As far as many children are concerned, there is perhaps no better meal option than grilled cheese. This combo of soft, melty cheese and warm, crunchy bread has been a favorite since it was first invented in the early 1920s. Yet, in recent years this dish has become increasingly popular with adult audiences as chefs across the country have helped introduce a gourmet spin on this sandwich standard. That’s especially true in Texas, where kitchen gurus and Austin culinary graduates alike have offered up a slew of unique takes on the classic grilled cheese recipe. Here are just a few spots in Austin that are slinging grilled cheese:
1. Emojis Grilled Cheese Food Truck: Though it’s stationed in an actual truck, Emojis remains mostly stationary at its permanent home on Chicon Street in East Austin. From time to time, though, you’ll find the Emojis truck parked outside of special events and random local breweries. No matter the locale, the Emojis staff serve up several different kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches. In addition to classic versions like ham and cheddar and tomato and basil, Emojis menu includes sandwiches with roast beef and provolone cheese, the Italian Meatball, and grilled chicken and pesto. Be sure to enjoy your sandwich with one of several specialty lemonade blends, like mango, raspberry, kiwi or coconut.
2. Burro Cheese Kitchen: Though the restaurant also serves a selection of locally harvested cheeses – like gouda, brie and manchego – it’s most famous for its use of Balkan burro cheese. Also called Pule, this cheese, made from the milk of Balkan donkeys, reportedly costs $750 per pound. As such, Burro the restaurant tends to market itself as a distinctly artisanal eatery. The Burro menu includes sandwiches like the Via 206 – with sour dough bread, gouda cheese and apricot balsamic vinegar – a gourmet version of ham and cheddar topped with a fried egg and dulce de leche, and the Waylon & Willie, which features aged cheddar, gouda, spicy bacon caramelized onions and pepperoncinis.
3. Bouldin Creek Cafe: Unlike some of its counterparts, the Bouldin Creek Cafe has a slightly more diverse set of culinary offerings. In fact, the restaurant, a kind of bohemian cafe located right on 1st Street, is just as much known for its selection of street tacos, salads, gourmet coffee and assorted other sandwiches. If you’re in the mood for hot, gooey cheese, though, Bouldin delivers with the Grilled Cheese Con Hierbas. In case your Spanish is rusty, that last bit means with herbs, and the sandwich’s inclusion of cilantro and basil has garnered it a ton of local praise. Yet the Con Hierbas can also be stacked with so much more, including red onions, avocado, jalapenos, spinach and fresh kale.
4. Savery Grilled Cheese: As a traditional food truck, Savery splits its time between stops at Silicon Labs, the Barton Skyway, Quarry Oaks, Four Points and more. The truck also features a rotating menu, with fall 2015 focusing more on a slew of warm seasonal ingredients. Sandwiches include the Taco Guaco, which pairs taco meat with tortilla chips and Mexican sour cream, the Smack N Cheese – a cheddar sandwich with pulled pork and macaroni – and Game Time, a hearty sandwich full of cheddar, bacon, roasted jalapenos and green onion spread. Feeling creative? You can customize a sandwich with ingredients like jalapeno havarti cheese, chipotle pesto, grilled eggplant and roasted vegetables. Or, why not end your meal with something sweet? Savery offers cookie dough egg rolls and the Sugar & Spice, a dessert sandwich with candied pecans and cinnamon cream cheese layered on grilled pumpkin bread.