There’s a new incident to report — The Grilled Cheese Incident food truck.
Armed with many years of culinary experience, Mike McGourty launched his bright orange rolling business in October 2014. His first gig was San Luis Obispo’s Octoberfest celebration, and since then he’s established some fairly regular routes around the area.
Lunchtime locations near businesses are noted on social media pages, as are stops at breweries and wineries.
The Grilled Cheese Incident also often participates at special events; the food truck will be one of the vendors at the upcoming Seven Sisters Craft Beer and Music Fest at El Chorro Regional Park in San Luis Obispo.
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If McGourty’s name seems familiar, it may be because he spent many years as chef of the Cracked Crab restaurant in Pismo Beach.
“I really love the Crab and all the opportunities they gave me,” he said. “But after 10 years, it was time for something a little different.” However, he didn’t want that next step to be something as all-consuming as another restaurant.
“I wanted to start a little smaller, so the food truck seemed logical,” McGourty explained. “After so many years in a kitchen," he added, "it’s been nice to have a change of pace — to go around town, interact with guests, and see their faces.”
In determining what to serve from his food truck, McGourty took his cue from trucks in other cities. He realized that those selling grilled cheese sandwiches were always among the most popular, and also appealed to a broad range of people — from meat eaters to vegetarians, from kids to adults.
“The bread is really a naked canvas that gives me a lot of options without having crazy overhead,” McGourty said.
Currently, all of the sandwiches are served on various breads from Brian’s Artisan Bread Company in Atascadero, including sourdough, cracked wheat sourdough and French. (There is no gluten-free choice yet, but McGourty hopes to add one in the near future.)
Typically, The Grilled Cheese Incident offers four tempting sandwiches, all with two different kinds of melted cheesy goodness.
The favorite option is probably the Quintessential California with Havarti and Jack cheeses, smoked applewood bacon, tomato and avocado.
That bacon is also in the Dragon, along with English mustard-ale cheddar, sharp cheddar, balsamic onion jam and sliced apples. Sweet meets heat in the Tavern Popper, with Jack cheese, cream cheese, fire-roasted jalapeños and a side of raspberry sweet chili dipping sauce.
For those wanting a breakfast-served-all-day kind of possibility, go big with the Hangover. Another of The Grilled Cheese Incident’s most popular sandwiches, it features cheddar cheese, Muenster cheese, a fried egg, shredded potatoes, roasted poblano peppers and bacon jam.
Obviously, McGourty’s menus will always be cheese-centric, but he often creates other sandwiches as well.
Recent specials have included a slow-cooked pulled pork sandwich with barbecue sauce and coleslaw, beer-bathed brats with caramelized onions and Maytag blue cheese and a tuna sandwich made with poached local albacore.
By all reports, The Grilled Cheese Incident has found such a following that McGourty and his wife and business partner, Annie Lynch, are hoping to expand, doing more events and getting out to a wider area.
“We’re really floored by the amount of support we’ve had,” he said. “Everybody in the community has been so receptive and helpful.”
As always, McGourty urged everyone to “Stay cheesy, my friends!”
The Grilled Cheese Incident
Routes and stops listed on Facebook.
The cuisine: Grilled cheese sandwiches on breads from Brian’s Artisan Bread Company are sometimes joined by specials such as pulled pork.
Expect to spend: Usually $6-$8.