Don't ask for a god-damned tomato slice
June 10, 2019 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Daniel Danger has a plan. sltwitter, h/t to jpoulos
posted by yhbc (142 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
 
Grilled cheese as nature intended.
posted by Fish Sauce at 10:59 AM on June 10


I would back his kickstarter.

I like fancy AF grilled cheese sandwiches, but I love Kraft singles on wonderbread with too much margarine. You have to press down on the sandwich with the spatula while you make it to ensure the maximum amount of air is squeezed out of the bread and replaced with grease.

The mayo variation is acceptable.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:00 AM on June 10 [6 favorites]


I was on board until the "you can substitute mayo for butter" part. I was suckered in by that idea once and NO it does not work.
posted by queensissy at 11:02 AM on June 10 [10 favorites]


ditch the mayo and you don't need refrigeration in the unit [smart person tapping head dot meme dot gif]
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:08 AM on June 10 [4 favorites]


"That's actually a wound"
posted by nubs at 11:09 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]


This guy has it right. no tomato, no nothing, as God intended.
posted by Dr. Twist at 11:11 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: "but what if you offered..."

no.
posted by Mayor West at 11:12 AM on June 10 [17 favorites]


This reminds me of the time I was working at Starbucks and I thought I might open a coffee shop called NO SUBSTITUTIONS That sold coffee, espresso, latte, cappuccino, and mocha. Those five things. As they're made. That's it.
cup of ice and straw - $1
posted by es_de_bah at 11:12 AM on June 10 [8 favorites]


He needs a sidekick who dreams of a $1 Tomato Soup cart.
posted by peeedro at 11:13 AM on June 10 [47 favorites]


I would back his kickstarter.
The brilliance of his plan is his kickstarter will only be $100, and that's to buy the cart. He's fronting the bread, cheese, and butter costs, and he's not messing around with change or fancy tech.
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:13 AM on June 10


I like how people in the comments won't stop trying to fancy up his deliberately very minimal intent, or quibbling over non-existent business plan details.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:14 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]


SteamCelt Resists: [re: installing a pull down spray nozzle for melted butter] And "can I get tomato?" resulting in a face shot of melted butter will provide entertainment for everyone else in line.

Daniel Danger: Ok I might be back on board.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:17 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Of course, this business model has already been undersold.
posted by es_de_bah at 11:19 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]


I'm flashing back to the parking lots after Grateful Dead concerts, grilled cheese sandwiches made of Wonder Bread and Kraft Singles being cooked on a camp stove in the back of a van, sold with the irresistible slogan "What the fuck, only a buck!"
posted by Daily Alice at 11:19 AM on June 10 [23 favorites]


The brilliance of his plan is his kickstarter will only be $100, and that's to buy the cart.

Those carts aren't that cheap.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:27 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


I was on board until the "you can substitute mayo for butter" part. I was suckered in by that idea once and NO it does not work.

This is wrong and you are wrong. Mayo works extremely well and you get full coverage without shredding the bread while trying to spread (I rhymed that on purpose).
posted by schoolgirl report at 11:29 AM on June 10 [17 favorites]


I'll buy that for a dollar.
posted by clavdivs at 11:30 AM on June 10 [9 favorites]


No, I'm gonna fight this. Not enough salt. It's wrong.
posted by queensissy at 11:30 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


I wonder if you could automate this. An actual griddle seems like too much room for error. Like one of those continuous conveyor sandwich toasters they use. Just have someone assembling the things, feeding them in, someone taking cash and someone handing them out. In the right spot it could indeed make a mint.
posted by GuyZero at 11:35 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


>Can I BYOB (Bring your own bacon) when I visit your grilled cheese cart, and have it put on my sandwich, or would there be an additional porking fee?


if you hand me bacon im just going to eat at it in front of you and then stare daggers at you until you leave.

posted by nubs at 11:37 AM on June 10 [18 favorites]


This is awesome. I would totally buy sammiches at a place like this.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:38 AM on June 10


GuyZero: when you said “automated” my mind immediately leapt to Let’s Pizza
posted by dismas at 11:39 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


His sandwiches look exactly like the ones my daughter makes. A++++++ would eat as often as I can talk her into making them / until we run out of butter. (Although hers contain extra-sharp cheddar, so they're greasy inside and out. Our pelts are sleek and shiny.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:47 AM on June 10 [18 favorites]


I wonder if you could automate this. An actual griddle seems like too much room for error. Like one of those continuous conveyor sandwich toasters they use. Just have someone assembling the things, feeding them in, someone taking cash and someone handing them out. In the right spot it could indeed make a mint.

Surely you just feed the conveyor belt to a slot in the side, if you're not there to catch it ....
posted by mbo at 11:48 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


A successful mayo grilled cheese is highly dependent on the bread and the quality and quantity of mayo. It also seems to take more heat to get nice and browned. I like a medium thin layer of Kewpie mayo with sesame seeds sprinkled in, which get nice and toasty.

That being said I will take white bread and pasteurized processed cheese with butter any day.
posted by HumanComplex at 11:53 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


This is wrong and you are wrong. Mayo works extremely well and you get full coverage without shredding the bread while trying to spread (I rhymed that on purpose).

Melt the butter in the pan instead!
posted by JDHarper at 11:55 AM on June 10 [8 favorites]


He just needs a Cheeseborg to totally automate this.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:56 AM on June 10


No, we're still not thinking fast enough. It should be a grilled cheese cannon. Your grilled cheese is delivered to your face and/or body at around 200 feet per second out of a pneumatic cannon. Maybe as hot grilled cheese shrapnel and not even a whole sandwich, but it is assumed some sandwiches may be accidentally delivered whole.

This is why you order like twenty bucks worth of them, for maximum coverage.

You then pick may conveniently begin your drunken walk of shame home covered in hot cheese and toasted bread, which you may pluck off and eat at your leisure, leaving your hands free to carry that ill advised last minute rack of cheap beer home, or wobble from sign post to sign post as handholds.

You won't even remember how you got all the weird sandwich shaped bruises.
posted by loquacious at 11:57 AM on June 10 [21 favorites]


MetaFilter: Our pelts are sleek and shiny
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:57 AM on June 10 [20 favorites]


My favorite part of this plan is: no change. You give the operator a five dollar bill, you get five sandwiches in return.
posted by NoMich at 11:57 AM on June 10 [19 favorites]


"No change" also almost guarantees massive tips because someone only has a twenty and doesn't actually want or need twenty sandwiches.
posted by loquacious at 11:59 AM on June 10


"No change" also almost guarantees massive tips because someone only has a twenty and doesn't actually want or need twenty sandwiches.

Did he stutter? This ain't no pity party. You hand the man a $20, you're getting 20 sandwiches. This is not negotiable.
posted by Mayor West at 12:01 PM on June 10 [54 favorites]


"sandwich shaped bruises" would be a good username.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:03 PM on June 10 [9 favorites]


As someone who actually worked on an artisan grilled cheese food truck I’d say this is completely feasible but with a slightly higher price - $2 or $2.50

You get an electrolux panini maker - they grill and microwave simultaneously and can churn these fuckers out in about 90 seconds two at a time. If you cut it into a triangle that’s 4 at a time.

Our truck was not profitable because it was trying to add all the bells and whistles and artisan shit which would slow down our production speed. And the price was so high there was never a real crowd in front. To top it off it was run by 3 guys at a time which you wouldn’t need if you did it like he suggests.
posted by mit5urugi at 12:05 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


As someone who actually worked on an artisan grilled cheese food truck I’d say this is completely feasible but with a slightly higher price - $2 or $2.50

No.
posted by loquacious at 12:08 PM on June 10 [15 favorites]


If you cut it into a triangle that’s 4 at a time.

No, they are not cut.
posted by nubs at 12:11 PM on June 10 [7 favorites]


Melt the butter in the pan instead!

But then all the butter gets absorbed by one side of the sandwich! (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
posted by schoolgirl report at 12:13 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


Mayo works extremely well and you get full coverage without shredding the bread while trying to spread (I rhymed that on purpose).

I dunno what food trucks y'all have been hanging out in lately, but in every truck running a grill I've ever seen, butter at ambient temperature is better applied with a spoon than a knife. Can't shred the bread with liquid spread.
posted by Mayor West at 12:19 PM on June 10 [16 favorites]


Has anyone looked into 3D printing options?
posted by loquacious at 12:20 PM on June 10 [8 favorites]


But then all the butter gets absorbed by one side of the sandwich! (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

What I do, when powering through them for the kids & trying to juggle other things, is melt the butter in the pan, put the sandwich in, then put a chunk of butter on top of the sandwich for when the flip happens. It's maybe not the best, but we aren't after best here, right? Just cheap and quick.
posted by nubs at 12:22 PM on June 10 [8 favorites]


chease
posted by poffin boffin at 12:24 PM on June 10 [10 favorites]


All of this is just a launch pad for my tuna melt truck.

FUCKING SELLOUT.
posted by loquacious at 12:27 PM on June 10 [9 favorites]


This was medicine for every time I've been stuck in line behind someone who needed the concept and execution of a turkey sandwich explained to them. I adore the idea of one of those pricks who pays for simple purchases with $100 bills having to cope with 100 identical sandwiches and no change. I do not believe that the idea of "customer service" has been a net positive for civilization or our day-to-day interactions with one another out there. Here are some cheese sandwiches, they cost a dollar, and you can't change a thing about them, you swine.

But then all the butter gets absorbed by one side of the sandwich!

All the Stage One butter yes. The Stage Two butter is melting across the pan from the sandwich while side one grills.

then put a chunk of butter on top of the sandwich for when the flip happens

Also very good.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:33 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


I am gonna give him a run for his money with my PB& J stand. White bread, crunchy peanut butter, grape jam, no substitutes.
posted by fimbulvetr at 12:46 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


Melt the butter in the pan instead!

Man, I don't want no part of your artisanal "open-faced" one-side grilled cheese sandwich, yuck.

then put a chunk of butter on top of the sandwich for when the flip happens

HEATHEN, get the heathen!

How...? coverage, this pat of butter is not going to be evenly distributed.

Pro-tip - keep some butter in an air-tight container, at room temperature - and it won't shred the bread. Personally - I have tried mayo, it works, but for my tastes it seems greasier and not as satisfying.

Look, by now, I am approximately composed of 20% by volume/weight of grilled cheese, melts or monte cristo style sandwiches, I must know a thing or two...
posted by jkaczor at 12:49 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


Stage Two butter

Guys, slow down already with all the band/sockpuppet names; it's hard for me to keep up!
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:51 PM on June 10 [20 favorites]


Of course, at the sandwich cart in question here, asking about butter melting technique is probably triggers a one-month ban and debating it in line is grounds for a full year or lifetime ban.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:52 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


plz back my kickstarter I will squat in the shade of the twitter-man's grilled cheese truck and for one American quarter dollar I will apply time-softened butter to both halves of your bread, by hand, edge to edge, in the manner of my forebears
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:53 PM on June 10 [10 favorites]


Hemp mustard!!!! Find them, make them redo elementary school.
posted by Oyéah at 12:53 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Hemp mustard!!!!

Dear sweet St. Heinz of the Condiments, that's actually a thing
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:57 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


will apply time-softened butter to both halves of your bread, by hand, edge to edge, in the manner of my forebears

That would be the "buttered toast" truck, no? But see, with that one - you hand the customer their buttered, edge-to-edge toast and then they can apply the single-serving jams, preserves, etc... themselves...

$1/slice.
posted by jkaczor at 12:57 PM on June 10


I also think the "NO CHANGE" rule can lead to helpful cooperation among the customers of this fine establishment. Like someone goes "shit, I only want two sandwiches, but I only have a $10 bill." Our steely, single-purposed proprietor goes "I care not. You will have ten sandwiches, or you will have two and I will have an $8 tip. Sort your shit out." The person in line behind them goes, "Hey, I have change for your ten," and lo, people work together to get their ideal number of cheese sandwiches. Life finds a way, etc.
posted by yasaman at 12:58 PM on June 10 [7 favorites]


Up here in Brattleboro, People's Republic of Vermont, the guys at the Hermit Thrush Brewery have a tasting room where people kept asking for full pours instead of those little samples. But their license didn't permit full pours or cans unless they served food. So now, they serve food — nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches (nice ones, with Vermont butter, cheese and bread, but nothing fancy, no tomato slices).
posted by beagle at 1:01 PM on June 10 [7 favorites]


fimbulvetr, I never really liked grape jelly. Instead, can...
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:02 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


YOU'RE ON THE LIST
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:04 PM on June 10 [12 favorites]


As far as buttering goes, I can't seem to find an image but my college dining halls all had these powered butter spreaders for toasting buns and the like. It basically looked like a belt sander half submerged in a vat of liquid butter - the belt was kept continuously lubricated with butter, and you just pressed the bread against it for a couple seconds to get full fat coverage. Combine that with a continuous feed toaster and you could crank out grilled cheese all day.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:06 PM on June 10 [10 favorites]


Fun snark about techniques and business models aside, I am constantly amazed by how much people will pay for the convenience of the simplest foods they could make at home. First it was the $6 cupcake craze, now it is artisan grilled cheese food trucks... What next, a mobile KD cauldron on wheels?

Then again, I found the KFC ad's for their "bowls" revolting, disgusting and insulting... (and I enjoy their chicken from time to time)... I mean, how much respect for their customers can they possibly have when their idea of food consists of slopping nearly everything they make into a single dish...?
... I have another name for that style of eating, it's called a "trough".

As long as the marketing and brand is good, sheeple will seemingly buy anything...
posted by jkaczor at 1:10 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


You can get everything from a $183 heated butter spreader to a fully automatic Spreadmatic for your buttering needs!
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:11 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


The "no change" idea is actually a really good one. If the customer just puts the money in a box up front, you don't have to touch it, so you don't constantly have to change your gloves, which leads to much less waste and speeds everything up a LOT.
posted by Slinga at 1:15 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


I HIGHLY recommend watching the Spreadmatic video at the bottom of that link ....
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:16 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


how much respect for their customers can they possibly have when their idea of food consists of slopping nearly everything they make into a single dish...?

Patton Oswalt concurs.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:18 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


Our steely, single-purposed proprietor goes "I care not. You will have ten sandwiches, or you will have two and I will have an $8 tip. Sort your shit out." The person in line behind them goes, "Hey, I have change for your ten," and lo, people work together to get their ideal number of cheese sandwiches. Life finds a way, etc.

No; they get 10 sandwiches. If they are smart and fucking enterprising, they sort their shit out by working the fucking line and selling the excess ones for $1.50 each.
posted by nubs at 1:18 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


Just came here to say that the Dutch word for a grilled cheese sandwich is tosti.
posted by ouke at 1:26 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


Oh man, that Spreadmatic video is definitely something that Madrigal would make/market/own in their labs and subsidiaries... Mmmm, a grilled cheese, dipped in Franch dressing...
posted by jkaczor at 1:28 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


ouke... Very similar to the British/Australian "toastie".
posted by jkaczor at 1:29 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


ditch the mayo and you don't need refrigeration in the unit
Not needed with mayo either.
posted by joeyh at 1:35 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


I am constantly amazed by how much people will pay for the convenience of the simplest foods they could make at home.
As long as the marketing and brand is good, sheeple will seemingly buy anything...


I don't know about you, but sometimes I get hungry when I'm not at home.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:41 PM on June 10 [50 favorites]


You need to go one step further, ditch the whole food cart idea, and just sell them on foot from a cooler like the Chicago Tamale Guy.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:44 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Pro tip: using the word "sheeple" is a good way to not be taken seriously.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 1:55 PM on June 10 [18 favorites]


As long as the marketing and brand is good, sheeple will seemingly buy anything

Easy there. I guaran-fucking-tee you that there is 100% something in your life that you are a "sheeple" about.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:58 PM on June 10 [7 favorites]


Unless one is referring to a steeple made of sheep, in which case it's accurate and acceptable
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:58 PM on June 10 [20 favorites]


First it was the $6 cupcake craze

for the amount of time, stress, and effort it would take to convert a recipe for a dozen cupcakes into a recipe to bake a single cupcake, which is all i want at a time, $6 is a fucking bargain
posted by poffin boffin at 2:02 PM on June 10 [19 favorites]


...neither is selling a bunch of stuff in a bowl, yet here we are...

Not exactly expecting my comment to be taken seriously, or with "gravitas". and yes, I am a sheeple and definitely not immune to branding/marketing and trying/doing/buying crap I don't need... as I mention in the same comment... I still eat their fried chicken and like it... (and... insert fast food X,Y or Z...)

I don't know about you, but sometimes I get hungry when I'm not at home.

Yeah, I get that - and I get that comfort food is comfort food. But you haven't lived until you have made your own grilled cheese using an iron in a hotel room in the middle of the night...

Apologies to those who find "sheeple" offensive.
posted by jkaczor at 2:04 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


I have spent much of my culinary life experimenting with various Grilled Cheese variationcss. Research into different breads led to preferring the local San Luis Sourdough (but the shape of the loaf requires matching slices from opposite ends). Cheese-wise, I grew tired of the Classic Kraft Singles long ago and experimented with various varieties from the Costco deli section (but 2 pound packages of slices proved a major waste if I guessed wrong), until Kraft came up with Velveeta Slices... it's like Macaroni and Cheese without the Macaroni!

But in the "gilding the lily" department, Mayo is okay but not a major improvement (and I'm a mutant who prefers Miracle Whip for most mayo-applications) and Sour Cream does a much better job. The "slice of tomato" was just 'meh', and the first time I tried the infamous "avocado toast" my first thought was "Needs Cheese". The best thing to augment the cheese in the middle: one word - Bacon.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:10 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


> No, they are not cut.

This is the limit, up with which it cannot be put!

//Diagonals// are clearly superior, even to ortho┼rectic slices.

Also, sweet pickle slice.
posted by bonehead at 2:10 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


I'm told that among the youth of today, the "hip" way to make a grilled cheese is to use a vape pen battery

it takes a long time, but "slow food" is where it's at now
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:10 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


wait, wont the no-change policy undermine the quickness-of-service advantage of the no substitutions policy? like, if 3 drunk people with $20 bills come in, one right after another, and they all take him up on getting their full 20 sandwiches since they cant get change, he has to make 60 fucking sandwiches before the fourth person in line can even order!

i respect his no holds barred approach but i think he is shooting himself in the cheese, so to speak.
posted by wibari at 2:11 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


One the one hand, a baked potato costs almost nothing to make at home. On the other hand, if I'm in town running errands, I would have to take the bus 45 minutes home, wait an hour for it to bake, then take the bus 45 minutes back.... damn straight I sometimes overpay for a baked potato.

Once upon a time I was stuck in town and really wanted to eat a cheese toastie, just a cheese toastie, and COULD NOT FIND ONE. They were all fancy things with whole tomatoes and pesto and various other added things and I didn't want that, I wanted just cheese. Only cheese. I wandered around for a stupid amount of time before finding a small cafe that was willing to actually make a toastie with just cheese for me (the other places were all pre-prepared, and even when I could see they had bread, and cheese, and knives, were not willing to do so for me). Anyway I always get my coffee there when I'm nearby now. They are my cheese saviours.

Also a guy at subway once made fun of me for the whole transaction for ordering cheese on toast. It's on the menu dammit, it's what I wanted.

(I do not like using mayo. I often don't use butter at all, actually, and I don't miss the greasiness)
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:12 PM on June 10 [7 favorites]


bonehead has the right idea, but Dill Pickle slices, positioned to cover the bread... not as good as bacon (and I would never suggest mixing the two).
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:18 PM on June 10


fresh or pickled jalapeño and sharp cheddar, actually.
posted by moonmilk at 2:39 PM on June 10


If you would like to talk about Friday Night Lights, then okay.
posted by unknowncommand at 2:48 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


ouke... Very similar to the British/Australian "toastie".

As seen in Shaun of the Dead

Not sure if I need to describe what "A Breville" is.
But, just to be safe...
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:54 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Not sure if I need to describe what "A Breville" is.
But, just to be safe...


I had not in fact encountered this device and I am outraged - OUTRAGED - that it doesn't appear to be sold in the US. Instead we get a "panini press" which is NOT AT ALL what I want.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:03 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


YOU'RE ALL ON THE LIST YOU SCUM! NEXT!

Actually *pushes up glasses* the ultimate grilled cheese goes like this:

Thick rustic sourdough slices, going for the big middle slices. Both sides are buttered and placed on a cafe-sized panini press, hopefully a bit dirty. Grill the plain bread for a bit. Then the inside side of the slices gets a thin spread of mock garlic aioli (IE garlic mayo), then a thick swipe of cream cheese or sour cream, or both, or one on either side. You can like salt and pepper at this point or throw in chives or rosemary or some other vaguely reassuring or healthy green shit but why and no and fuck off.

Add cheese like two slices thick. Add sliced tomatoes on one side, sliced red union rings on the other, like four or even eight slices of greasy cold bacon hopefully from yesterday. Add more cheese, so there's cheese on either side on top of the veggies and bacon, like two cheese sandwiches on two open face cheese sandwiches. Close the sandwich and then close the grill grill. Ideally until it just starts to leak cheese and the cheese gets a bit burnt on the edge and the sandwich is like half as tall as it used to be and that shit is like Trailer Park Boys greeeeeeasy.

Cut it at a jaunty angle, plate it, add too many pickle spears and some coleslaw or something. Wash it down with chocolate milk made with half and half, multiple rounds of iced espresso or back to back Red Bulls.

For optimum results this should be made for breakfast at the crack of dawn right before the opening shift of working at a cafe, ideally sitting hunched over at the smoker's break table in the dingy loading dock in the dark before the crack o' dawn, possibly even eating while smoking either tobacco and or cannabis or both - while nursing a wicked stupid hangover, a growing case of customer service PTSD and general resentment for humanity and a raging case of fuckitis.

But you may be able to achieve passable results in a home kitchen.

if you have a couple of 40s of malt liquor the night before, go to bed after 2 am without any water and set your alarm for 5:30 in the morning and then, I dunno, maybe clean out your whole fridge and kitchen and moving everything around for like an hour to simulate an opening shift in a cafe before you even start cooking or eating and make this on whatever consumer countertop two sided grill you may have... it'll be pretty close.

You may find that you may need to season it with a kitchen manager coming in early and yelling at you about something totally nonsensical, but the raging hangover and fuckitis are possibly the most important ingredients.

You can, of course, obtain these two ingredients as well as the rest of the ingredients listed above in bulk quantities from SysCo.

posted by loquacious at 3:23 PM on June 10 [7 favorites]


Breville, in American English: Sandwich Maker or Sandwich Toaster. Check the back of your cupboards, I think if you leave unused kitchen stuff back there long enough it transmogrifies into one of these.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:34 PM on June 10 [8 favorites]


Wash it down with chocolate milk made with half and half, multiple rounds of iced espresso or back to back Red Bulls.

Chocolate milk made with Red Bull would taste terrible!
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:38 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


"rustic" just means "crunchy" in food writing, yes?
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:40 PM on June 10 [12 favorites]


Sometimes it means 'oddly shaped'.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:50 PM on June 10 [14 favorites]


Or "rough-hewn."
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:51 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


The grilled cheese I remember as a child was white bread slathered in butter with a slice of American cheese between. We'd then open it and add dill pickle chips (or sometimes potato chips), then after closing it add pats of cold butter to the outside. Yum.
posted by sjswitzer at 3:51 PM on June 10


Also, the butter was almost certainly margarine.
posted by sjswitzer at 3:51 PM on June 10


The name of the business should be GRILL ME A CHEESE, all caps.
posted by dephlogisticated at 3:57 PM on June 10 [8 favorites]


wait, wont the no-change policy undermine the quickness-of-service advantage of the no substitutions policy? like, if 3 drunk people with $20 bills come in, one right after another, and they all take him up on getting their full 20 sandwiches since they cant get change, he has to make 60 fucking sandwiches before the fourth person in line can even order!

I don't think it matters to him if he is giving the 60 grilled cheeses to 3 people or to 60. He's selling the same amount and working the same amount. Where they end up isn't really his concern.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 4:08 PM on June 10 [14 favorites]


I hate to be a downer, but his idea that he would have a 10% food cost is just not right.
posted by nestor_makhno at 4:25 PM on June 10


did anyone else make themselves grilled cheese for dinner as a direct result of this thread?
posted by JDHarper at 4:30 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


If you pay attention, use enough butter, get the heat right, and cook the sandwich the right amount, you will deliver an excellent grilled cheese regardless of quality of bread or cheese.

That said I appreciate fancy grilled cheeses, to the point where I make better fancy grilled cheeses than any of the fancy grilled cheese places I know of, and I live in San Francisco, which is rife with them.
posted by aubilenon at 4:31 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


I am also eating carrot sticks and tomato soup like a twelve year old boy
posted by JDHarper at 4:31 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


I hate to be a downer, but his idea that he would have a 10% food cost is just not right.

Yeah, I think you're right.

A loaf of Walmart brand white bread costs $1.38 and has 24 slices in it, enough for 12 sandwiches

72 Walmart brand American cheese slices cost $8.24 for 72 slices

A pound of Land-o'-Lakes butter is $4.56 and I figure it's good for 24 sandwiches

My math comes out to about 42 cents a sandwich. If you buy in bulk and get cheaper butter you might be able to get it down to like 30 cents a sandwich.
posted by JDHarper at 4:42 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


He did mention bulk, non-sliced cheese at one point, which could be a cost difference (though he then needs to spring for a slicer...).
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:47 PM on June 10


You know what's better than buttering the bread? Just use more cheese (that is, cheese right on the griddle/pan with the bread on top). That way the exterior gets that nice crispy cheese and you still have the melted cheese in-between.
posted by ShooBoo at 4:51 PM on June 10


No, everyone here is wrong. The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich is the all-cheese grilled cheese cheesewich which uses cheese instead of bread.

I have made these before. There is no grilled cheese sandwich on Earth which can stand up to the mighty majesty of the all cheese grilled cheese cheesewich.
posted by fimbulvetr at 5:01 PM on June 10 [8 favorites]


There will never be a better grilled cheese than the one from the pool cantina, eaten while sitting in a wet bathing suit and towel after a long morning of swim team practice in the summer, age 11, with a shirley temple with crushed ice and two cherries.
posted by sallybrown at 5:11 PM on June 10 [14 favorites]


A man, a plan, a SoundCloud -- DuolcDnuos Anal Panama!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:27 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


You need like three windows to buy from, and the sandwich maker just goes from window to window, and if someone starts to ask a question they just shout "get your shit together" and go to the next window, trusting the line to take care of the problem. Also, you'd be wholesaling the bread, cheese, etc. I doubt there is more than 10 cents wholesale in two slices of bread, one slice of "cheese product" and a knife's worth of butter.

Park it next to a homeless gathering place and the extra sandwiches folks with tens or twenties end up with takes care of themselves.
posted by maxwelton at 5:39 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


I am also eating carrot sticks and tomato soup like a twelve year old boy

I can think of so many things I'd rather that my tomato soup were like.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:19 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


A pound of Land-o'-Lakes butter is $4.56 and I figure it's good for 24 sandwiches
You're just getting all fancy with that "real butter". Margarine is half that price and more authentic too.
posted by Daily Alice at 6:26 PM on June 10


Portland has Grilled Cheese Grill but it’s overpriced and not very good imho
posted by gucci mane at 6:27 PM on June 10


The name of the business should be GRILL ME A CHEESE, all caps.

GRILLED CHEESE'S
He almost had it perfect, but the grocer's apostrophe makes the whole thing.
posted by ctmf at 6:30 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Yeah, no way that food cost is a dime, especially if it is butter and not “oley,” as the old folks in Wisconsin used to refer to it.

As for the mayo supporters: it is probably true that with enough time and heat you can make a grilled cheese with mayo instead of butter. It is also probable you could do it with bear grease, or Bryllcreem, but it is going to taste like a wet dog licked it.

However, this was pretty good for a random “I can eat fifty hard boiled eggs” tweeter thread. I didn’t see it coming and he is dogged in his unyielding determination. Whether the cost works out is irrelevant.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 6:31 PM on June 10


I can totally see myself 20 (ok, even 10) years ago buying 20 grilled cheese sandwiches at a food truck at 4 in the morning after drinking all night. And not because I didn't have change, but because I was hungry and those looked fucking good. hence, the occasional great cheeseburger giveaway on Haight when I could really only eat, like, 6

Hell, I'd rather buy a couple of those sandwiches than a hot dog at a ball game. That's where the "no choice" model really shines. Hold up two fingers, two sandwiches fly at you through the air, you pass your two bucks down the row.
posted by ctmf at 6:39 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


My team at work was talking about this before our standup this morning. Mutual consensus was that we would all eat the crap out of this and now we wanted grilled cheeses for lunch.
posted by mrbill at 7:00 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


Fun snark about techniques and business models aside, I am constantly amazed by how much people will pay for the convenience of the simplest foods they could make at home.

This happens to me a lot because I am forced to be out either by schedule or through social obligation and find myself in need of food to keep from falling over, but I am a simple woman of simple tastes who doesn't want your goddamn turkey pistachio arugala onion hollandaise apple chutney green pepper sprouted grain sandwich. I could pay you $10 for something I know will be disgusting to me. Or, I could give you $10 for a grilled cheese sandwich. I know I'll probably like the grilled cheese. You have nothing for $5. Yet I still need food in my stomach. Hence, I eat a lot of "4 cheese bacon and avocado" grilled cheeses because it's the only thing on the menu that doesn't require me to recite a grocery list of things I want left off my sandwich.
posted by brook horse at 7:56 PM on June 10 [8 favorites]


goddamn turkey pistachio arugala onion hollandaise apple chutney green pepper sprouted grain sandwich

Okay, now I'm hungry.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:04 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


GRILL ME A CHEESE, french me a fry
Pour me a coke, bowl a soup of tomato
Give me some grease, keep grillin' on
Just ballpark-frank me, don't swank me
Show me you prize me, super-size me
DQ Blizzard me, you heard me
I'm getting hungry, grill me a cheese...
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:18 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


I've been thinking about this more and remembered that we had a grilled cheese on the menu when I was a short order cook. It was probably $5, but maybe $4 or $ 4.50. Liquid margarine, bulk American cheese and cheap "sourdough" (the only difference between our sandwich and his). I dont remember the exact food cost breakdown but nothing, other than basket o fries was less than 25% foodcost. When we put the menu together we were shooting for 30-35%. We didn't do wings because the cost is too high. Also, we were a subsidiary of a huge restaurant that had a lot of negotiating power.

My years in front of house made me love his approach to customer service. My years in back of house made me laugh and yell "nope" when I saw 10%.

Does anybody want a food cost breakdown on a plate of beans?
posted by nestor_makhno at 9:26 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Daily Alice: "I'm flashing back to the parking lots after Grateful Dead concerts, grilled cheese sandwiches made of Wonder Bread and Kraft Singles being cooked on a camp stove in the back of a van, sold with the irresistible slogan "What the fuck, only a buck!""

Ok, Deadhead here. Have eaten many a parking lot grilled cheese. So I am at a show at Buckeye Lake. After the show I am wandering around the parking lot half looking for my friends and half looking around at the pretty colors. I think I am hungry, but I am not sure. Hard to tell in that state of mind. Anyway, I turn the corner on Shakedown Street and there is the grilled cheese guy. Just trying to make gas money to the next show. He was actually next to the stir fry guy, but that did not look appealing. Sorry.

I inch my way through the crowd (maybe five or six people, but at that time in that place, to me that was a crowd). Lo and behold, at the front of the line, negotiating with the grilled cheese guy was one of my friends who was gathering change out of all of his pockets and still coming up light. He sees me and asks to borrow some money. I reach into my pocket and I have is a $20. At that instant, in that place, money had little value or relevance to me. I gave him my $20. He promptly looked at the crowd and looked at the grilled cheese guy and said, "A round of GC for everyone until my $20 runs out." I did not even get one from that $20. But, in true Deadhead fashion, the grilled cheese guy looked at me, recognized I just bought him 10 gallons of gas and gave me a freebie. Best fucking grilled cheese I ever had or will ever have.
posted by AugustWest at 10:00 PM on June 10 [27 favorites]


I was only half-idly thinking about stealing his business model. And then he addressed that notion.

So ... yeah.
posted by bryon at 10:10 PM on June 10


My parasitic business:
$$$  maxwelton's swinging singles  $$$
Exchange rates shown below include our service fee
  Pay     Receive  $1   $5  $10  $20
  ----------------------------------
     $5             3    -    -    -
    $10             7    -    -    -
    $20             6    2    -    -
    $50             6    1    1    1
   $100             5    4    2    2
posted by maxwelton at 10:11 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


I have had Daniel’s art on my walls since ...2001? I would also eat his sandwiches.
posted by janepanic at 5:09 AM on June 11


This brings me back. Back in the '70's and (maybe) really early '80s there was Government Cheese. Which was regular american cheese in brick sized stacks like they use in fast food restaurants. We weren't poor enough to get it that way and neither were my grandparents but by virtue of her age my grandmother could.

And if it was free, she's stand in line for anything. And she'd bring her older sister along to stand in line with her so they could get two. They would do this as often they could and then they would send my mom what they didn't use, which was pretty much all of it.

So I believe I've eaten more grilled cheese sandwiches on white bread grilled in butter than anybody else alive. My mom's standard response to "I'm hungry" was "Make yourself a grilled cheese sandwich." For years. When I went off to college she sent a brick of cheese along. The stuff didn't rot so I think I was still eating them years after the program ended.

I want one of his sandwiches.
posted by lordrunningclam at 5:21 AM on June 11 [7 favorites]


My years in back of house made me laugh and yell "nope" when I saw 10%.

Does anybody want a food cost breakdown on a plate of beans?


If his business model is whack, my understanding of my duties as a consumer is to take advantage of him until he goes out of business. He can use his sale numbers to keep getting venture capital.
posted by nubs at 7:27 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


I might open a coffee shop called NO SUBSTITUTIONS

Counterpoint: I really enjoyed going to a local cash only sub sandwich shop, enough that when my kids were old enough I brought them too, and we waited in line for a while, then when it was our turn my son asked to have no lettuce. That's it. Not a substitution, just leaving off the lettuce (the sandwiches were not pre-made.) The owner said no, he had to have the lettuce. Aggressively. To his face. While holding the handful of lettuce he picked up AFTER my son had asked.

Now I have a soft spot for grumpy people, generally. Turns out I have a no substitution for simple thoughtfulness towards my kids policy, though, because we left without buying anything, have never gone back, and based on my previous consumption rate of those sandwiches, my personal commitment to non-franchise places I like (such as superdawg back in Chicago) and my childrens' demonstrated commitment to the other awesome restaurant I brought them to instead that day, that one moment of inflexibility has cost them approximately $5,400 to date and counting.
posted by davejay at 7:51 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


Now that I think of it, I also stopped going to another place after the person I went with on that occasion asked for a certain sauce on the side and the waitress came back saying no, the chef said he won't do that for you. We cancelled our order and walked, and I went from spending about $100 a month to $0 at that place, as I tend to eat out a lot. They've since gone out of business as well.

I take it back: every restaurant, please adopt a shitty inflexible policy so that I stop spending money at all restaurants out of sheer stubbornness. I will save so much money!
posted by davejay at 7:55 AM on June 11


The streets are extended lines and the lines are full of people making special requests and when the lines finally merge into gridlock, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their "no pickle for me please" and "extra kale!" will foam up about their waists and all the lunchers and dinner-eaters will look up and shout "Adopt a shitty inflexible policy!"...

...and I'll look down, and whisper "no."
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:39 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


Enh, grilled cheese sandwich guy's idea is to be very upfront and obvious about being inflexible, so no-one would have any reason to complain. I would say the fault is 100% on the customer if they get upset or offended if they approach a place with big signs saying no choices! no options! no change! no substitutes! and then ask for something different... you might as well approach a hot dog stand and demand a slice of pizza.
posted by fimbulvetr at 8:47 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Pizza is kind of half a grilled cheese sandwich with some tomato sauce, if you stop to think about it.
posted by nubs at 8:59 AM on June 11




No.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:07 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


oh oh, somebody hasn't taken my Sandwich Theory webinar yet
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:07 AM on June 11


Are you sure?
posted by fimbulvetr at 9:08 AM on June 11


Yes.
posted by jeremias at 9:36 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Can you substitute one grilled cheese sandwich for a different grilled cheese sandwich though?
posted by aubilenon at 10:14 AM on June 11


Is a food truck a sandwich?
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:16 AM on June 11


If a food truck wore pants, would it wear them like this... or like this?
posted by moonmilk at 10:23 AM on June 11


Neither, it would wear them ... like THIS!
posted by aubilenon at 10:41 AM on June 11


Frank(-N-)furter's wear garters, not pants.
posted by bonehead at 10:43 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Is a dead horse a sandwich?
posted by JDHarper at 11:17 AM on June 11


Can a grilled cheese be beaten?

(no, of course not - nothing beats a grilled cheese, amirite?)
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:21 AM on June 11


I'm just glad we can all agree on whether the truck is blue and black or white and gold.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:46 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Fuckin' Chad, man. I hate that guy.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:03 PM on June 12


its 1am, youre stumbling out of the bar or show. what do you want?

My buddy and I were in London once on vacation and offered 45 pounds for a crepe from a crepe van. They turned us down because they'd already started closing. We were (a) totally serious and (b) really drunk.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:31 PM on June 12


I prefer grilled cheese over grilled cheese sandwiches.
posted by zakur at 5:31 PM on June 12


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