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Grilled Cheese Grill


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#21 nervousxtian

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 03:24 PM

It's high for cart prices. $6.75 would get me compeltely stuffed at most food carts in town. $6.75 would get you bloated at a taco truck.

#22 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:55 PM

My wife went the other day and enjoyed her sandwich a lot. The only bad thing, she said, is that the bus can get really noisy in a hurry, but that the mural is very cool.

Maybe if you flash the dome lights on and off and go "ssshhhhhhhhh", people will be quiet. Except for the rebel on the back of the bus who will keep blurting out smart ass comments right when the driver starts to cross the tracks. And then you'll just sit there and sit there... and your favorite cartoon is on! And HE'S RUINING IT FOR EVERYBODY! And the driver just keep staring into the mirror and saying, "I CAN SIT HERE ALL DAY! I AIN'T GOT NO WHERES TO BE!!!"

Whew! Sorry.... flash backs.

Did anyone else ever hold up two fingers, like a peace sign, at the tracks to mean be quiet? Maybe it was a Southern thing. Gawd I'm a freak ;-P
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#23 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:57 PM

Oh, and yeah, those were GREAT pics!!! The Pops looks amazing. But I have to say, I'm glad to not be made to feel crazy, as others have expressed my sentiment: The prices aren't just a little out of whack in my opinion. They are insane. To the point that I can't believe they actually ever came up with such high prices in their initial biz plan. And even more surprised people will shell out for it.
Am I the only one who isn't genuinely shocked by the pricing schedule? It harkens of brand new Oregon wineries (correction, wine "BRANDS") where someone starts a brand / label, buys grapes, has someone else make the wine for them, then comes out of the shoot with a brand no one has ever heard of, no background, no prestige, no history / old vines / etc., and BAM! They're inaugural release if $50-75 per bottle! Then when you ask why, they say they have to recoup their initial cost. I'm like, "In the first year?? What kind of business plan did you have?? And what kind of bank loaned you THAT MUCH MONEY without a biz plan that allows for a realistic amount of time to recover laid in costs?!?".

For two grilled cheese sandwiches, one individual serving sized bag of Tim's chips and a 12 oz can of a Coke brand soda to be over $17 is completely mind blowing to me. Real, old school, sandwich shops across the country where it's not a "hip" thing would do flips if they thought they could get more than $5 for that kind of combo. I know the ingredients are relatively high to high quality (Dave's Killer Bread is a good example). But $7 for a grilled cheese sandwich? Man, I'm in the wrong business.

In response to Nick's post, I can see where you may not think that's a lot for a sandwich because others around town are that much or more. But at places like yours, or Bunk, or MCB, or Michael's, you get a MONSTER sandwich that usually required two hands and covers two meals. The problem with grilled cheese being so expensive is that it is a category of sandwich that is SUPPOSED to be small. Not over-stuffed with ingredients, and smashed flat into the butter on the flat top by spatula. So by default, these are crisp, thin sandwiches that should only require 3 or 4 bites per half.
I think they could sell more if they treated it more like a value bundle, like White Castle (well, follow me here...). How about this: A brown bag or basket stuffed with TWO properly smashed, crisp, thin grilled cheese sandwiches, a bag of chips, and a can of pop... out the door for $5.95. Available with only one sandwich for a "lady's portion" ;-P for $3.95. HUGE profit margin there.

Best of all, this also enters the realm of "I could do it at home". Everyone has a skillet (cast iron ideally), a pat of any butter (land-o-lakes actually works here better than plugra, etc. Less obtrusive flavor and slightly lower fat content), and who of us foodies doesn't have good bread and cheese around? Though I still feel yellow singles and wonder bread is actually preferable here. Not just for nostalgia reasons. It actually tastes great and melts properly. It's the ultimate make-it-at-home-and-dunk-it-in-tomato-soup-and-watch-Roseanne-re-runs dinner.

Food that I CAN'T make at home (conveniently, if at all) is worth paying (too much?) for. Even cart foods qualify: Whiffies for example. I can't do it at home. Not really. So I'll pay a modest $3 for a huge, filling, killer, handmade to order fried pie.

Whew... so after all that, I have to say I'm gonna be a hypocrite because I HAVE to try the Pops with ham. That one looks good enough to fork over enough dough to buy groceries that would make a couple full meals. Strange it doesn't automatically come with ham though. With the bread used and the use of dijon and tomato, it seems ham would be a no brainer. Maybe a weird Portland no-meat thing. Different subject. For another time.

Maybe their prices will come down after the trial rush is over. I certainly wish them well! The cart is SUPER cute!!! And I thought the idea was amazing when I heard they were going to open this cart. And I'm sure they're real nice, passionate people. Aren't we all? ;-) But at these prices, it falls into my occasional dining category, unfortunately. :-( Not that $7+ is a ton of money in general. But categorically it is. Just can't get over it.

Reminds me of the Little Blue Waffle Cart. While other waffles carts and windows were/are selling AWESOME loaded waffles for $2 -5 bucks, the Little Blue Waffle Cart was a $4 base price, and each topping added mucho dinero to that. The average waffle, complete, was $6-7 or more. Insane. I think they're gone now, but I'm not sure.
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#24 nervousxtian

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 06:01 PM

They can charge whatever they want, if it's too much people won't buy it.. if people buy it.. then it's not too much.

That's how it works.

It's just I'm not gonna drive across town for a $6 grilled cheese.

#25 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 07:22 PM

They can charge whatever they want, if it's too much people won't buy it.. if people buy it.. then it's not too much.

That's how it works.

It's just I'm not gonna drive across town for a $6 grilled cheese.

Well stated. And true in the most basic regard. I still feel there are unspoken universal black and whites about how much is too much. But who can set that? For me, it's too high. But then again, to me the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything maybe be 43, not the correct answer: 42. ;-)
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#26 PDXChilihead

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 06:02 PM

They have a write up on Roadfood.com.

From classic grilled cheese and dessert sandwiches to the monster Cheesus Burger (with two grilled cheese sandwiches replacing the bun), the Grilled Cheese Grill allows patrons to relive their youth while typifying Portlandís eclectic culinary scene. Plus, you can eat in an old school bus!

#27 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 12:35 AM

Weird... dare I say it. But I love to be proved wrong. I still have to experience the Grilled Cheese Grill for myself to make the final call. But after reading Roadfoods.com column I think maybe the place is priced in line with sanity. I think the local reports made it seem much more expensive. Maybe because the expensive addition of meat to a no-meat sandwich boosted it into the stratosphere. But the prices Roadfoods listed seem in line. I guess $4 is not "cheap" considering the ingredients. But it's a restaurant, so there'd be no point in opening if they only charged $1.50 per sandwich to cover cost and then a little extra.
I love the school bus idea, and the capri sun, etc.

I do love the things like this that keep PDX quirky. That is, IF it's executed well... not just trendy / hip. Sounds like there is definitely some real love behind the Grilled Cheese Grill, and I am gonna check it out. Either way, I wish any new business well in making it in this tough economy.
breakin' the law, breakin' the law!