The Miami Heat just got a bit cheesier.
Justise Winslow, the 19-year-old who joined the squad as a first-round draft pick this year, has partnered with Ms. Cheezious' Brian and Fatima Mullins to serve as a "brand ambassador." He joins the fledgling grilled-cheese outfit whose roster has now grown to include food trucks and a brick-and-mortar location in the MiMo district. They're also planning a second location, Brian Mullins told New Times over the summer.
Local and national celebrities buddying up with Miami restaurants is nothing new. Remember DeVito's South Beach? But the Ms. Cheezious-Winslow collaboration seems built more on the obsession everyone shares for the eatery's lineup of ungodly rich sandwiches.
"When I first arrived in Miami, they were one of the first food spots I checked out, and we struck up a conversation in person after I tweeted about their grilled cheese," Winslow said in a news release.
They'll now work together to create a Winslow custom grilled cheese. Meanwhile, the small forward will make public appearances around town for the company. No word yet whether he'll be available for drunk high-fiving when the truck makes its weekly stop outside Wynwood watering hole Gramps.
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At the same time, Ms. Cheezious seems to be one of the few food trucks surviving and prospering since the early years of Miami's food truck craze. Latin House Grill went on to open a store in South Miami-Dade, and Jeremiah Bullfrog's Gastropod now enjoys a semipermanent, occasionally open home in Wynwood. Few others have enjoyed such success. Latin Burger, opened by Ingrid Hoffmann and Jim Heins, went on to open a short-lived brick-and-mortar on Miracle Mile. Richard Hales' Dim Ssam à Gogo seems to be a mostly catering kitchen now. And the beloved arepa truck Mr. Good Stuff is running food-and-beverage operations for a handful of Miami Beach hostels.
Sure, there are still Burger Beast-sponsored roundups happening monthly. But the chips seemed to be stacked against food trucks. Cities across Miami-Dade squeeze them out of street-side spots, and with rents skyrocketing across town, the jump from truck to store seems ever harder. At least a few have made it.