetailed nicely with the long-awaited opening day of the Grilled Cheese Grill, another entrant into Portland’s rich food cart culture. Conveniently, it’s only 4 blocks from my house; even more conveniently, it’s open late on weekend nights. I’m hoping this becomes the Portland version of the Jumbo Slice, except maybe without that feeling of intense shame that one gets after inhaling half a pizza at 3 a.m. Bonus points for the abandoned schoolbus with interior seating for diners — way to capitalize on that good twentysomething childhood nostalgia! Their price points could use some work; I thought about it, and while $4 seems reasonable for a good grilled cheese, $8 seems like a ridiculous amount of money for two of them.
The menu at the Grilled Cheese Grill is very simple: grilled cheese, variations thereof, and tomato soup. The basics are well-represented — the Kindergartner, the Pre-Schooler, and the First Grader are all tweaks on the basic bread-butter-cheese trio –and the Fat Elvis (grilled banana, peanut butter, and bacon) is to be expected, but some of the variations concern me. Tortilla chips…in a grilled cheese? Roasted jalapenos? Hummus? Sundried tomato? OK, you lost me. I don’t even think you necessarily need fancy cheeses for a good grilled cheese — a slice of provolone melts just dandily. More butter = more better, up to that certain saturation point (you know what I’m talking about). And, for old time’s sake? American cheese. Two slices.
The Grilled Cheese Grill also features a menu item that would feel at home on the This Is Why You’re Fat blog — the Cheesus Burger is a burger that substitutes two distinct, independent grilled cheese sandwiches for a bun.