First things first. “Where the hell is your football game?”, I ask my son. “In Del Norte, at Del Norte, against Del Norte”, he says. “Ok . . . where the hell is Del Norte?”, I ask. “I don’t know”, he responds.
Turns out this ‘Del Norte’ is an area in San Diego that has been rapidly developing for some time. I typed “Del Norte High School” into the POS (piece of s#!^) navigation system in my Avalon and “alas”, it found it; so it can’t be that new of an area . . . or high school. As I traveled to Del Norte, which is located somewhere west of Rancho Bernardo, south of Lake Hodges, east of San Elijo and north of Carmel Valley; I quickly notice that everything appears new. I see new houses, new buildings, new streets and new street lights. I finally arrive at a seemingly new school that is surrounded by new construction. Hey, this place is pretty nice.
I went to Del Norte to watch a recent football game in which my son was playing. Before the game begins, I have to go see if there’s anything I feel like nibbling on during the start of the game. As I approach the snack shack, the wind kicks up and knocks the menu off of the wall above the order window and smacks one of the volunteer mothers in the head. She laughs off the OSHA incident since the sign is one of those plastic types with the press-in letters and numbers. I still check out the menu to see “Na hos” and “Ho Dogs” still available since some of the letters were now on the ground. Laughing about the incomprehensible menu items, the volunteer mother says to me, “forget about that stuff, what you want to try is the grilled cheese . . . we have two”. I looked briefly at the menu item that was barely hanging onto the now fallen sign by just a small piece of plastic tape. “Yeah, yeah”, I said. Not really giving much thought until just before half time, when I got a hankerin’ for something. So I made my way up to the snack shack.
I quickly looked at the menu hoping to find something edible . . . some candy, some chips or perhaps something smothered with canned chili-con-carne, so I can gag down whatever else I can find. Just then, I remembered about the grilled cheese sandwiches the worker mentioned. I again looked at the menu and saw the “American” grilled cheese sandwich, with Muenster, Cheddar, pickle and bacon. The other was the “Italian”; with Provolone, a pesto spread and tomato. These were both pre-assembled under some plastic in a wrapped hotel pan. Once I ordered them, the volunteer staff snatched it out of the pan and quickly placed them on a hot sandwich press. This press was not some home use model you buy at Macy’s, but one of those expensive sandwich presses like you might find being used at your favorite deli. Wait a minute, where is this school getting its money? I was told to wait about 5 minutes so I looked at more of the menu and things behind the counter. Also on the menu was a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich; and on the counter, were these 8-inch round chocolate chip cookies. What is going on here? . . . where have I been? . . . wait a minute, where have all of the other high schools been. This is not normal.
Well, I waited my 5 minutes to be handed these remarkable creations. Roof-of-the-mouth searingly hot and perfectly grilled. Plated with the best of the gourmet food truck presentations; including the checker-board sandwich cardboard tray lined with checkered blue wrapper (technical terms I have yet to learn). I separated the huge halves to some oozing cheese and fillings of incredible delight. This is not the norm for grid-iron grunge.
A couple things went through my head as I was eating them. First I was wondering about the preparation outside of the snack-shack environment. Then I began to think about the pre-preparation and the use of the ingredients. Then it all started to make sense. I’m very willing to bet, there is someone back there that knows the limitations to that sandwich press and the limits of the health and safety code. But when I bit into them, I couldn’t help but refrain myself from quickly consuming the large sandwiches that only cost $5 each. These were easily a $7.50 sandwich on a food truck . . . in fact, a $10.50 creation if you throw a piece of grilled chicken breast on it. Someone at this school knows what they’re doing, or they just got really lucky. Maybe this is all pre-calculated political BS that is being forced upon the consumer in place of . . . or perhaps strategically along side of the nachos with that nasty cheese, canned chili and jalapenos.
What does this school have going on? Obviously the same thing as many of the food trucks in the San Diego area. Impressive! Easily the best snack shack I have ever seen, or eaten at that I can remember. I wonder what this place does when it fires up the hamburger grill. These sandwiches rocked. I had to save the other two halves for my son after the game. I knew he would be hungry and he seems to always venture foods with me, so I thought he would enjoy them. His response once we were underway in the car, “I don’t normally like grilled cheese . . . , (smack, smack, smack), but these are really good!” He didn’t even save me a bite, . . . oh well, I was driving anyway.