Main Location: Minneapolis, St. Paul, etc
It is here! Finally, after a couple years with an uncomprehendible absence of a popular business idea that just makes sense, someone in Minnesota finally stepped forward to plant their feet and bring us that which we have sorely needed: a Grilled Cheese Sandwich Truck (I would have settled for a restaurant too, but mobile’s even better).
Those familiar with practically any post I’ve made are aware of my strong feelings and plight at the noted lack of this “theme” in our city’s culinary lineup, mobile or mortar. Well the wait and torture is over, for O’Cheeze has arrived to fill our stomach with happy, melty tidings. After marrying in 2013, the wedded owners quickly decided to take their very much shared love for the pressed dairy sandwich to business, moving to the streets to gift us all with the love of hot cheese between bread in the following year. And I thank them for it, god bless the both of you!
The specific theme is Gourmet Grilled Cheese, and though the term “gourmet” can probably be debated on meaning, the fact that these are more than your average sandwich is definite! Options rotate very seasonally, with slices of crispy bread being stuffed with everything from avocados and bacon (an oft-seen item in the changing recipes) to mashed potatoes to macaroni and everything in between. From what I can tell, there do seem to be a few “constants,” in particular their main version of the classic, appropriately named the Not-so-Classic, filled with a sinful three-way of Irish Dubliner, Havarti, and Cheddar Cheese. A grilled Capresehas also found popularity, focusing on the melted Mozzarella with tomato, basil, and balsamic. But of course nothing stands out quite like the Macaroni and Cheese sandwich, served of course with an extra slice and cheese on top of the classic pasta. That one I want.
Of course they also have a few tomato-ey soup options, such as the Toma-Catoand Tortilla; I’m guessing at least one of them changes seasonally too.
Now we just need someone to open up a full-service restaurant and everything’d be money…
Choices choices abound, it’s hard to pick just which sandwich to get to best encapsulate every single other, but at the end of the day I went with the presently seasonal Hooligan: the bastard offspring of a drunk Irishman and a Grilled Cheese (oh god why did I put that image into my own head…), they stuff this sandwich with a mound of Garlic Mashed Potatoes, an Irish Whiskey sauce, and a thick slice of Dubliner.
And when I say a thick slice, I mean a THICK slice; look at that bad boy in the picture! Now that’s love right there, big and melted. The bread was cravingly crisply, just like it should be. Oh, and the potatoes… skin on, rough masher style potatoes, though still smooth, and full of delicious (but not sharp or pungent) garlic flavor, exactly how I like them. The sauce gave a noted tang and extra dimension within the mouth without being particular forward and demanding us to notice it. Put simply, this was a damn good sandwich, and if it’s any indication then I’d say the rest follow suit, though likely in their own ways (I doubt the Capreseis quite as “sinful”).
Misgivings for me are two-fold, the first being the odd inclusion of puffed rice “tortilla chips” on the side, which are a different and fun little side over fries and chips, and I think they’re supposed to be cheese flavored (though doesn’t taste like it), but it just feels a bit useless to me. The second oddity for me is a slight disconnect from the “ideal,” original style (or technique?) of a good grilled cheese. Hard to say what I mean, but there’s not really much Press to these, the bread and ingredient aren’t that pushed down into a tight, almost Panini-like bundle. And the cheese, so delicious and good, still has yet to reach that almost overflowing, gooey melted presence. Though I’m guessing the Not-so-Classicreaches this sort of state that I’m thinking of, with its inclusion of Cheddar and lack of bulky ingredients, it would be great if they got their other sandwiches to reach this pinnacle. Not that they aren’t already amazing, I’m just nitpicking them in terms of perfection.
You know what, why I didn’t get a bowl of soup while I was there I don’t know. It’s only classic to eat grilled cheese with Tomato soup, and getting a combo would not have cost that much extra. Being at a Rally, I guess the excitement of the event and back-thoughts telling me to conserve money for other things ruled out, and I missed an opportunity to give a full report. For that, I apologize, and I promise to grab a bowl of soup and completely update on its quality the next chance I see them. Though logic holds that the Toma-Cato(or whatever seasonal soup they have) is gonna be pretty darn good. They’d probably give some actual use to that side of rice-tortillas.
Probably one of the easiest things one can eat out of a basket as it is, grilled cheese being purely designed to have everything stick and stay in its place despite all the gooey meltiness. Though this can only go so far when being served in a basket, forced out of the throne of one-handed perfection it so deserved due to the oddly useless choice of those “chips” on the side.
$7for the Mac and simple all-cheese sandwiches, with $8for all containing different ingredients. Though the soups come in at $4 for a cup and $5a bowl (great deal for those wanting a big helping of liquid warmth), they offer a $2off deal for a combo. A great excuse to bring one back to their childhood of eating Grilled Cheese and Campbell’s.
About an average wait, not too long; probably even better considering the number of people ahead of me. Soups are likely to be instantaneous, and though most sandwiches (I saw them place the mac n cheese in a sauté pan to warm, not sure if it’s done to order or if they warm batches in preparation for the the sandwich) are put together ahead of time, it still takes a couple minutes to properly griddle and crunchify the buttered bread.
You know what, for once I don’t even feel like I need to explain myself here with how much I’ve cried for this truck to be born. Though why they have their own awesome scooter I don’t know… but I want one. OH, and I like their menu design (alright last thing).
Ummm, go here? Now? About sums it up. It doesn’t fit the “snack stop” theme, but the sandwiches are great for any of those seeking the now-classic street food fare, whether it’s to experience the “new” and “sorta-hipster” versions of an old favorite or to simply be brought back to nostalgia. It’s an ideal walk-and-it, and the combo makes a great sit-down meal.
My main sandwich suggestions revolve around the Mac and Cheese(god that’s so good) and any Seasonal which contains a healthy dose of Bacon and/or Mashed Potatoes, the Hooliganand B.A.C.H.N. being prime examples of the recent weeks. Though the Not-so-Classicis always a solid choice when one’s simply aching for the basic, cheese-centric and crispy deliciousness.
If getting soup, which is one of the better cost meal deals in the mobile line-up, I would advise choosing whichever option sticks closest to the simple, Tomato-centeredoption (I like a good Tortilla soup but it doesn’t necessary draw much appeal here).