Monday, June 24, 2013

Do not open your Taser Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Taser Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on UrbanspoonTrust me, do NOT open up any sandwich you get from Taser Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Or any grilled cheese sandwich, for that matter.
It's not a gourmet burger stacked with a fat patty and interesting ingredients. It's a flat sandwich. With cheese. If you open it up and see what appears to be a skimpy amount of ingredients, you might suddenly feel like you've been ripped off for the $6 (or whatever) you paid.
I say "feel" ripped off because it's not necessarily the case that you were ripped off. Sometimes, too much information biases and ruins your experience.

Taser Grilled Cheese Sandwiches has a remarkably simple setup. Instead of panini press / sandwich maker, the bread is toasted on their grill. One slice has cheese on it, and to quickly melt the cheese they put a baking sheet on it and press that down with a hot iron panini press. When the cheese is melted, they remove the baking sheet and scrape off any cheese that may be stubbornly sticking to it. The sandwich is finally assembled, pressed together, cut into two triangles for convenience, and tucked into a little brown paper bag.
Something that they do very nicely is not over-toasting the bread. It's toasted enough, but retains a chewiness to it instead of being crispy on the outside and sprinkling annoying crumbs with every bite. Sure, you get a brown bag with it, but crumbs will be on your lips and no matter what some would probably get on you.

Depending on where and when you go, the sandwich selection will be different, especially their "especial". At the Yelp Elite Food Card Festival preview (where Yelpers and their guests got in free one hour ahead of opening time, AND got FREE samples from all the food carts) I took a peek inside the Lolo sandwich we bought (after the Yelper sample hour) and found just one strip of bacon plus some sauteed onions. The Especial sample we tried had apple in it, and when I looked, there wasn't that much apple.
I was immediately disappointed both times. BUT then I thought about it: The apple did make its flavour known above the other ingredients. If they had put more in it, would that have helped or just made the sandwich soggy? There was apple listed in the ingredients, and I did taste it. Isn't that good enough?
So don't look. Trust me. If it tastes good enough, just leave it alone.

Another thing about Taser Grilled Cheese Sandwiches is that there is only so much cheese and stuff they can put in there. No matter what, you will get a lot of bread in comparison and if you focus on the "breadiness", it could feel like a rip-off. It's not a "real" sandwich where the ingredients are the focus. It's a grilled cheese sandwich where you're primarily getting toasted bread with melted cheese in it. If that's the comfort food experience you are looking for, then this will be fine. If you want a filling meal, the bread alone can be filling. If you want a sandwich packed with more ingredients, it wouldn't be a grilled cheese sandwich any more and so this is not the place to look for one.
I think Taser Grilled Cheese Sandwiches is really best when you have that nostalgic craving for a grilled cheese sandwich. The price is not bad considering what else is available under $8 from a food truck. It's a hot dog alternative at a hot dog price. IF you are willing to pay $2 to $3 more, you can definitely get something a lot more interesting from another food cart or cheap eats place.

Cheese cools rather quickly. If you wait even one minute, your sandwich may well have cooled down too much and your experience won't be the same. That was what happened to our Lolo sandwich. My Yelper friend and I were looking for a place to sit so she could take it out of the bag and take a proper picture. Mistake. It became lukewarm. I recommend you eat your sandwich right away.

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