Toronto Grilled Cheese Fest 2014

The first ever Toronto Grilled Cheese Fest at Roy Tompson Hall last night promised tantalizing food, beer, coffee, freebies, and great music. Unfortunately, incredibly long wait times taxed the patience for the 2,250 attendees who paid $39.99 for a chance to sample the fare.  Plagued with power issues from the beginning, this event was a tale of two cities; those fortunate to get in and sample grilled cheese heaven, and those standing in line, left to warm up with soup.

Going with the fortune of being early, we employed a tag-team strategy, by going in consecutive order, grabbing sandwiches from every stall, save for the offerings of Gorilla Cheese and Slab Burger, who, by 6:00pm, were down due to power outages.  As we watched from the rafters, people started swarming the stalls, easily overwhelming all but the vendors who came prepared. Cheesewerks and MELT Grilled Cheese in particular, had it down, with the most experience in catering to a large crowd.

FAVOURITES

  1. Artisano – Rustic Cheese and Bacon and Turkey Bacon and Provolone
  2. Cut The Cheese – General Kim sandwich, a fusion of cheese, kimchi and sweet soy pork
  3. Market Garden – ABCDEFG, a six cheese concoction of Asiago, Boursin, cheddar, dill, Edam, Fontina, and Gouda

Of mention were the soup stalls Zoup! for an addictive, home-loved Chicken Pot Pie, and Soup Nutsy for Cream of Shitake Mushroom. The soups were easily accessible for all and free-flowing. Unfortunately for some, this was the only food they could sample at the event.  We also liked the live music from Don Campbell and beers from Mill St, Creemore Springs and Samuel Adams.

Unfortunately, by 6:30 pm, the lineups created hours-long wait times for a quarter slice of gooey goodness. The Joylister team tried to explain wait times by blaming the power outage situation and debunk a ‘rumor’ that the event was oversold by 700 tickets.  Frankly, this doesn’t cut it; we hope that Joylister comes to their senses to issue an apology for ruining many peoples’ Friday nights.

All hard feelings aside, we are looking forward to Joylister’s next event, the 2nd Annual Poutine Fest this summer, and we hope lessons learned from the Toronto Grilled Cheese Fest will be applied in force.

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