Monday, December 15, 2014
Going Ol' School at the Grilled Cheese Grill
Another culinary highlight from Kimberly's visit this weekend was trying out the Grilled Cheese Grill on Alberta Street, which came highly recommended. As it happened, Kimberly met the owner's parents on her way to PDX and was raving about it since. Once Dan and I put two and two together that this was the grilled cheese food truck with a school bus dining facility, we knew we had to try it.
Unlike any food truck out there, the Grilled Cheese Grill offers something truly unique. Here's how the experience goes - order at the small truck out front and then proceed into the vintage yellow school bus to hear your order called out, and enjoy your grilled cheese.
The school bus, which has been painted with a few additional vibrant colors is simply da bomb and one of these fun novelty things that any kid or adult can't help but enjoy. Transformed into a long, narrow dining room, complete with nostalgic music, 80's Trivial Pursuit at every table and old photographs of people's childhood and yearbook photos on the tables, it legitimately brings you back in time. You can't help but smile and be uplifted by everything and before you know it, your grilled cheese order is called and you're now gnawing on gooey deliciousness.
With over a dozen of interesting grilled cheese options, spanning from veggie, carnivore, breakfast specials, daily specials and even dessert sandwiches, you're sure to be back many times before working your way through the menu. Since it was an early weekend afternoon, Dan and I both went with breakfast sandwiches and Kimberly got something a little heartier.
The Big Huevo - How could I turn down a sandwich with this festive name? Everything from the grilled jalapeños to the fried egg, the avocado and pepperjack cheese spoke to me. I loved biting into it and seeing its bright colors, but the jalapeños were quite spicy so I had to pluck a few out. The avocado complemented the egg perfectly and together it made for a great breakfast-brunch hybrid.
The Briootch Sandwich - This was one of the specials of the day, and what Kimberly chose. Consisting of melted brie cheese, bacon and grilled red onions, she seemed to really dig it, especially when she dipped it into the cup of tomato soup she ordered as a side. In Kimberly's words "the soup was very light" and a great complement to this already delicious sandwich.
Service and Cost:
Characteristic to Portland, the service is very quirky and the staff has definitive opinions as to what's good. We loved that you can go and chill on the bus while your sandwich is being made, which took just under 10 minutes. I'd highly recommend this joint to groups of friends and especially to families with kids. Would be fun to host a birthday party in the school bus one day - ideas, ideas...
Costs are inexpensive and range anywhere from $4.50 to $8 per sandwich - depends on how fancy it is.
Grilled Cheese Grill - 1027 NE Alberta Street, Portland OR 97211