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:
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