I like my grilled cheese sandwiches lightly toasted in the middle but with a little charcoal from grandma’s pan dangling off the edges. Not because of the taste, but because it reminds me of the slow breeze coming through grandma’s kitchen as I’d read a magazine and listen to the 11:30 am news in the background.
You know, the summer of ’92.
Then came along gourmet grilled cheeses served from a fancy truck. Alright, I’m not hatin’, but where’d grandma’s style go?
Grandma never wore a hat that looked like a marshmallow, but her toasted cheese sandwiches were warm, buttery, cheesed-out love.
That’s when it dawned on me like a sunrise. I’m going to build a grilled cheese coffee shop that presents grilled cheese sandwiches like they’re gourmet, but really makes ‘em like grandma did on those sunny, summer days. Ya dig? The catch: the customers will think they’re falling in love with these masterpieces because of their culinary sophistication, but really they’ll be smitten with the warm, loving energy we received back when our squirmy legs couldn’t reach the floor of grandma’s kitchen.
Here’s the routine: A customer gets their coffee from the counter, like normal, then sits down and has to give a secret cue for a server to come and take their grilled cheese order. Maybe the secret cue could be lightly talking to themselves while rocking in their chair or letting out a genuine, child-like laugh.
The server, wearing a disheveled, un-tucked black button up, bracelets, and expressive headgear (bandanas, headbands) will approach the customer's table and wait until eye contact is initiated.
Then they’ll break into the secret grilled cheese script.
“Welcome to your covert grilled cheese experience. Please don’t tell anyone about this.”
Patrons who don’t know the code will be forced to watch on with jaw-dropping envy.
“Would you like your masterpiece served on a square or round plate?”
The server will let the customer take all the time they need with this important, vibe-setting question.
When ready, the server’s next question will be, “Would you like your masterpiece cut diagonally or down the center?”
No matter the selection, the server will respond with excitement— jumping up and down or doing a dance is permitted.
“Outstanding choice,” the server will affirm. “And next, would you like the halves stacked or laid flat by themselves?”
There server must use body language to communicate that time is not a factor.
“Absolutely splendid choice. Chef Marshmallow will prepare it just like that.”
Then the server will ask the main event question of the grandma-style grilled cheese experience.
“And for the final selection of the evening, would you like your grilled cheese sandwich grilled, baked, blackened, or pan seared?”
This is the part of the script where our excited, grilled cheese fanatic could have questions. And oh, do we have answers.
“How could a grilled cheese be baked?” our curious, mouthwatering guest could inquire.
“We’re glad you asked. For our baked preparation, your uncooked grilled cheese will be placed in a pan and smothered with tater tots and cream of mushroom soup. It’ll be baked at 350 degrees for precisely the length of a daytime weather report.”
“And grilled?” they might pump.
“Your uncooked grilled cheese will be held by the chef over a Bunsen burner and waved and flipped with precise timing to give each square centimeter of your sandwich an equal toasting, all while a grandfather tells the chef how it was done in his day, which usually involves sticks and a fire started by rocks.”
And if the customer quizzes about the blackened preparation:
The server, still in a professional tone, will let these words come from the heart, “Just like grandma would when she got too caught up in her soap operas and forgot to flip it.”
Once a selection is made, the server will repeat the order back, then announce, “Your grilled cheese will be served with chocolate milk and a stack of magazines, including the last 3 issues of Highlights.”
Then the marshmallow-hat man will cook the masterpiece behind the scenes just as grandma did. The opened, kitchen windows will invite in a warm breeze, loops of daytime news will play nonstop, and occasionally the marshmallow man will tell the server about playing cards and sipping decaf coffee at the local rec center with the “old hens” that morning.
The server will run the finished masterpiece, the chocolate milk, and the magazines to the table, drop them on the customer’s left side, then fall to their knees, close their eyes, and ask, “Is there anything else you need on this summer day of ’92?”
Then the server will stand up and leave the table by bowing from the waist with each backwards step.
Boom. The energy will be what the soul needs, the presentation will be the masses think they want.
A combination that pleases the creative gods and feeds the flowing octopus tentacles known as commerce.
The name’s Kent. You can call me Kent-Diggity-Dawg or Kent, Your Daddy’s Sheriff.
I’m a new contributing writer to this introspective blog. Here to reflect like a mirror about grilled cheese, fairy tale characters, and a little project I have brewing called Naked People Being Creative. It’s actually about energy, not nudity. Contributors can be artists, writers, designers—doesn’t matter as long as it’s done with paper and pencil. The end user will have to decide if the contributor was really naked when they created their art based off how the piece's energy is received. More on that soon.
I’d love to keep vibin’ but my words are up. I’m about to keep my WWE Network marathon going. Currently on Summer Slam ’94 with no plans of stopping until Royal Rumble ’98.
But first, coveralls and a cruise on my moped.
Get at me.