Local food truck’s simple sandwich puts it on the road to stardom

BOSTON, MA – Though it seemed like the rain would never stop on a recent Sunday at the SoWa Open Market, the orders kept on coming at Roxy’s Grilled Cheese food truck. “Pick-up rookie, single out. Pick-up muenster, special. Pick-up muenster, single out.’’

The cashier, Sydney Howland, 22, shouted the orders to Marc Melanson, Roxy’s chef and co-owner, and two other cooks who were standing behind her, busily frying, flipping, and cutting grilled cheese sandwiches. There was a guacamole and bacon “green muenster,’’ the tomato and cheddar “rookie,’’ and, the special of the day: brie, prosciutto, and caramelized mango.

Roxy’s has been getting a lot of buzz, both locally and nationally, since it opened in March. The Roxy truck has appeared on “Good Morning America’’ twice. The crew is also competing on the second season of “The Great Food Truck Race,’’ which premiered Sunday on the Food Network. It’s the first truck from Boston on the show, hosted by Tyler Florence, in which eight food trucks sell their wares across the country, while encountering “Speed Bump’’ obstacles and “Truck Stop’’ challenges, such as not using propane or creating a new dish that combines peaches and peanuts. In each episode, the truck with the lowest sales is eliminated, and at the end of the season the truck with the highest take wins $100,000.

When asked why grilled cheese seems to be experiencing a boom, James DiSabatino, 24, who came up with the idea of Roxy’s and is the other co-owner, says simply, “Why not grilled cheese? Isn’t it the best food ever?’’

It might be hard to argue. Grilled cheese has been popular since at least the 1930s, when an open-faced version served at Sunday supper was referred to as a “cheese dream.’’ Last year, 195 million servings of grilled cheese were ordered at US restaurants, according to NPD Group, a market research company. On a good day, Roxy’s sells upward of 400 sandwiches, sometimes in just a few hours, for about $7 each.

Melanson, 39, was in the prep kitchen in Jamaica Plain early in the morning before heading for the SoWa market. While roasting three large pans of sliced mangos for the daily special, he talked about how he wasn’t fazed by “The Great Food Truck Race.’’

“We’re all different food trucks, so how do you compare?’’

However, his competitive nature up against other food trucks (and one in particular) is fierce.

“We’re probably the best grilled cheese truck.’’ he says. “If I didn’t think that, I’d be home in bed right now.’’

Find the entire article from the Boston Globe <here>