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Ms. Cheezious restaurant will feed your inner 11-year-old

.@MsCheezious moves from food truck to restaurant.

 

★★★ 

The other night, I was reminded of how far the grilled cheese sandwich has come. And maybe how far I've come.

The first real cooking duty I was ever assigned involved cheese slices, rye bread and Campbell's tomato soup. I was 11. My sister had just turned five. No doubt, today's parents would bristle at the thought of allowing an unsupervised preteens near an electric range. But somehow, we made it.

The memory came back as we sat at the 6-month-old Ms. Cheezious, the brick-and-mortar outgrowth of the successful Ms. Cheezious food truck. I was devouring the Frito Pie Melt ($7), with house chili, American cheese, jalapenos, onions and Fritos on sourdough bread. My restaurant-critic bona fides ought to prevent me from loving this. But the 11-year-old part of me wanted more of this salty, gooey, crunchy, beefy mess. No wonder readers of the Daily Meal website last month named Ms. Cheezious the No. 1 food truck in the country.

The problem with grilled cheese, however, is that a craving for melted cheese and bread is quickly sated. That didn't stop us from divvying up four more sandwiches.

There was the barbecue pulled pork melt ($8) with sharp cheddar on thick Texas toast. The pork is made in-house and the result is divine. Short rib melt ($10) pressed braised short rib, Jack cheese, pickled caramelized onions and arugula between sourdough slices.

Among the newfangled grilled cheese sandwiches is goat cheese and prosciutto ($8) with tomato and arugula on marble rye. This is a good choice for the non-cheddar crowd. Or consider the Southern fried chicken and waffle melt ($9). It combines fried Murray's chicken and cheddar between two buttermilk waffles. It's served with country gravy and maple syrup. I'm not much of a gravy guy, but that maple syrup made for one very good sandwich.

People who don't eat meat will like the barbecue tempeh melt ($7), with Jack cheese, tomatoes and arugula on sourdough. For dessert, try a s'mores melt ($7), with roasted marshmallows, salted-chocolate-hazelnut spread and graham cracker crumble on sourdough.

Along with sandwiches, Ms. Cheezious serves delicious Buffalo chicken wings ($7) made with Murray's chicken. A timidly seasoned turkey-three-bean chili ($5) is topped with sour cream and green onions. And you will not be disappointed with the mac and cheese ($4), made with Gouda and topped with Parmesan. Add house-cured bacon ($3), turkey chili ($3), barbecue tempeh ($4) or that incredible barbecue pulled pork ($3).

There's plenty of craft beer, with much of it coming from such local spots as M.I.A. Brewing and J. Wakefield Brewing. A nice little wine list includes an out-of-place $120 bottle of Hartford Court Pinot Noir.

Owners Brian Mullins and business partner M. Christian Dickens not only have a standalone restaurant, but a spot to prepare for their two food trucks that routinely travel as far north as West Palm Beach. It may be South Florida's most awarded food truck, with accolades from the Burger Beast blogger and Miami New Times.

At the restaurant, where a neon sign with the Ms. Cheezious mascot juts from the front of the building, guests order from a counter and find a seat in the 44-seat dining room. Its walls are covered in reclaimed wood, subway tile and bare cinder block. Even the tables are made of reclaimed wood. An outdoor area called the Garden has seating for another 90 people at picnic tables under an old banyan.

This was my first Ms. Cheezious experience. I came away thinking that grilled cheese sandwiches are best consumed by 11-year-olds. I still make a mean one. For those who don't, Ms. Cheezious is your gal.

jtanasychuk@SouthFlorida.com or 954-356-4632. Read his blog at SouthFlorida.com/Sup and follow him at Twitter.com/FloridaEats.

Ms. Cheezious

7418 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

305-989-4019, MsCheezious.com

Cuisine: Grilled cheese

Cost: Inexpensive

Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily

Reservations: Only for parties of 10 or more

Credit cards: All major

Bar: Beer and wine

Sound level: Moderate

Outside smoking: Yes

For kids: Highchairs

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Parking: Nearby street parking

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