Spreadin’ the cheese: Miss Cheesious targets February start date
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • October 07, 2011 @ 7:57am
(Update: The grilled cheese truck will no longer be called “Miss Cheesious,” largely because of complaints from Miami over a similarly-named vendor. Now, Andrzejak’s truck will be called “The Cheesy Chick.” Her Facebook page can be found here.)
For awhile, prospective food truck owner Alexis Andrzejak wasn’t even planning on grilled cheese. “I was aiming for more of a grilled sandwich truck,” she said, “but then it dawned on me that everything I tested had cheese on it. So why not a grilled cheese truck?”
As the idea evolved in her mind, Andrzejak contemplated names. “I initially thought of the ‘Grilled Cheese Wagon,’” she explained, “but then I saw ‘Mister’ on a sign—switched it to ‘Miss’—and then considered different ways to end it.” We definitely got a chuckle at her truck name—Miss Cheesious (which sounds a lot like ‘mischievous’ for those slow on the draw)—which inevitably will be a hit.
Now, Andrzejak is in the final stages of making her food truck dream a reality. She has already received a quote from Miami Trailer Inc., a truck retailer recommended by the Roaming Buffalo’s Christopher Taylor, submitted her designs and now waits to sign paperwork from her bank. She hopes to officially order her truck in December before opening in late February 2012.
Jumping on the social media bandwagon early, Miss Cheesious already boasts Facebook and Twitter accounts. Since food trucks and their ever-changing locations rely on quick communication to the masses, early familiarity for both vendor and customer is prudent. Plus, our stomachs rumble in jubilation whenever she posts a new grilled cheese photo.
If you Google “grilled cheese Buffalo,” you find a slew of recipes but no restaurants. Regardless, grilled cheese trucks and restaurants are popular throughout the U.S., with major vendors based in Los Angeles, Boston and New York City.
For her menu, Andrzejak plans to offer both simple and complex options—from basic melted cheddar on white or wheat to more advanced options. “I want to take something simple and put a spin on it using more sophisticated ingredients,” Andrzejak mentioned. Want to know what she’s been testing?
— ABC Grilled Cheese: fresh cheddar cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, homemade roasted onion mayonnaise and fresh Granny Smith apples on sourdough bread.
— “Pears on the Loose!”: Gorgonzola cheese, sliced pears on cinnamon raisin bread.
— “The Italian Whizzler”: Smoked mozzarella, prosciutto and arugula on Italian bread.
— Inside-Outside: Melted sharp cheddar cheese on the inside & crispy golden brown cheddar on the outside, all grilled on fresh buttered Italian bread.
(Fine, we made up the names in quotes ourselves, but the ingredients are things Andrzejak tested).
In addition to several cheesy menu items, Andrzejak expects to offer pot soups as well, with tomato obviously being the leader. The hot fare will certainly serve Miss Cheesious well in the winter, as few foods combat the cold as well as grilled cheese and tomato soup. In the summer, lighter salads—some including fruit, Andrzejak says—will be offered as sides.
Even with the Common Council still mulling over food truck legislation, Miss Cheesious’ future caretaker, a self-taught chef and unemployed school teacher, remains undeterred. In fact, she spoke fervently in support of the food trucks at the most recent public Common Council forum, explaining how Buffalo’s slow action served as an obstacle for her employment. “Seeing other trucks popping up (like Roaming Buffalo and the Whole Hog) made me push forward, motivating me to reach my goal,” she said.
In the end, though, the real draw is the grilled cheese itself. “It’s a familiar comfort food,” Andrzejak says. “Who doesn’t like grilled cheese?”