Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Big Cheese

I think I would be correct in asserting that grilled cheese sandwiches were part of just about every American's youth. This gooey sandwich although simple as a dish is close to many peoples hearts.

Whether it be the standard American cheese on white bread with some tomato soup on a winter night or a ham and swiss on wheat bread you can almost never go wrong when you choose this dish. My passion for this simple meal has brought me to create my own recipe of bacon and brie cheese on whole wheat bread.

So when I heard that there was a gourmet grilled cheese truck I set forth my journey to sample some of the crafty concoctions that they had to offer.

The Big Cheese servers up a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches using fresh ingredients from a number of local farmers. Their gourmet cheeses come from the Cowgirl Creamery while their artisan breads originate from the Lyon bakery.

My first experience with this truck came during the impromptu food truck party last month. I brought my sister and a coworker primarily to sample this truck. When I arrived the line was daunting as this truck was still in its infancy.

We waited in line for about half an hour until we were able to order, I decided to go with the Midnight Moon while my sister ordered the Mt. Fuji. The former consists of goat gouda cheese with carmelized onions on a multigrain bread while the latter comes with Mt. Tam brie, fiji apples and honey on a multigrain bread as well. Each sandwich cost $6.50, you can also get a soda and Route 66 chips for an extra couple of bucks. We both decided to pass on the extras and took our food back to the office.

(Midnight Moon)

My first bite was met by an explosion of flavor, the gouda and the caramelized onions blended harmoniously rendering a delightful taste combination. My one complaint is that there was not enough of it. When I think of a grilled cheese I believe that it should be loaded with enough cheese that every bite causes your sandwich to ooze melted cheese on every side like so.

While eating this sandwich I never experienced that, in fact there were some portions that seemed to be devoid of any ingredients. My sister enjoyed her sandwich and allowed me to sample it. While I did enjoy the flavors my aforementioned complaint resided in this sandwich as well.

(Mount Fuji)

My second visit occurred this past week when they graced their presence at the George Washington University campus. Both the line and wait on this occasion paled in comparison to my previous visit, mainly because I arrived around 2 PM which is a bit late for lunch. I decided on this occasion to channel my inner child and order the Barely Buzzed which consists of cheddar cheese on sourdough bread with a side of tomato soup.

When I placed my order I was distraught to hear that they had sold out of the tomato soup. I stuck to my plan and just had the sandwich. I was pleased to say that it was enjoyable but still lacked the amount of cheese that I deem desirable.

While writing this post I decided to look at their reviews on Yelp to see if I could have any insights on their other sandwiches as well as their tomato soup. After reading a couple of reviews I noticed that my complaint about their lack of cheese is shared by various people. I was disappointed to read that their tomato soup was sub-par, the main complaint being that it is not thick enough. This disappoints me because I was really looking forward to tasting it but will probably pass on it due to the wide ranging consensus.

To sum everything up while I love the idea of this truck I can only give it an average rating/review. The three I sandwiches sampled were all good but had a low cheese to bread ratio. The prices are fair but the wait is too long. I would recommend giving them a try if you are interested in gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter to track their daily locations.

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