HOUSTON – In honor of National Grilled Cheese Day, we’re spotlighting a local business that has perfected the art of the gooey melty sandwich. Twisted Grilled Cheese has added on to its popular food truck business by opening its first brick and mortar shop in The Heights where it boasts wilder and more twisted menu options for diners to dig into. Co-founders Erinne Willrich and Paige Palmer shared how they got into the gooey business.
“We’re in diverse Houston – a lot of different restaurants, a lot of different food markets. So, it was like ‘Well, what do we like to eat? What’s really out there? What can be refined?’ So, we thought about grilled cheese,” said Willrich.
A family owned business, Twisted Grilled Cheese first started out as a food truck in October 2019. Though offering a simple concept, the truck quickly gained a big foodie following in part due to its extremely photogenic sandwiches.
“We didn’t think that it would turn into anything like this. People liked it, and they kept coming. It was amazing,” said Willrich.
Business picked up quickly, expanding to a second food truck and a brick and mortar within a year. Palmer attributes their rapidly growing success to a special ingredient.
“I think when people think about grilled cheese, they just think about two pieces of bread and some cheese in between it, but for us it’s more just love inside of that grilled cheese – a lot of love, a lot of cheese,” said Palmer.
As the name suggests, Twisted Grilled Cheese’s menu offers spins on the classic grilled cheese, like The Tarragon Lobster, which includes lobster salad, mayo, pickles, Gruyere and provolone cheese., as well as its fan favorite The Smokehouse Brisket, comprised of beef brisket, jalapenos, an onion ring and of course loads of cheese.
“When you look at our menu like, ‘Is that a grilled cheese?’ We’re like, ‘Of course it’s a grilled cheese,’” said Willrich. “We take that concept, put a twist on it and now it’s grilled cheese. So, that kind of concept goes throughout all of our menu items.”
Another big selling point of the brick and mortar is the Instagram-worthy space. The pair came up with a design that encouraged diners to snap a pic with the art as well as the sandwiches.
“We wanted to take things to another level,” said Willrich. “What’s going to make a memory? What are people going to want to tag themselves in? Getting local artists involved where we’re making murals on the ceiling or on the patio, that sort of thing.”
And while owning a small business has its challenges, Palmer and Willrich are enjoying the golden, cheesy ride.
“We just like to have fun, and we like to eat. It makes it easier for us to think about things and bring those concepts and ideas to the table,”said Palmer. “Worry less, eat more cheese.”
For more information, visit the Twisted Grilled Cheese website.