49th Friday: The Grilled Cheese Grill
(SW Washington & SW 10th, Portland, OR)
– The First Grader (white & wheat bread, cheddar & American cheese) – $4.50
– Homemade tomato soup in a cup – $2.50
My Portland food
truck cart experiences were all good, but as I mentioned previously, I have to find something truly unique to draw me in. This is especially true in a city like Portland where there are literally whole blocks devoted to the art of street food. When the choices are abundance, the fierceness of novelty must increase for virgin palates because we have no loyalty or experience to guide our choices.
But, I have had previous experience with grilled cheese trucks…
Gooey, warm, zesty and spicy, the cheese wasn’t the only thing thrilled in this meal. (I was.)
…and I had a good idea that after a cold day of walking around and shopping in a wintry downtown, that a toasty sandwich and a cuppa tomato soup would be the perfect way to warm up, inside and out.
I loved the names of the standard sandwiches: the Pre-schooler, Kindergartener, and First Grader. That they are so traditional, yet so playful, is exactly how any respectable adult should approach a meal constructed of gooey cheese on toasted bread. There is a huge other menu according to their website, but these aren’t all available at the truck on Washington & 10th. I think they might rotate through them, as my friend had one of these sandwiches herself.
As for me, I decided to be totally mature and go for the First Grader. Mixing cheeses, it was a delicious combination of salty and melty, and was exactly what I had hoped would grace my tastebuds. The soup came in a short stubby cup, which wasn’t exactly conducive to picking up and drinking, but was perfect for dipping. I also dipped the potato chips into the soup. All around, my desire for salt, carbs, and dairy, and even a wee bit of fruit in tomato form, were satiated.
I was really pleased with the way the ordering and pick-up went. Because of their permanent location at the entry to the parking lot these carts surround, you order on the main street, then tuck into the driveway to wait for your food. The guys at the window were totally friendly, and the food came out respectably fast. Additionally, there was a decent queue to order and pick-up food, which is always a good sign.
The Grilled Cheese Grill, with their restaurant and three cart locations, is a great option if you want to have a tasty, warming lunch that will make you feel a kid at heart, and at a reasonable price no less. Portland, you’re two-for-two, and I love you for it.