Monday, April 26, 2010

The Virgin eats her weight in cheese

#39 Never Have I Ever: Been to the Grilled Cheese Invitational

I don't know how someone discovered cheese (I assume someone saw the floaty bits in sour milk and thought to themselves, "Hey, that would be pretty tasty on a cracker!") but it is delicious on basically everything. Baked potatoes, tortilla chips, spinach omelet, Mexican rice... man, I can go on listing off the awesomeness of cheese-based foods a la Bubba from Forrest Gump all day long.

But you know what's weird? It wasn't until college that I tasted a grilled cheese sandwich.

I'll let you digest that for a second.

I grew up super sheltered from food and have spent most of my adult life making up for it. It was a spiritual experience the first time I ate macaroni and cheese at Warped Tour when I was 16 (oh god, I can feel the acne and teenage angst resurfacing as I type this). I've never had fondue, cranberry sauce, or casserole. I still don't know what the hell stuffing is nevertheless eaten it.

But man do I love me a simple grilled cheese and tomato sandwich browned to perfection with a side of warm tomato basil soup. Goddamn...

The Down and Dirty: Daywalker, Gemini, and I lined up 30 minutes early for the 1st 8th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational in downtown Los Angeles. Hundreds of people were already waiting on this absolutely perfect sunny Californian day itching to get their hands greasy and stomachs happy. I donned my obnoxiously bright yellow skinny jeans for the occasion but I later learned that I was not the most ridiculously dressed attendee there (who knew that costume contests were not only applicable but practically required at cheese-themed events?).

Although we didn't get a chance to register as judges for the amateur grilled cheese competition, there was plenty of processed curd to go around for a price. Tons of vendors were selling their own cheesy concoctions including the Grilled Cheese Truck where I snagged a melt-in-your-mouth Southern Mac N Cheese Sammich. Daywalker and Gemini snagged a "Band Camp" sandwich from "5 times fucking grill cheese champions" Hot Knives. Made with aged cheddar and apple butter, it was an interesting twist to apple pie.

After a while the crowds got too intense in the vendor area so we swiped a cup or six of free tomato soup and all the free grilled cheese sandwiches we could carry (sharp cheddar and sourdough, mmm) courtesy of Tillamook, the cheese sponsor of the event, and sat ourselves in the lovely grassy shade.

We finally left after a couple hours when we discovered that yes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. We lethargically waddled out of there, hearts pumping laboriously and stomachs calorically content.

The Afterglow: Bread, butter, cheese, victory! -- no substitutions for victory.

We ate our $10 ticket's cost in free samples so I'd say it was worth it. I wish we could've judged the competition -- or at least been spectators. But there were a lot of entertainment otherwise like the cheese-based poetry competition. Or a musical performance by Mike O'Connell.

As we were waddling out of the venue, I suddenly heard a madman sing the following and just knew I couldn't go just yet:

[fast forward to 2:55 to see/hear what the hell I'm talking about]

And with his last strangled, high-pitched scream, we made our exit. It was the perfect cheesy ending to our happily bloated adventure.


  1. I love the concept of your blog but I must admit the last few entrees have been a little weak. Please step up your game. :P

  2. I WANT a mac and cheese sammich now! It's my new goal in life. Great post.

  3. @anonymous - Unfortunately, I agree. My new workload is eating up more time than I would like. And, forgive me for being so narcissistic and blunt, but I also lost some motivation when I realized this blog wasn't garnering much interest or feedback. I still do a few new things every week, but I lack the charisma to write about it if no one is going to read it. Kind of sophomoric, but it's the truth.

    Hopefully, I can rally myself up again cause I've done some awesome things in the past couple weeks!

  4. Oh my goodness, that sounds like HEAVEN. I'm crazy jealous right now. Slash probably going to go home and make a grilled brie-and-raspberry-jam-wich.

    Okay, no I'm not. But I'm going to fantasize about it and then eat another stupid salad.