Thursday, April 29, 2010

Grilled Cheese Invitational - 2010

This is the last cheese related post of the day. This past weekend about 8,000 Angelenos lined up to attend the 1st 8th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational. Unlike at the innagural LA Street Food Fest, the lines to get in moved very quickly. Admission was $10 and entitled attendees to a sample of a Tillamook grilled cheese sandwich and the opportunity to purchase mini grilled cheese sandwiches from a variety of vendors.

The lines for purchasing sandwiches/food was frequently very long, a consequence of less than 10 vendors selling grilled cheese sandwiches and the capacity crowd of 8,000 excited fans and judges.
The best of the sandwiches I ate was the fresh burrata with cherry tomatoes and salsa verde from the Campanile/Point booth. It was $4, double the price of the other sandwiches. Spendy but tasty. Chef Mark Peel was there in person working the grill.

Chef Eric Greenspan of the Foundry on Melrose and the upcoming Grilled Cheesery was also there grilling up with his staff. His line blended in with the Hot Knives folks, making it confusing.

It was fun and a good vibe but it was too hard to actually get some of the product. Waaaay better than the LA Street Food Fest, but there was still room for improvement if your goal was to sample several grilled cheeses that you couldn't normally get. I skipped the Grilled Cheese truck as their product is available all the time - why wait an hour in line in the heat for something that I can get another day without the wait?

Also sampled the Greenspan sandwich and one called "band Camp" from the Hot Knives folks which included cheddar and apple butter. I found it way too sweet - the apple overpowered everything else. The lines at Hot Knives were also the worst and most confusing as there was one line to pay and another to get your sandwich. As the lines were so long and the Hot Knives folks changed their offering each hour, when you got in the ordering line there was no way to know what sandwich you were likely to get when you finally made it to the front of the food line.

The photos to the left are of Mark Peel at the griddle and Eric Greenspan at his tent.

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