Come February 1, you'll no longer have to chase the girl in the polka-dot bikini around Miami to get your cheesy fix. That's because after a long wait and much anticipation, everyone's favorite food truck, Ms. Cheezious, will finally part the gates to Grilled Cheese Heaven.
Brian Mullins, Fatima Mullins, and M. Christian Dickens are the trio not only behind the Ms. Cheezious brick-and-mortar but also the Ms. Cheezious compound on Biscayne Boulevard across from the resurrected Vagabond Hotel.
Think of the Ms. Cheezious compound as the post office: Trucks deliver and pick up shipments, and all major operations are headquartered there. "We're always going to have something going on here," Brian Mullins says. "The trucks will come back here to load and unload, as this will be our commissioner kitchen." Basically, this is where all the magic that you've come to know, love, and hunt down via Twitter will happen.
A 1925 house has been totally redone and trademarked with the familiar Ms. Cheezious blue door and red awning. Inside, Duke (the house American bulldog), a conference table, a bar (naturally), and tons of swag make the place feel less like corporate offices for the expanding brand and more like a home. "The plan is to hit up New York, Dallas, Vegas, and Dubai," says Dickens (whose eyes, by the way, are the same bright azure of the trucks). "We'll start with a food truck and then develop into a brick-and-mortar just like we did here." Clearly it's a business model that's worked for the trio.
The two food trucks chill in the backyard, and a gate swings open to the brick-and-mortar. Mismatched lawn chairs and 75-year-old antique button chairs fill the space. "Go ahead -- sit on one," Dickens prompts. They're deceiving comfortable. "Don't you just want to be here all day?" That's exactly the point. With the addition of games like cornhole and Cards Against Humanity, along with an extensive beer list curated by Dave Crisafi from South Florida Beer Blog, Ms. Cheezious is a place you'll never want to leave.
Even better is the fact that you'll no longer have to walk up to a window and sit on concrete as you down your barbecued pork melt. Instead, you'll walk up to the concrete counter inside the eatery to order one of the staples -- or something new. "We'll be smoking our own bacon and meats, pickling things in-house, and other cool stuff," Mullins says. Think house-grown lettuce, tomatoes, green sorrel, red-veined sorrel, mizuna mustard, ruby streak mustard, Tuscan/dinosaur kale, and collard greens in their very own backyard. "That's all Fatima. She's the one with the green thumb." Mullins, on the other hand, is the handyman. Because of conflicts with the city, which have delayed the opening, he's pretty much built the counter and much of the restaurant himself. "We represent all four corners of the world to get all this stuff," Dickens adds.
What he means is that much of the furniture at Ms. Cheezious has a story. Take, for instance, the wooden walls, which come straight from a 100-year-old barn in Texas that Fatima procured by drinking shots of moonshine (not a bad bargain). The bench inside the entrance is from a parish in Paris circa 1812. And the piece that holds condiments and silverware hails from a meatpacking plant.
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As for the food, Ms. Cheezious will offer the truck menu, as well as lots of new stuff like a croque-monsieur. "We can't have it on the truck always because the béchamel is a process," Mullins says. "But now that we have this space, it will be on our daily menu." There will also be salads (for the healthy people who don't want to gorge on cheesy goodness), wings, and gluten-free options. Sunday barbecues in the backyard will also be a thing.
"We're excited. The boom of this area has been a long time coming. We can't wait," Mullins enthuses. Neither can we.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha