Few things have the power to take you back to your childhood the way s'mores, mac 'n' cheese, Frito pie, and grilled cheese do. And there's really no reason, as adults, we should give up any of them, especially when we can have them together -- thanks to the fine folks behind the roving food truck turned brick-and-mortar Ms. Cheezious. "We've been wanting to do these items for a while," says grilled-cheese whiz Brian Mullins. "It was just a matter of waiting for the right time."
To celebrate its permanent location, Ms. Cheezious threw a grand-opening bash Friday night that invited fans and avid followers to nosh on never-before-served items such as the s'mores melt, along with specials from the past five years, which are now a permanent fixture at the MiMo restaurant. In other words, no more hunting down the sexiest sandwich lady in the Magic City for a Southern chicken 'n' waffle melt or short rib melt.
Brian Mullins, Fatima Mullins, and M. Christian Dickens are the powerhouse behind Ms. Cheezious, and they now have a place not only they can call home, but also where patrons can feel right at home. Last night, a family shared a plethora of grilled cheese sandwiches while playing Connect Four. "I'm still trying to find the original Simon," Dickens says of his board game collection, which includes Go Fish, Jenga, Scrabble, and the original Uno. "Earlier today, we had a guy bring his mom with cancer. It was so touching because she doesn't want to leave the house but chose this as her one outing. Those are the moments that make this all worth it."
Brian Mullins caught in action.
Dickens' charisma and way with words was evidenced at Friday night's grilled cheese party when he, along with Brian, thanked the crowd for their support since the beginning. "Now you have a place to find us," Mullins said. Dickens added after stealing the mike: "I just have one more thing to say. I'd like to thank the Townes family, who donated the 100-year-old barn that you see the wood from inside."
All in all, it was a night of revelry. Artist DELVS (who's also Fatima's sister) was on hand painting a genie-looking Buddha.
Many guests also took pictures with her work inside -- the profile of Ms. Cheezious herself.
Memories of the evening were captured by a photo booth with props bearing clever phrases such as "say queso" and "cheesy love."
The crew that makes grilled-cheese magic happen.
Hordes of grilled-cheese lovers crowded the window of the truck while waiting for the next batch of sandwiches to come off the grill.
The highlight of the night, however, was probably when it was announced that at 10:30 p.m. the s'mores melt would be ready. This new creation fuses roasted marshmallows with salted chocolate hazelnut spread and graham cracker crumble on sourdough.
Another new creation is the mackin' melt ($7), which pairs delightfully with a hangover. Creamy Gouda mac 'n' cheese and house-cured bacon share space between two perfectly buttered and grilled slices of sourdough that grease up your fingers with every bite. Calories don't really count when you're talking about the mac daddy of grilled cheese.
"I have a feeling the Frito pie melt is going to be the next big thing," Brian Mullins said. "It's everything." The sandwich packs house-made chili, American cheese, jalapeños, onions, and Fritos ($7). Have it with a beer and remember the days when you couldn't legally drink. "I loved Fritos as a kid," Dickens said. "I still do."
If you can't decide between the two, you might not even want to consider the plethora of other options, such as the croqueta monsieur ($8), the house-smoked turkey with fontina and rosemary honey ($8, another newbie), and the monstrous patty melt ($10).
All of them go extremely well with a game of corn hole in Ms. Cheezious' backyard. "It's a place to forget about your worries for an hour," Dickens said. Indeed, it's comfort food in a comfortable setting.
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