I miss grilled cheese. It’s a silly thing to miss; most celiacs I know miss pizza or bread or cookies. I miss those things too but not the way I miss grilled cheese, a treat I loved to order off of room service menus when traveling. Is there anything more decadent (yet simple) and comforting than a crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside grilled cheese sandwich?
Until now I’ve been getting by making my own grilled cheese once in awhile but my grilled cheese leaves something to be desired. My homemade gluten-free bread is too dense, I can never seem to figure out the right blend of cheeses and I have a tendency to burn the bread.
This weekend I satisfied a grilled cheese sandwich craving with a trip to The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco. The restaurant, as the name suggests boasts a menu full of grilled cheese sandwiches, from the traditional to the gourmet. But the best part for grilled cheese deprived celiacs like myself is that most sandwiches on the menu can be made on the restaurant’s homemade gluten-free bread (for an additional 50 cents). I had the most traditional sandwich on their menu, the Mousetrap, which features a blend of Tillamook sharp cheddar, havarti and Monterey jack cheeses. I added applewood smoked bacon for an additional $1.50. Some of the menu’s more unconventional offerings included the Moscone (fresh mozzarella, fontina, roasted tomatoes, basil-lavendar pesto and kalamata olive tapenade) and the Jalepeno Popper (chevre, Monterey jack, bacon, apricot-jalepeno relish).
So did the sandwich live up to the hype? The gluten-free grilled cheese did not disappoint. My sandwich arrived with a piece broken off and to the side but my son’s gluten-free grilled cheese was intact. The bread was thick but airy, not at all dense like so many gluten-free breads. The combination of crisp, perfectly grilled bread and warm melted cheese was exactly what I have been missing.
Sandwiches range in price from $6.00 to $9.00, with an additional charge for extras like pickles and bacon. All sandwiches come with an apple on the side. Soups and salads, as well as a variety of beverages, are also available on the menu.
The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen is located at 1 South Park Avenue, Suite 103A in San Francisco. They are open daily for breakfast and lunch. Check their website for hours, menu and pricing.