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Grilled Cheese Grill

1027 NE Alberta Street, Portland, OR - (503) 206-8959
Posted By Chris & Amy Ayers on July 17, 2009 9:46 PM
Portland, Oregon is a city whose restaurants cater to hardcore foodies, specifically those who actively seek out all things out of the ordinary yet fundamentally delicious. A tremendous amount of small indie eateries thrives on the city’s vibe of liberal devotion to culinary excellence. Much like the rise of the Peanut Butter & Co. in New York, the Grilled Cheese Grill does their eponymous item extremely well, operating with maximum panache.

Four dollars net you one of three classics combinations: The Kindergartner (American or cheddar cheese on white or wheat), the Pre-Schooler (same as the Kindergartner but with the crusts cut off), or the First Grader (both cheeses between one slice of white bread and one slice of wheat). Vegetable add-ins like tomato, pickles, avocado, potato chips, mushrooms, etc. are fifty cents extra, and select meats like salami, turkey, bacon, or a fried egg cost a bit more. The Grill offers preset combos like the Gabby (cheddar, Swiss, Colby jack, and mozzarella on white), the BABS (bacon, apple, bleu cheese, Swiss on rye), the Southsider (artichokes, sundried tomato, mushrooms, mozzarella on sourdough), and the verging-on-Frito-pie Jalapeño Popper (roasted jalapeños, Colby, cream cheese, corn chips on white). The sweets category, on the other hand, is well-covered by the Mrs. B (Brie on grilled cinnamon swirl bread, with applesauce for dipping), the amazing Jaime (marscapone, Nutella, sautéed banana on grilled cinnamon swirl), and the familiar Elvis (grilled banana and peanut butter on white).

These fabulous sandwiches, however, take a backseat to the regal Cheesus Burger. It is one thing that the Grill puts a one-third-pound hamburger in between two grilled cheese sandwiches, which stand in for the traditional bun. But the Grill doesn’t stop there: the top grilled cheese features American and pickles, while the bottom sports Colby and grilled onions. Ketchup, mustard, lettuce, and tomato come standard, as the burger is transformed into a two-handed (but not unwieldy) meal. The two cheeses remain separate and savory on the palate, and the subsequent textural crunch is absolutely divine. Aside from picnic tables, a converted school bus serves as the covered dining room, and a bewitching full-length mural adorns the inside roof. Each table’s surface is emblazoned with old yearbook photos, and boxes of ’80s trivia cards are fun to flip while your order is grilling.

Some purists might dismiss this as ‘niche Roadfood,’ but when an American classic is presented so incredibly well—plus you can eat in a school bus—one can’t help but admit the brilliance of this idea. Tomato soup, chocolate chip cookies and milk, and even Capri Sun pouch drinks are available for the retro-faithful, and any sandwich can be made with gluten-free bread or vegan cheese to celebrate the city’s organic spirit. The already-quirky Portland has become even more unique with the Grilled Cheese Grill, a place that combines nouveau with nostalgia while delighting children of all ages.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Pre-Schooler
Jaime
Cheesus Burger
Capri Sun

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Posted By Ed on October 25, 2010 12:29 PM
Visiting Portland. Saw the listing on RoadFood. Decided on the Grill Cheese Burger. Split it with my wife. Plenty for both of us. No joke--one of the best burgers I have ever eaten. Two kinds of cheeses expertly melted with a hand made burger with lettuce and tomato. Sort of the reverse cheeseburger. Atmosphere was great--wooden picnic tables with umbrellas and Pictonary cards. Great fun playing Pictonary while waiting for our order. The school bus next to the main trailer serves as a covered dining area. Very artfully done! As you can tell, The Grilled Cheese Grill will be a return destination on future trips to Portland.
4 star rating
Overall Rating

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