It’s safe to say: The Grilled Cheeserie Melt Shop — the beloved food truck now in its brand-new bricks-and-mortar home — is so good, it hardly needs my two-cents. The daily queues at the Hillsboro Village fast-casual restaurant since its Jan. 6 opening speak volumes alone. But mark my words: Crystal De Luna-Bogan and her husband Joseph have captured all the flavor and comfort of the gourmet sandwiches, soups and sides that made their mobile eatery so popular. Even better: With an expanded kitchen and dining room, they are able to offer more cheesy goodness, more soup and salad options, and a Milkshake Bar.
When we arrived early one weekday for our first taste, a long line greeted us. No worries: It moved along efficiently. If you’re already a Cheeserie aficionado, you’ll find your favorites on the menu, such as the B&B of Tennessee (buttermilk cheddar, bacon and apple-shallot jam), and the over-the-top Pimento Mac-Cheese. New to the roster is the Spinach-Artichoke, which combines everything you love about spinach artichoke dip (enhanced with Swiss-Gruyere cheeses and leeks) between the griddled slices of rosemary-garlic bread. It might be my new favorite. Pair it with a cup of roasted sweet red pepper-tomato soup (a respectable vegan preparation kicked up with basil-parsley gremolata) and enter a blissful world of upscale comforts.
The Spinach-Artichoke Melt at the Grilled Cheeserie combines everything you love about spinach artichoke dip between the griddled slices of rosemary-garlic bread. (Photo: Nancy Vienneau / For The Tennessean)
We also enjoyed the Harvest Melt. Double-cream brie is its star, supported by layers of roast turkey, butternut squash and pumpkin seed pesto.
Lots of tots: Crisp potato nuggets come lightly seasoned or drenched in cheese sauce, green onions, bacon. We opted for simple and helped ourselves at the condiment station to some “tot” sauce (a Grilled Cheeserie specialty that is neither ketchup nor cocktail sauce nor hot sauce, but draws inspiration from each).
A classic vanilla malt shake at the Grilled Cheeserie. (Photo: Nancy Vienneau / For The Tennessean)
And because there’s only so much you can eat at a sitting, we’ll wait until next time to order the sweet potato chips — compelling with their dip of whipped goat cheese and fried sage leaves.
Oh, and about that Milkshake Bar. Say yes. As hard as I vied for the Frozen Mexican Hot Chocolate (the name alone beckons), my dining companion wanted a classic vanilla malt. And, the Melt Shop could also be called a Malt Shop, delivering a rich, luscious churn.