Everyone I know grew up with a different grilled cheese routine. I was raised making grilled cheeses in a toaster oven, which I always thought was the best way, but apparently is a bit of an odd technique. Using slices of colby jack cheese between two pieces of lightly buttered multigrain bread, these grilled cheeses would get really crunchy and pretty gooey. I usually kept it simple, no added tomatoes, spinach or bacon. And probably weirdest of all, I always dipped my grilled cheese in honey (believe me, it’s amazing). Some of my friends swear by a side of ketchup, some bbq sauce, some honey mustard; for others a grilled cheese ain’t a grilled cheese unless it has a juicy slice of heirloom tomato in it. The most typical grilled cheesing method I’ve learned about since living on my own is in the fry pan, with a perfectly timed sandwich flip to make each side golden brown. I still prefer the method my mother taught me, but let’s be frank: a grilled cheese is a grilled cheese, always delicious, and now that we have it back on our lunch and dinner menu, it’s a part of my regular diet.
The Pleasant Pops grilled cheese is always satisfying. Using fresh sourdough bread from DC’s Lyon Bakery, we use a mix of sharp and mild cheddar cheese to get the right level of intensity. Since we shred the cheese, it melts quickly and evenly, providing a quick 4-5 minute turn around for any grilled cheese order. The panini press we use in the shop ensures both sides of the bread grill simultaneously. We serve the grilled cheese with one of our house-made pickles (for that tangy taste to balance your pallet).
One of the greatest perks about working at Pleasant Pops is that we can customize our own food that we eat during a shift. And the grilled cheese is probably the most versatile item we each play around with. Though it’s an amazing sandwich as is, here’s a look into the various minds, and stomachs, of some Pleasant Pops employees, dressing up a grilled cheese their own, very particular way.
Vickie: pickled onions (under the cheese), a light spread of Gordy’s Cherry Pepper Spread (for spice), sometimes sun-dried tomatoes and occasionally avocado.
Hannah: straight-up, as it, but always alongside a cup of soup. As she puts it, she will only have as much soup as she has grilled cheese to dip into it.
Emily: a huge mound of arugula and sometimes some hot sauce. With a side of honey.
Aaron: a healthy spread of mayo on the inside, to add a certain creaminess.
Brian: a light spread of mayo on the outside, to make the bread extra crispy.
Robin: sometimes a scoop of egg salad, sometimes a spread of peanut butter…really anything goes when it’s melted with cheese!