Grilled Cheezus brings the ooey-gooey goods to Mills 50

Pulling strings

Grilled Cheezus brings the ooey-gooey goods to Mills 50
Photo by Rob Bartlett

When the hunger pangs hit during an after-work meetup last year at Brew Theory, Grilled Cheezus really came through. There aren't many dining options in the secluded pocket of downtown Orlando where Brew Theory's taproom is located, so the grilled cheese sandwiches being prepped behind the bar were like a godsend. "Cheezus saves," I said to my pal. "Praise Cheezus," he responded, and we both waited for lightning bolts to strike us down.

Earlier this year, in March, Grilled Cheezus opened a location in the high-traffic hotspot of Mills 50, sharing the old Bites & Bubbles building with cookie maker Phat Ash Bakes. It's a cozy little space, but before you enter, make sure you're parked along Mills Avenue, and not in the two parking lots flanking the eatery — they're reserved for customers of King Cajun Crawfish and The Hive.

With the parking situation and the limited seating inside, Grilled Cheezus is really geared for takeout orders, but I like my grilled cheese sandwiches hot and still gooey, so my pal and I take our seats, take in the Hendrix and Sabbath playing overhead, and wait for our orders. There are candle holders on the tables with yellow wax inside. "That looks like cheese," I say. "I think you're hungry," he pipes back, and we talk about the influence psychedelics and acid have on classic rock.

Hendrix's "Voodoo Child" had played mere moments before we bit into the "Voodoo" ($13) sandwich and, child, there was some voodoo between those thick slices of Pullman brioche: smoky brisket, pickled onion and a peppery sauce, blended with yellow cheddar and white American cheese.

"This sandwich is right up there with my all-time favorite sandwiches," says my dining comrade. He later went on to describe Grilled Cheezus as "The Jeni's Ice Cream of sandwiches" and foresaw a day of Grilled Cheezus ubiquity. With offerings like the "Yo Adrian" ($13), I can't say he's wrong. This one came with ribeye, sweet peppers, caramelized onions and yellow sriracha, cheesed up with provolone and white American on ciabatta. The bread, sourced from Village Bread & Bagel in Jacksonville, is waffle-pressed, resulting in the ideal grilled cheese texture — a crisp exterior with a melty string-puller of an interior.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ROB BARTLETT
Photo by Rob Bartlett

Not sure if I've ever witnessed a better cheese pull than the one proffered by the "Grilled Cheezus" ($9). The squidgy troika of cheddar, mozzarella and white American cheese made it an Instagrammer's dream.

All sandwiches, BTW, are served with a tomato bisque soup dipper, which leans a bit sweet. With the "Truffed Up" ($17), we kept soup dunks to a minimum to preserve the flavor that Truff's Black Truffle Infused Hot Sauce lent the Brie, white cheddar and mushroom sandwich. We probably shouldn't have ordered two strips of candied bacon ($5) to enjoy with it but, c'mon, candied bacon. It was our dessert, though cookies by Phat Ash Bakes are also offered (the banana cream pie is can't-miss), as is a brioche s'more ($7).

Maybe I'll try that next time. And a few more of the 17 sandwiches offered. I don't doubt for a moment that I'll have another "come to Cheezus" moment.

GRILLED CHEEZUS: 912 N. Mills Ave., 407-412-5006, grilledcheezus.com, $$

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