It's Time to Get Cheesy

Mushroom Gruyere.jpg

Photo provided by The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen.

I got particularly hungry looking at the menu of ~THE AMERICAN GRILLED CHEESE KITCHEN~, due to open this Wednesday for lunch in South Park. The project is from Heidi Gibson, a seven-time winner of the National Grilled Cheese Invitational (yup, she must make a mean grilled cheese sandwich), and Nate Pollak. The menu will feature seven sandwiches, like the Mushroom Gruyère (pictured) with Fontina, roasted wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, and thyme butter ($9), and some of Gibson’s winning sandwiches. A couple sandwiches come on levain bread from Pinkie’s Bakery (cupcakes from Pinkie’s will also be available). (Nice feature: you can order the sandwiches on gluten-free bread.) Also on the menu: a smoky tomato soup, salads, a savory bread pudding, and when breakfast launches at the end of June, there will be bread pudding, oatmeal, granola, muffins, and more. Oh yeah, and Gibson’s winning sandwich from this year, the Sunday brunch grilled cheese sandwich (the recipe is in the link—and here’s a video about her entry in the Grilled Cheese Invitational). There are plenty of bevvies, from house-made, mixed-to-order sodas (like spicy pomegranate), to coffee from De La Paz, to beer and wine. You can look at Gibson and Pollak’s winning “New Deal” for Small Business Contest by Vertical Response video, which was made during their plywood phase—it lets you in on their philosophy behind the project, and more.

The historical building features 950 square feet inside, and 450 square feet on the outdoor patio (room for 26). Inside, there will be 18 counter-top seats, plus a kid’s bar top, with room for three-four tykes. The designer is Wylie Price (Presidio Social Club, The Monk’s Kettle, Fatted Calf Charcuterie), with a look that evokes the feel of a 1950’s American bakery-café. (Check out the images on Eater for more.) In the history department: the building was originally a tobacco warehouse—look for the freight-train tracks in the patio and lobby.

Hours for this opening week are 11am-3pm, and then starting Monday the 31st, hours will be Mon-Fri 11am-7:30pm. (The idea is that it’s more of a lunch/pre-ballgame/happy hour spot, and not necessarily a late-in-the-evening destination.) Late June means breakfast will launch, with hours beginning at 7:30am. Closed weekends, until July or August.