Cheese Grilled with Sliced Banana Sandwich; or, A History of the World in 6 Innings

Tom Standage’s “A History of the World in 6 Glasses” begins with beer. Beer “was not invented but discovered.” It’s not clear who found the first can, but according to Standage the ice age was a cold memory, and down in the Fertile Crescent they were building up a spring training thirst. “Hey, take a sip of this…Well, what do you think?” “Not bad; pour me a glass.” Earliest beer, Standage tells us, was not lite, and probably required a straw to get through the head of unfiltered crust of stuff floating on top, something like a bowl of oatmeal forgotten on your counter the week you flew up to Portland for the annual brew fest.

I’ve been thinking of writing a history of my world (not to be confused with the world) in 6 somethings. How about, “A History of my World in 6 Sandwiches”? The first would have to be my cheese grilled. When I was a kid I learned to make a cheese grilled with sliced bananas. Served on a paper plate with a few potato chips next to a glass of milk with a Dodger game on the radio – this is the stuff history is made of.

I mentioned my cheese grilled to some visitors from Arcadia last week, and they and Susan ganged up on me with a correction: grilled cheese, not cheese grilled. “You can also make a cheese grilled with sliced bananas into a tuna melt,” I said, ignoring the prescriptivists. I’m just describing a sandwich here, not wanting to provoke a language war. Use organic tuna, if you can get hold of a can.

I would probably follow my cheese grilled with my southwester burger, made with sliced jalapeno and bell pepper and stuffed with Monterey Pepper Jack cheese. First, douse the burger in olive oil and Worcestershire sauce and beer. Serve on a white ceramic plate with a poured glass of ale or lager of choice – no prescription needed, but you should let it breathe.

Post called on account of rain, but we got about 6 innings in, so no need to replay it. Still, I wonder what the usage panel would have to say about grilled cheese versus cheese grilled. Care to weigh in? What’s your prescription?


  1. dan hennessy says:

    Put your cheese grilled on the shelf book , wander out to the walk side , pick a Portland banana off the you’ve got to be kidding tree , hook a fish tuna or two , go back in and get a couple of slices of bread wheat , a lager or two , and enjoy the banana cheese grilled melt tuna sandwich .

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Did you mean, “hook a fish tuna or three”? I had a big blogger vision of this post like something from The Pioneer Woman’s blog, full of wonderfully appetizing photos of a recipe in progress. Alas, I am not the Pioneer Woman, nor was meant to be, an attendant blogger with a minor league post. Blustery day here today. Going to cash it all in now for a walk. Might end up ordering a cheese grilled with an ale somewhere down the line. PS: Did you get the subtle hint about the brew fest week up here at the end of July? Click the link for info.

      1. dan hennessy says:

        Yes, I got the hint . Brew fest ? City-wide ? Fantastic ! I went to a micro-brewers fest in Prescott once . For $20 I got a tiny tiny beer mug . From then on beer was free . It had to be poured into the mug , though . It took a lot of mug-fulls to recover the $20 . Portland must be much more sophisticated , I hope . I might just get up there .

        1. Joe Linker says:

          Good. I heard somebody is working on a Noir Pale Ale.

  2. Geannie Newell says:

    You must try the Grilled Cheese Grille on 28th & Ankeny (if you haven’t already). An amazing menu of grilled cheese sandwiches and wonderful homemade tomato soup. Once you have your order you sit inside the double decker bus sitting area to eat. You should go online and peruse their menu. It takes the grilled cheese
    (not cheese grilled) sandwich from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Geannie! I can’t believe I’ve not even heard of this place. I’m going over there later this week. The tomato soup and cheese grilled! I’ve been studying the menu. It’s calling my name. I wonder if the Dodger game will be on? The jalapeno popper is looking good!

      Click to access GCG%20Menu.pdf

      1. Geannie Newell says:

        Let me know what you think. Personally I love the place.

  3. In the UK they have a prosaic sounding dish, ‘Toad in a Hole’ :)

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Oh, that’s wonderful. I looked it up on Wiki:
      I also noticed a pub game called “Toad in the Hole”:
      I’d not heard of either the dish or the game, so thanks for that.
      If I ever make it to the grand isles I’ll have to order a Toad in the Hole while playing a game of Toad in the Hole!
      But, as it turns out, there’s a pub down in Santa Rosa, Ca, called “Toad in the Hole”:
      The fellows in this pic are looking rather toady?

  4. I must admit I never ate the dish. Ha, ha, looks like a happy place for toady football fans, Mr Toad sure gets around.

    1. Joe Linker says:

      There he is! An original.

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