Posts Tagged ‘Grilled Cheese’

Recently, we visited a few places that I had previously visited, enjoyed and reviewed, but, I think that most restaurants deserve a second visit, don’t you?  I like to see if my first impressions of places hold true to the second visit…

Kesone Thai Lao Bistro

Pad Thai with Chicken

Shortly after redeeming our first LivingSocial voucher for Kesone Thai Lao Bistro, I got an opportunity to purchase another one.  Since both my husband and I enjoyed the place, I jumped at this opportunity … I mean, hey, it’s Thai food!  This time around, I definitely wanted Pad Thai, mostly because I knew my husband had planned on amplifying the heat on his Pad Thai plate, and while I do enjoy the spicy, I wanted to enjoy it a little less spicy than he desired.

With this visit, I noticed that again, our appetizers were brought out at the same time as our entrees.  Again, this is not a complaint, because the food was brought out so quickly it wasn’t as if we were waiting very long at all for anything.

This time, we selected the appetizer sampler plate ($9), which included three different appetizers – two summer rolls, six golden bags and two chicken sa-tay.  I found the chicken sa-tay to be somewhat dry, but the golden bags were crispy and delicious, and I loved the fresh crunch of the summer rolls.  I have been wanting a good summer roll for a while now – I mean, sure, I love the crispy, golden-fried deliciousness of a spring roll, but, there is something about that fresh, minty taste of a summer roll that really brightens the palate.

The Pad Thai was just as delicious as I remember.  The chicken was cooked nicely – a little dry, perhaps, but not to the point of being overly chewy.  And really, when it comes to Pad Thai, it really is less about the chicken for me and more about the noodles.  I love the delicious rice noodles that have been coated with the spicy sauce, the crunchy texture from the bean sprouts and the crushed peanuts… Pad Thai really is a culinary delight.

Will we be returning to Kesone Thai Lao Bistro – YOU BET!


Photo from Grilled Cheese Grill website, click on the pic to go there.

We’ve actually been to Grilled Cheese Grill a couple of times since my last review.  What can I say, I love a good grilled cheese sandwich, and I really like how the folks at Grilled Cheese Grill take a good thing (the classic grilled cheese) and push the envelope with it!

Case and point would be my newest favorite sandwiches from GCG:  The Jalapeño Popper ($5.75)!  Oh. My. Goodness.  This sandwich is GOOD!  Spicy, yes.  Be ready with something refreshing to cool the palate.

The sandwich is made with freshly roasted jalapeños (not the jarred stuff), colby jack cheese, cream cheese and corn tortilla chips sandwiched between two pieces of sourdough bread and grilled to golden perfection.  I ordered mine with bacon (add $1.75), because, what doesn’t taste better with bacon, right?  This sandwich is absolutely incredible.

I think that the GCG prepares the jalapeños themselves, because I didn’t notice any of the seeds or membranes of the pepper in my sandwich.  This helped to reduce the heat a little in my sandwich, and thus allowed some of the fruit notes of the pepper to emerge.  It was still HOT, make no mistake, but it wasn’t too hot.

The colby jack is melted and gives a nice, chewy texture to the sandwich.  The cream cheese is a little on the light side, but, I don’t think more cream cheese would have made this a better sandwich.  As it was, the cream cheese added a little bit of sweetness and curbed the heat of the jalapeño just enough.  The tortilla chips did not add any real crunch to the sandwich (although the crispy, grilled outer crust of the sandwich certainly did!) but it did add a nice dimension of flavor, and really added to that “popper” kind of taste as promised with the name of the sandwich.  The bacon … well, let’s just say that without the bacon, this sandwich was delicious.  But WITH the bacon, this sandwich becomes insanely irresistible, absolutely memorable, and completely crave-able.  I really, really liked this sandwich, and I’ll definitely order it again sometime.

On another visit, I ordered the Southsider ($5.75), which is artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and mushrooms with mozzarella on sourdough bread.  This sandwich is also really outstanding, tasting a bit like a gourmet pizza in sandwich form.

The artichoke hearts were pickled and added a tangy flavor to the sandwich from the pickling, while the sundried tomatoes gave this a delicious base flavor … although, if I had been putting the sandwich together myself, I think I would have added more tomatoes (but then, I love sundried tomatoes).  The mushrooms I think would have been a little better if they were thicker cut, but they still added a nice, earthy flavor and pleasing texture to the sandwich.  This sandwich was very filling and satisfying, and one I’d recommend if you’re really hungry.  This one filled me up.

Will we be visiting Grilled Cheese Grill again – ABSOLUTELY!  It’s become my favorite cart in Portland … although, I admit that I’ve not visited many carts YET!

I’ll be reviewing a couple of “revisits” again soon … specifically, the Burger Bungalow and Soi 9 Thai Eatery.

Today, April 20, is the 2nd Birthday/Anniversary of the Grilled Cheese Grill – the rather unusual food cart/old school bus parked on Alberta Street.  To help celebrate, the Grilled Cheese Grill is offering all their sandwiches at just $4.20 each!  (Yeah, I get it!)  So, of course, I had to stop by and wish them a Happy Birthday (and enjoy a sandwich, of course!)

Location:  1027 NE Alberta Avenue in Portland, OR

Order:  the Stickles Sandwich, the Jennie Lou Sandwich & a bottle of Tazo BrambleBerry Tea

What I Think:

Grilled Cheese Grill is one of the more unique food carts of Portland (and we’re known for our food carts here in Portland!)  All they serve are … you guessed it!  Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.  But these aren’t your ordinary American-Cheese-between-two-slices-of-white-bread-and-grilled-until-golden grilled cheese sandwiches (unless you want them to be).   These are some very unique (and tasty!) grilled cheese sandwiches that make you rethink what a grilled cheese can be.  Click here to go to their website for a look at their menu!

The Stickles Sandwich

I have been to the Grilled Cheese Grill on a couple of occasions, now, and I have never been disappointed by what I’ve ordered.  I usually order the BABS, which is the Bacon, Apple, Blue Cheese and Swiss on Marble Rye, and it is awesome.  But, today, I decided I’d like to try something a little different and I tried the Stickles.

The Stickles Sandwich (regularly $5.75, today it was just $4.20) starts off on one of the best breads I personally have ever tasted:  Dave’s Killer Bread.  It is made locally with all organic ingredients and tastes the way bread should taste.  This bread is layered with Tillamook Pepperjack cheese, thin avacado slices, fresh red onion slices and roasted red peppers and then grilled to golden perfection.

And it was AWESOME.  The pepperjack and the onion together provide a delicious zing, while the avocado cools down that spicy kick just a little bit, and the roasted red pepper offers a little contrasting sweetness.  The sandwich was grilled perfectly:  the bread was crispy and golden while the cheese was melted and had some stretch!

The Jennie Lou (regularly $5.75, today it was just $4.20) is one of their “sweet” sandwiches, and it was rather tasty as well.  Havarti cheese and crisp bacon grilled between two slices of maple bread.  You can also choose to make this sandwich vegetarian by substituting apple for the bacon.  I didn’t go vegetarian on this one, but I think it would have been better if I had, as the bacon here was rather forgettable.  It was overpowered by the richness of the Havarti cheese and the sweetness of the maple bread.  Overall, a good sandwich, but, if you really want them to WOW you, I recommend the Jaime Sandwich.

My Final Thoughts:

If you’re in the area today, GO to Grilled Cheese Grill and enjoy the sandwiches at just $4.20.   Having been to the Grilled Cheese Grill a few times now, I can say that while I’ve come across a few sandwiches that aren’t my favorite, I’ve never come across anything that was so disappointing that I wouldn’t return.  I love the uniqueness of this place!  Grilled Cheese Grill is an example of the kind of place that is helping to “Keep Portland Weird”!

Grilled Cheese Grill (Food Cart) on Urbanspoon