Ahh, the joys of 2016, when the delights we had relegated to childhood nostalgia have suddenly resurfaced: colorful trucks full of delicious things driving around, melty grilled cheese sandwiches. In their new incarnations, though, our fond flashbacks are updated—that truck is graced not with a Mr. Softee but rather a tattooed lady, and the cheese in that sandwich is far less orange (and with a lot more braised short rib).
If grilled cheese and food trucks are both in style, Bostonians have James and Mike DiSabatino to thank. Fresh out of college and unable to afford opening a restaurant, the brothers started slinging sandwiches out of a truck in Cleveland Circle in 2011. The City of Boston was so impressed with the culinary excellence of Roxy’s and other early mobile pioneers that it created designated food truck locations all over town. Today those sandwiches bring cheesy joy to hungry lunch-goers in a rotation of spots. Building on that success, the brothers have also opened three brick-and-mortar shops: in Allston, Lynnfield and, most recently, a buzzing barcade in Central Square (a collaboration with Michael Krupp of Area Four).
Of course, we can also thank James and Mike for bringing the grilled cheese renaissance to Boston; our tried-and-true American snack has officially entered the realm of creative cooking. Take the Mighty Rib Melt: Short ribs are braised until pull-able and mixed with BBQ sauce before being wedged in with fontina and caramelized onions. Then there’s the Green Muenster, with crispy bacon and fresh guacamole accompanying the namesake cheese (grab some napkins, because this one oozes in the best way).
Purists might take issue with these new twists on a classic; stuffed with so many other ingredients, the line between “the grilled cheese” and “the sandwich” begins to blur. We’d argue, though, that Roxy’s has done a great job of keeping cheese—abundant, melty, and carefully selected—the star of the show. That fontina is perfect in the Mighty Rib, for example, not bland nor overpowering alongside the sandwich’s many other flavor combos. But why get technical about it? Even the best of sandwiches gets way better when its outsides get crispy and its insides get melty-soft.
Roxy’s brick-and-mortar location in Allston has literally the only pinball machine in Boston (that we know of) where you can still play for a quarter.
Follow @RoxysGrilledChz on twitter for daily truck locations.
We learned it from Bon Appétit in 2015, but the DiSabatino brothers knew it well before then: The secret to that perfectly browned toasty bread is a slathering of mayonnaise.
Competing in season two of The Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race, Roxy’s was among the top three finalists, not to mention the overall winner of a challenge that involved butchering and preparing an entire pig.
Tastes of Roxy's Grilled Cheese
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