The other night, I stopped by Cheese Wizards on my way home, with dreams of eating the best damn grilled cheese ever made in a truck. So I was primed to like them, and even more primed by the charm of their Dungeons-and-Dragons meets Harry Potter “Menu-nomicon.” The proprietor made a career switch from biotech to street food, and the transition is evident. Their concept is very carefully thought out, their set up is top-notch (they pre-melt the cheese with a thermal hair-dryer wand!) and their hearts are in the right place, but I wasn’t enchanted—it tasted, somehow, over-thought.
The spicy “Durin’s Bane”—Manchego cheese, pickled jalapenos, spicy cappicola and "Wizard's Fire" aioli on french bread—was not terribly spicy, and the only salient flavor was the pickled jalapeno. The bread was good but not exciting. If I’m paying $9.50 (after tax) for a grilled cheese—in which the main ingredients are bread and cheese—the bread better be doing backflips and playing the tuba. Also, the cheese overwhelmed the other ingredients, which is fine because it is, of course, a grilled cheese, but I felt a bit duped, like the meat and jalapenos were there to make me feel better about how much the sandwich cost. The sandwiches come with dipping sauce, which is nice (though given the price...), but the spicy Chinese mustard I selected was so spicy as to render anything it touched inedible. However, their tomato soup is truly magical. Sorcerous, even. These Wizards certainly have a few tricks up their sleeves, but unless they have a spell that lowers prices and simplifies the menu, I may not return.