If you told 18 year old Vy (in 2004 A.D.) that he would actually enjoy spending time in Irvine, he would’ve laughed at you and screamed “G-unit!” Goofy Teenage years aside, Irvine is building a reputation with a lot of local foodies, providing interesting restaurants in otherwise mundane settings. The “Irvine Company” look is clean and uniform throughout the city. It can be a little boring, but it’s comfortable enough and you usually get free wi-fi. Hidden within these uniform designs are some modern eateries that have slowly been influencing the culture of Orange County. The Stand is classically American in it’s cuisine, bringing some comfortable classics into the modern era. Their menu of burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches don’t re-invent the wheel so much as cover it in aioli.
Short Rib Grilled Cheese
- Chipotle & beer braised short ribs
- triple cheddar cheese
- bacon tomato jam
- crispy onion strings
- hickory sauce
- Parmesan encrusted sourdough
Sourdough is really the best bread for a grilled cheese. It’s ability to crisp up and hold butter makes it the champion of the griddle. The Stand takes it to another level with a parmesan cheese crust which makes the bread even crispier and more flavorful. The Salty and nutty flavors of aged parmesan mixed with the buttery sourdough crust makes for greasy fingers and a delightful food coma.
The Stand doesn’t seem to be content with making simple food. I would’ve been happy with a simple grilled cheese sandwich but they decided to make this a fancy decadent sandwich by adding braised short ribs. It added another level of flavor to the meal as well as another inch to my waist. With crispy onions and bacon tomato jam, there’s a lot of richness going on here, some of it slightly muddled by all the ingredients. Really, these melted cheddar gets lost in the flavors of the meat and sauce, but you still get some great sharpness and texture from the parmesan encrusted on the bread.
There is so much going on in this sandwich that it’s hard to differentiate the sauce from the rest of the filling, but I think the smokey flavors in the sandwich come from the hickory sauce. There were little touches of heat that balanced out the richness nicely.
$11 may sound steep for a grilled cheese, but this certainly is no standard grilled cheese sandwich. I would argue that this moved way past the realm of “Grilled cheese sandwich” and is now a bonafide sandwich. The portion of meat is very generous and it is certainly filling enough to eat without a side. If you add fries and a drink you’re heading into the realm of a $17 meal. My opinion? share everything and don’t think about the calories.
By the way, they have a really good veggie burger! check it out:
The Stand does some great classic comfort food with modern twist. It takes a little more time for the food to come out but I assure you, it’s worth the wait. There is so much on the menu that I really want to try that I’ll likely come back with an entourage of gluttonous friends to wreak caloric havoc. The French onion soup burger and porchetta sandwich is already calling my name.
Looking for other Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in irvine? check out Grater Grilled Cheese
[Click on thumbnails to view menus]
The Stand [Irvine]
5633 Alton Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92618
Sun – Thurs: 11AM – 9PM
Fri – Sat: 11AM – 10PM
1332 Bison Ave
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Phone. (949) 873-5332
Mon – Sun: 11AM – 9PM