On our next stop of Classic Connoisseur, we’re visiting a Checkers in Florida. This trip provided two foods for me to sample. This post will tackle their Grilled Cheese Strips.

I should note that while I’ve known of Checkers pretty much my whole life, this was my first experience actually eating at one. Our location did not offer indoor seating, so the meal was eaten outside in Florida. Oppressively muggy weather and greasy food is not the best combination, but work had to be done. My first impression upon getting the bag of food was that I’d been handed a bag of grease. The bag was almost soaked through, and we did not receive enough napkins for the amount of food ordered. Also, a medium soda is 32 oz (or I was given the wrong soda size). I appreciate value, but that’s too much soda. Checkers experience aside, let’s get to the food.

The Grilled Cheese Strips are an ode to their more popular cousin, the mozzarella stick. Checkers probably figured that they could swap in some different cheese and create a familiar item, but one which is more likely to catch eyes than a traditional mozzarella stick. It did the trick for me. I’m not a huge fan of mozzarella sticks, which are really just a cheese delivery vehicle, but I like fried things and Checkers has good seasoning on their fried things, so I figured it was worth a try. I originally ate these in December 2014, and they do not appear to be on the menu any more. They had been available in four ($1.99) or six ($2.99) strip portions, which makes no sense. Most places, especially fast food restaurants, give you a discount when you order more of something. Regardless, since you can’t purchase them now, that information is irrelevant.

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The Grilled Cheese Strips were served piping hot. When looking at them, they resembled flattened mozzarella sticks, almost like someone had sucked out the cheese and just fried the breading. They had a nice golden brown color and looked crispy and well-seasoned. When I finally felt they were safe to bite, I was wrong. The cheese was basically liquefied instead the strip and I burned my tongue. Of course, that also meant my first bite was basically tasteless as I was concerned more with my scorched tongue than the cheese concoction.

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After a brief break, I tried them again, and it really did taste like a grilled cheese. The gooey orange cheese tasted like the cheap stuff you’d put on a grilled cheese you made yourself, and I mean that as a compliment. Because the strip is so thin, it maintains its crunch so it doesn’t become a gooey formless mess, like a crappy mozzarella stick. The seasoning was a bit of a let down because I really only tasted salt. If they had aggressively seasoned this with some pepper. I think that would have worked really well.

The first strip was fine to eat on its own as a curiosity, but after that the strips really could have used some sort of sauce, especially since they weren’t particularly cheap. The taste was a little monotonous and one note, and some marinara or hot sauce or dip would have elevated the side dish.

As a side item, it would be perfect to split the 4 piece with someone else. It’s a good little snack, and I think eating two without sauce is a fine portion, but I could never see myself wanting to eat six Grilled Cheese Strips at once.

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