Walter Mencken 10:06 a.m., Feb. 6
Don't Order Your Grilled Cheese From a Kiosk (Especially If It's Not on the Menu)
I went to Bird Rock on an errand a couple of weeks ago and found myself hungry. My daughter was hungry, too, so we peeked in at Bird Rock Yogurt, a tiny little kiosk of a place right outside the Starbucks at Forward Street and La Jolla Boulevard.
They had a handwritten sign advertising the day’s special sandwiches and wraps, but I wanted simple, plain, and quick. I asked the woman inside if she could do a grilled cheese, and she said no problem even though it wasn’t on the menu. She offered our choice of bread, cheese, and whatever else. We went with cheddar on wheat, mine with tomato, my daughter’s without.
The wait was a long one, but not unpleasant. It was a beautiful day, and we sat at one of the little tables in front of the kiosk while we waited for our food. A nearby fountain trickled, and little birds hopped about.
The food was blah. Our sandwiches were lacking that grilled-cheese-made-in-a-restaurant quality that usually makes them so tasty. I don’t know how she made them. They were warm, and the cheese was melted, but the melting was likely done in a toaster oven instead of a pan with butter. The little booth is really tiny, not even room enough for more than one person — so that would make sense.
The strawberry smoothie we ordered, however, was just what a strawberry smoothie should be. Sweet, cold, and fresh. Clearly, ordering from items on the menu is the best option.
Next time, if we stop for a sandwich, we’ll choose from the menu — something cold that doesn't require melting. A wrap is probably more suited to kiosk dining.