Dollar-Wise Gourmet: Grilled Cheese, If You Please


“Grilled cheese for a buck—WTF?,” a slogan I once heard at a Grateful Dead concert, rang through my head as I pursued this month’s Dollar-Wise. My mission: to find the tastiest grilled cheese, at the best prices, in the Sacramento region. Here are five gooey-good ’wiches under $7. For the best value, pick one that includes a side. (Many do.)

THE PLACE: Old Soul at The Weatherstone 812 21st St. THE ’WICH: Havarti, white cheddar and Swiss cheeses with sautéed spinach on sea salt focaccia THE SIDES: A lovely green salad with red onion, feta and balsamic vinaigrette THE COST: $6.25 THE TAKE-AWAY: A knockout. With Old Soul’s incredible bread, a tantalizing blend of cheeses and the inventive addition of spinach (just a smidge), it’s no wonder this is one of the most talked-about grilled cheeses in town.

THE PLACE: Boudin SF 2573 Fair Oaks Blvd. THE ’WICH: Great Grilled Cheese, with havarti and sharp cheddar cheeses on Parmesancrusted sliced sourdough THE SIDES: Potato chips or mixed greens, served simply and lightly dressed with balsamic vinaigrette THE COST: $6.99 THE TAKE-AWAY: It’s the Parmesan-spiked bread that kicks this ’wich into orbit.

THE PLACE: Dad’s on J Street 1004 J St. THE ’WICH: A blend of jack and American cheeses on hearty white bread THE SIDES: Steak fries and a 16-oz. drink are included. THE COST: $6 THE TAKE-AWAY: Generous on the cheese—it oozed over the side with every bite—this is one delicious, yet simple and homespun, sandwich. Good fries, too. But try to avoid the lunch rush: This place gets packed.

THE PLACE: Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen Mobile food truck THE ’WICH: The Tricycle, with cheddar, Swiss and havarti cheeses and garlic aioli on sweet French bread THE SIDES: Steak fries and a 16-oz. drink are included. THE COST: $5 THE TAKE-AWAY: A buttery, crispy slice of cheesy heaven. As I wolfed mine down, several passers-by eagerly asked, “Where’d you get that?”

THE PLACE: Cheese Louise 1009 Ninth St. THE ’WICH: Classic California, with cheddar and pepper jack cheeses and sliced tomato on sourdough THE SIDES: For an extra $3, the combo buys you a fountain drink and one of eight sides, including sweet potato fries, soup and mac ’n’ cheese. THE COST: $4.95 THE TAKE-AWAY: Satisfying enough. But even better was the Tuscan: a grilled chicken, provolone and sun-dried tomato pesto creation on rosemary focaccia ($5.95).