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I'm a young professional living in Astoria (formerly of Williamsburg, the UES and Murray Hill - I move a lot!). I'm always looking for something fun to do or the best place to grab a drink and dinner at an affordable price around the city. Have a suggestion? Email me at Laura AT 89thandbroke DOT com.

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Gorilla Cheese NYC: Most Disappointing Meal of 2011

Congratulations, Gorilla Cheese NYC.  You win the most disappointing meal I’ve had in 2011.

Gorilla Cheese is a new grilled cheese truck that launched a few weeks back.  When it parked outside my office the other day, I quickly saved the lunch I brought in for the next day, and headed to the truck with my co-workers.

After waiting behind about 25 people in line, my co-worker Jason and I decided to do splitsies.  We split an American cheese with ham on French bread ($6.50) and gouda with pulled pork and onions on whole wheat ($8.50).  We read online that free dipping sauces were included, but there was no mention of the free sauces at the truck.  The truck people were friendly though and said we could get a free sauce.

When the server called my name to pick up my sandwich, I was a tad surprised. I’m not sure what I was picturing my sandwich to be like – if it was supposed to be more of a panini or what because it was on French bread – but it was a regular old square grilled cheese.  The dipping sauce I requested wasn’t in the bag, but I asked the truck folks for sweet Thai chili sauce, and they handed that over.  Other sauces included a balsamic glaze and a ginger sauce.

We got back to the office, unwrapped the sandwiches…and were underwhelmed. The American cheese with ham looked like a soggy Wonder Bread sandwich with a thin slice of ham and some Kraft singles. The specialty pulled pork was kind of a mess – not a ton of flavor.  Occasionally you’d get a bite of onion that reminded you that you were eating a pulled pork and grilled cheese sandwich.  The savior of the grilled cheese was the sweet Thai chili sauce, and I dunked my sandwich in that to kick it up a notch.

Gourmet grilled cheese has become quite the rage, and you may remember my trip to Queens Kickshaw a few weeks back.  Those grilled cheeses left me in a food coma.  With Gorilla Cheese, I could have easily polished off two sandwiches, no problem.

I like going out to eat because 9 times out of 10, a restaurant makes a better dish than I could have made myself.  I’ve made much better grilled cheeses in my 26 years than Gorilla Cheese (um, Trader Joe’s Colby cheese and Country Hearth bread…heaven).  Therefore, I won’t be returning.

The Basics
Name: Gorilla Cheese NYC
Location: Mobile Truck
Who to Bring: Self, Co-workers
Price: $ Sandwiches under $10
Overall: 1 star. Very disappointing. Not worth the 25 minute wait.

Gorilla Cheese NYC Mobile Food Truck on Urbanspoon

6 comments to Gorilla Cheese NYC: Most Disappointing Meal of 2011

  • Thank god someone else agrees! If you are a food business and you have, as a “specialty item,” american cheese with ham for $7 (which is the price it was when I went), then you are really should just pack up and leave town. The truck screamed, “I’m in it for the money and have no passion for food.” They had a griddle that was not being used while they cooked one sandwich at a time in a sandwich press with a line of 25 people. Yet still, I hear people talking about how excited they are about the Gorilla Cheese Truck! Aside from the stupid name, this truck has got serious issues.

  • Doug

    Here is my theory on grilled cheese – simple is better. You know who makes the best one – Friendly’s. It is two slices of bread with cheese on it, and maybe tomato if you want it, with fries and honey mustard on the side. When I order grilled cheese, that’s what I’m seeking, not some revolutionary sandwich with weird ingredients that don’t mix. Sometimes I think we need to all agree as a society that a food item has reached its peak and quit trying to improve it, and with the grilled cheese, I think we are ready to do just that.

  • Carole

    They must be doing something right if people like you waited 20+ minutes to buy a grilled cheese. I agree with Doug, with certain foods, simple is better.

  • Personally, I think the wait was mostly people who hadn’t tried it before. It was the second time the truck has been in our neighborhood, and I know the party of 5 that I was with are all newbies. Looking to see if this line will continue or if people will wise up after their initial encounter.

  • sarah

    ugh. I guess I’ll be avoiding Gorilla Cheese :/

  • Jason

    I echo Laura’s sentiment with how disappointing of an experience this was and that it’s only popular at the moment due to its newness. While I do believe that sometimes simple is better, this is just too simple. It neither satisfies in portion size or great flavor. I wasn’t left wanting two go get a second one because it was so good, I was left wanting to go get something else immediately to suppress my hunger.

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