Quest for the Holy Grilled Cheesus

Posted by Monika Wegener, Apr 27, 2011

This past weekend, nestled in the lot of Film LA just North of Downtown LA’s most massive and expansive skyscrapers gathered a large group of cheese, bread and butter enthusiasts. The Grilled Cheese Invitational has a very distinct demographic and for many, the goal is to leave filled with the homey, gooey goodness of a grilled cheese sandwich. I braved crowds that were dense and thankfully not as sweaty (if only slightly so) and hungry as last year’s to find the best and bravest grilled cheeses. There was a bit (ok, a lot) of high-pitched screaming and good deal of arm waving that went into finding said sandwiches.

In my opinion there is no point in going to this event if you are not a judge. If you are not a judge you can look forward to long lines for steeply priced food trucks/ tables, two free Tillamook basic, boring, dry grilled cheese sandwiches, chips, water and a pickle. I mean, really? That’s ridiculous and doesn’t sound fun at all. So if you go, sign up to be a judge for the grilled cheese contest.

This year, the judges were held back from the cooks by and industrial strength crowd control barricade and they were not served by the cooks but by runners. In order to get the runners attention (thus getting a sandwich) one had to scream very loudly and wave frantically. One man next to me clapped like a dolphin while making baby noises to get a sandwich.
Grilled Cheese Top Picks:

Mendocino farms “Asian Pork Belly Cubano” - Caramelized Korobuta Pork Belly, Prime Honey Ham, Provolone, House Made Chili Sauce, Asian Pickles, Chinese Hot Mustard on Panini Grilled Ciabatta. The Mendocino farms grilled cheese was amazingly flavorful, had a great crisp bread and tangy, earthy, gooey filling. I would go so far as to name this as the best grilled cheese this year.

“Tongue and Cheese”- Beef tongue with Jack cheese, grilled onions and red bell peppers on Sesame seed bread. “Tongue and Cheese” had a great ratio of cheese, tongue and bread. Although the tougue was a little overcooked and chewy the sandwich was bold, greasy and easy to eat.

Overall this festival is a good time, you will see amazing food, you will eat said food, and you will leave very satisfied. I would not suggest spending more than three hours here, it can get very redundant, and the amount of cheese consumed can be sickening.
2011 Grill Cheese Invitational Results


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