Grilled Cheese Truck Stop ‘Melts’ I.V. Hearts

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Photo by Jeremy Levine

Stephani Anderson
Copy Editor

As you walk on Embarcadero del Norte, it’s almost impossible to miss the bright orange-and-yellow bricks of I.V.’s newest eatery, The Original Grilled Cheese Truck Stop. This casual restaurant serves classic grilled cheese sandwiches and other comfort food that will bring you back to your childhood. The menu will surely satisfy your craving for tater tots, a wholesome three cheese sandwich, buffalo chicken melt, or even an ooey gooey s’mores melt.

It took me a while to figure out what to order because everything on the menu sounded delicious. There were a few items that stood out to me though. For $8, the Not-So-Classic Melt — which has sharp cheddar cheese, ham, spinach, and crushed tater tots — called my name.

There was also the $8 Goat Cheese Melt with roasted peppers, herbed goat cheese, avocado, and spinach on wheat bread that piqued my interest just as much. This melt reminded me of the copious amounts of goat cheese that I ate while I was in France.

I finally chose the delicious Cheesy Mac Melt ($8) which had the perfect marriage between macaroni and cheese inside of a grilled cheese sandwich. As I took the first bite, the sharp cheddar cheese and southern-style mac and cheese melted together perfectly. Although I enjoyed the creaminess and cheesiness of the melt, the bread itself was over-toasted which made it too dry.

The Original Grilled Cheese Truck Stop also has “tot boats,” which I’ve never seen anywhere else before. For $5, you can get the “IV IV,” which has spicy cheddar cheese, avocado, jalapenos, red onion, and fire roasted salsa on top of tater tots. Although I didn’t order a Tot Boat, my melt fortunately came with a few tots. These tots were a perfect combination of crispy yet soft. I craved more, so luckily my friend let me have some of hers.

If you really want to get serious about your grilled cheese, you can build your own. The Original Grilled Cheese Truck Stop allows you to add your own twist to the classic sandwich with caramelized onions, potato chips, tomato, BBQ smoked pork, and even fresh avocado. if the regular wheat or sourdough bread aren’t enough, there are also speciality crusts like parmesan, cheddar, bacon-cheddar, and jalapeno.

When you go to the Original Grilled Cheese Truck, you can’t forget about dessert. Even if you feel full after a grilled cheese sandwich, the sweets options are irresistible. There are two dessert melts: the S’Mores Melt and the Special Dessert Melt O’ The Week. The S’mores Melt has Nutella, toasted mini marshmallows, and graham crackers inside the sandwich.

The soft, sweet marshmallows went perfectly with the silky Nutella while the graham crackers added a pleasant crunch. Again, I was disappointed by the bread; it was over-done, dry, and hard. Both dessert melts cost $6.

Given the quality of the food, it’s no surprise that the Grilled Cheese Truck has won “Best Food Truck” over eight times from various media outlets and reviews. It is surprising, however, that this business started by entering the Cheesy Mac and Rib Melt into LA’s 7th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational.

If you’re looking for comfort food in I.V. in the form of a grilled cheese with homemade tomato soup ($4 a cup) or crispy tater tots (full portion for $3.50), The Original Grilled Cheese Truck Stop is a suitable place. Although the toast quality could be improved upon, this grilled cheese experience adds something new to the I.V. food scene.