The 9th Annual Lane County Grilled Cheese Experience: Part III

This is the third installment of our series covering this years’ Lane County Grilled Cheese Experience. To see the previous sandwiches that Robert Scherle, our photographer with high cholesterol, has checked out, please check out our first and second installments.

Jack Sprats Restaurant
510 E Main St., Cottage Grove

Grilled PBC
“Chipotle peanut butter, hickory smoked bacon and Tillamook cheddar cheese on grilled whole wheat bread.”

Jack Sprats was high on my list last year.

It was no surprise that the sandwich came to the table with a lovely coffee-brown char and gooey rolls of cheddar. The nice curve-ball of chipotle peanut butter enhanced the heaviness and made this a hearty meal. I like the Jack Sprats attitude!

Excuse the grilled vegetable side; It’s either that or I double up on my statins.

A photo of a grilled cheese sandwich sitting on a table outside on a bright sunny day. The sandwich has darkly toasted bread and has THICK, gooey cheese coming out of its side along with strips of hearty bacon. In the background, peeking out from behind the sandwich are grilled veggies including onion and broccoli
The Grilled PBC in all it’s glory. [Robert Scherle // Double Sided Media]

The Axe and Fiddle
657 E Main St., Cottage Grove

Turkey Pesto Melt
“Turkey, tomato, pesto and gruyere on herb focaccia. $18”

This was my first time here and the sandwich was amazing.

I’ve never had turkey this moist. The pesto was zesty and the grated Gruyère was fragrant. It wasn’t a grilled cheese by any stretch, though, so it’s hard to make a comparison. Great sandwich; can’t complain. But who shows up to dog show holding a turkey?

A photo of a colorful grilled cheese sandwich with slices of light colored turkey, bright red tomato, and a layer of dark and light green peso sauce with bits of basil on the bottom.
Axe and Fiddle’s entry hit the spot. [Robert Scherle // Double Sided Media]

Wheels Café
864 Goodpasture Island Rd., Eugene

“Strawberry cream cheese French toast sandwich, toasted and buttered with maple butter and filled with freshly sliced strawberries and house-made
strawberry cream cheese. Topped with powdered sugar. Comes with a warm cup of cocoa.”

I was hoping Wheels would put more of an effort into this year’s sandwich after their apathetic entry last year. I showed up for their French toast version.

The presentation was pretty but it only took a bite to realize that there was nothing French about this mess. Just sweet bread with cream and strawberries. I ended up picking the strawberries out because they were nice and fresh and dumped the rest. Something has to be a little worse than mediocre for me to dump it but this is the one criteria that the Wheels Café has met with great enthusiasm.

A photo of a French toast grilled cheese sitting in a to-go container. There's whipped cream, strawberries, and strawberry syrup on top. Not even powdered sugar can be found. Sad.
They didn’t even bother to top it with powdered sugar. [Robert Scherle // Double Sided Media]

99 Grill
290 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg

Chicken Fried Steak Cheesy Supreme
“American cheese. fried egg, hashbrowns and a chicken fried steak on sourdough. Served with country gravy for dipping. $15”

This is the veritable Swiss Army knives of grilled cheese sandwiches. The eggs and hash browns being breakfast and the country fried steak with accompanying bowl of gravy being dinner. The gooey sharp Cheez Whiz center glued it together making it suitable for lunch.

It was nostalgic, tasty, and satisfying.

A lightly toasted grilled cheese sandwich with chicken fried steak, sliced cheese, and hashbrowns. In the foreground is a big bowl of off-white colored warm gravy for dipping and/or pouring.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner all in one. No complaints here. [Robert Scherle // Double Sided Media]

Hilltop Bar & Grill
35831 Hwy 58 #2, Pleasant Hill

The Lisa
“Smoked mozzarella and fried eggplant on sourdough w/ side of marinara sauce. $17”

I had high expectations since I gathered that Hilltop was associated with Plank Town Brewing.

They surpassed their sibling with this Eggplant Parmesan sandwich. Mozzarella was piled high and and the eggplant was well-seasoned and breaded. Paired with the cup of marinara for dipping made this a joy.

Excellent sandwich

A close-up photo of a grilled cheese sandwich sitting on a white plate. The sandwich consists of fluffy bread, medium thin slices of eggplant sandwiched in-between mozzarella. There's a cup in the background.
Hilltop Bar & Grills mozzarella and fried eggplant offering exceeded expectations. [Robert Scherle // Double Sided Media]

Hop Valley Brewing Co. Springfield
980 Kruse Way, Springfield

“Apple Bacon Gouda with Honey Fig Jam”

I was hyped to get to Hop Valley Springfield after my positive experience at their Eugene branch. Sandwich got to me tepid which is usually just an expeditor/food runner disconnect.

So, beyond operations, I have to give a shoutout to their buyer for getting fine ingredients and their menu designer for putting these ingredients together for a unique and memorable meal. Just get those plates from window to table a little faster.

A photo of a grilled cheese sandwich sitting on white plate. The two halves are on the left side and consist of dark toast, thick slices of apple bacon and gouda cheese. There's a bright colored wooden toothpick sticking out of the far slice. On the right side of the plate is a bowl of corn.
A delicious grilled cheese experience despite slow delivery. [Robert Scherle // Double Sided Media]
Robert Scherle

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