Arts, Features

FreeP vs. Food: Grilled Cheese

FreeP vs. Food is a recurring series, where we send four FreeP staffers to four food establishments in the Boston University area to try a similar item from each place. We give each place a letter rating based on the quality of the food, the service and the ambiance of the restaurant.

This round, we’re asking the question: Who serves the best grilled cheese around campus?


FeelGood BU

“The FeelBueno” grilled cheese sandwich at Warren Late Nite’s FeelGood. AUSMA PALMER/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

By: Sarah Readdean

When the Warren Dining Hall closes and Late Nite Cafe opens every Tuesday, BU students take over the Impinger station, handcrafting custom grilled cheese sandwiches. After piling on handfuls of shredded cheddar and mozzarella, these sandwiches are placed in a panini press for the perfect level of ridges and burnt-ness.

But this week, FeelGood BU’s opening night deli left me disappointed. As a loyal customer who drops everything and runs to the dining hall when the clock strikes 10:30 after a lengthy debate of what ingredients to stuff my sandwich with, I was surprised by their inconsistency. But then again, everyone has their off days. Maybe the presses and the pressers were just a little rusty from winter break (although hopefully not literally).

I went for the “FeelBueno” sandwich this week, because the “Mmm… Spicy” just wouldn’t be the same with the atypical absence of jalapenos.

The reason I don’t usually feel bueno after eating FeelGood BU’s sandwiches is because I scarf them down too quickly without taking a breath of air between bites. Yet this time, I didn’t feel too bueno out of dissatisfaction with my sandwich.

It wasn’t burnt enough, nearly still raw, although the amount of cheddar was all that I had hoped for.

With an array of cuisines to pick from in the form of grilled cheese — from Mexican to Italian — and dessert choices, like one filled with chocolate, everyone can find something to enjoy with a mound of Fritos chips on the side. This is especially when they make custom sandwiches with whichever toppings suit your fancy.

The $6.50 price is on par with other Late Nite dining options, and with proceeds benefiting CHOICE Humanitarian, a non-profit striving to end extreme poverty, what could be better? I can’t help but donate to charity and enthuse over warm, stuffed grilled cheese each week. The only thing they need to change? Start feeding me in Warren Late Nite every day of the week.

Grade: B+


Roxy’s Grilled Cheese

“The Allston” grilled cheese sandwich from Roxy’s Grilled Cheese in Allston features goat cheese, fig jam, arugula and caramelized onions. LAURYN ALLEN/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

By: David Simon

Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, occasionally located outside of the College of Communication in the form of a food truck, has a permanent sit-down location in Allston.

One of the sandwiches that can be found on Roxy’s menu is called The Allston, which is composed of goat cheese, fig jam, arugula and caramelized onions. This blend of flavors comes together to form a solid sandwich, albeit more so in taste than in physical form.

The minimal use of onions adds a slight sharpness to balance out the sweet flavor of the fig jam, creating an effective contrast so that the taste of the sandwich has depth without one layer of flavor overpowering the others. Additionally, the use of goat cheese in lieu of other cheeses reduces the potency of the cheese, keeping the sandwich from overwhelming the consumer with the combined sharpness of cheese alongside the onions.

The sandwich was cooked to a shimmering golden-brown, resulting in a crunchy texture to balance out the sloppy-tasting jam and cheese fillings.

The one notable shortcoming of “The Allston” is that it’s somewhat messy in form, with the fig jam and the goat cheese both mildly pouring out of the bread as soon as you take a bite, in part due to the warmth of the sandwich. While this is only one fault, it is arguably a determining factor in what makes a good grilled cheese.

For $7, you can’t do much better than this sandwich comprised of surprisingly complementary flavors. If the consumer can handle stockpiling on napkins, this grilled cheese is a worthwhile lunch.

Grade: A-


Cheeseology

The four cheese grilled cheese sandwich at Cheeseology in Boston University’s Union Court at the George Sherman Union. CHRISTOPHER GOUGH/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

By: Kaitlyn Riggio

Cheeseology is one of the more well-known restaurants in Union Court at the George Sherman Union. It is arguably known as a solid spot on campus to grab a delicious, cheesy dish.

The menu features “Intro to Grilled Cheese,” a sandwich on white bread with five slices of American cheese, along with a variety of “Advanced Grilled Cheese” options, which rotate weekly. I opted for an “Advanced Grilled Cheese” option this week: the “Four Cheese” grilled cheese. All of the “Advanced Grilled Cheese” options, just under $7, are worth it, especially if you’re using dining points.

The four cheeses on the appropriately-named sandwich are provolone, fontina, mozzarella and cheddar.

Before even taking a bite, one thing is abundantly clear: four cheeses are a lot for one sandwich. The cheese practically oozes out of the sides of the bread before you even pick it up to eat. Definitely not to-go friendly.

But if you’re dining in, you’re in for a real treat. All four cheeses featured in the sandwich are great, but the fontina really ties everything together. It has a sharp flavor that cuts through everything else and rounds out the sandwich. It’s something that sets it apart from a grilled cheese you’d whip up in a dorm kitchen with some Kraft singles.

The white bread that the sandwich came on had a nice sear to it, which gave it a solid crunch. However, I’m not sure if it was the best bread for the job. White bread tends to be too thin to hold on to all of the cheese involved in this sandwich, evidenced by the fact that a huge glob of cheese fell out shortly after I started eating. Not a deal breaker, but a thicker type of bread could take this to the next level.

It’s also worth noting that this grilled cheese is heavy. It’s definitely not a light-snack-before-dinner kind of sandwich. But if you’re looking for a big meal to keep you full for a while, this could be the way to go.

Grade: B


Starbucks

The sourdough grilled cheese sandwich from Starbucks in Boston University’s Union Court at the George Sherman Union. HARPER WAYNE/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

By: Harper Wayne

The Starbucks “Grilled Cheese on Sourdough” is a piping hot mess of oil served on wet sourdough. After going to two Starbucks locations on campus, I finally got my hands on their grilled cheese. I received the bag fresh out of the toaster oven and quickly rushed to a table in the GSU to get the full experience.

The bread, spongey with olive oil, was initially too hot to touch. My fingers pressed into the hot bread and came into contact with jack cheese.

The cheese-to-bread ratio of the grilled cheese was not disappointing, but the overabundance of oil made the bread soggy.

The sandwich is a good between-classes-skipping-lunch snack. But be warned, you will need to stop and wash your hands before, after and during. The excess oil was a tad bit of a turn-off for me, but I know I’ll crave the quick, indulgent snack from time to time in the future.

The first half of the sandwich was hot and fresh out of the oven, but after making a trip to South Campus in Northeast January, the oil and cheese hardened into the bread, so the second half was not nearly as enjoyable.

The size of the grilled cheese was appropriate for the $5.25 price point and pleased my tastebuds.

Overall, due to size, price and cheese-to-bread ratio, I would come back around for a Starbucks Grilled Cheese on Sourdough, but it would not be my go-to of the menu.

Grade: C+

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