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American Meltdown's success comes from complicating the grilled cheese

Posted March 18

Paul Inserra says no one should be cranky about a grilled cheese sandwich.

Grab a sandwich from Inserra’s food truck, American Meltdown, and you’re sure to prove him right.

He first brushes the sandwiches with a butter-and-oil mixture, and then drops them on a hot griddle until the bread turns golden and crispy and the cheese oozes out of the sides. Inserra has been grilling up sandwiches out of the truck for five years now, and he said the brand has survived because they do more than just grilled cheese.

“I think we came out with a very different marketing approach where it was going to be melts, so you could maybe complicate the grilled cheese a little bit more and get away with it,” Inserra told the 919 Beer Podcast.

Complicate is right. A fan favorite is the Pigs ‘n’ Figs sandwich, which loads black mission figs, speck and local goat cheese onto sourdough bread.

For a meatier sandwich, try the Dirty South. Inserra slathers homemade pimento cheese, sweet corn and local Andouille sausage on bread from Durham’s Guglehopf bakery and then slaps it on the grill until the bread is crisp and the cheese is bubbly.

Now, take a bite of that and just try to be cranky.

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Get the inside track on all things beer in the Triangle and North Carolina from the 919 Beer blog.