Meditations

Squamish’s Big Cheese


Colin Bush "The Big Cheese".

Meet Colin Bush a.k.a The Big Cheese. Zany, wild, and I would even guess to say a little unpredictable, this cheesy guy is shredding his passion for dairy into a novelty all it’s own – Grilled Fromage.

I initially heard a rumbling about a restaurant in Squamish, BC that served grilled cheese sandwiches, so being a cheese lover and a foodist I had to find out if this rumour was indeed true, and it was.

I found Grilled Fromage on Twitter. I’m not sure who followed whom first but on a Saturday, filled with an agenda of hiking, my posse and I drove the sea to sky highway in search of adventure, and cheese.

After hiking, or make that snowshoeing in sneakers, (some dufus didn’t check the trail report before setting out, and yes that dufus would be me) – we refueled at Grilled Fromage located in the heart of Squamish at 38134 Cleveland Avenue, or in case you get lost “The cheesiest place on earth”.

I didn’t have any expectations only that it would offer up grilled cheese sandwiches – and grilled cheese it did! In fact there were over 60 different kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches to choose from.  The menu was daunting, mesmerizing and epic with names like “Whoa Nellie”, “Polyester & Pickle”, “K-Ched”, “The Missionary”, and the “Leaning Tower of Chisa”. (Remember this is only five out of 60 and they all have unique names.)

I indulged in the “Feeling Punchy” a sandwich that consisted of a generous slab of Guinness cheddar paired with some nice salty

The Feeling Punchy - Guiness cheddar and bacon

bacon and then grilled to buttery perfection on multigrain. Every sandwich is served with a handful or two of Cheetos and one lonely gummy bear.  I paired the comfort food with an Old Milwaukee and became a believer that beer and grilled cheese are made for each other.

I needed to know the vision behind this unique spot so I stole a few moments of Colin’s time away from the grill to get the lo-down. Colin cut the cheese on the business, so to speak, in October of 2009 saying, “I’ve been making grilled cheese for buddies for like 20 years and always thought that the business would be a good idea to do. I mean there’s wraps, subs – blah, blah, blah – who gives a s**t about subs, so it was like hey, let’s do it. Now I get to do all my creations and be cheesy.”

Colin Bush at the grill.

Decked out in a Hawaiian shirt, headband, and funky glasses Colin calls out crispy, melted and bubbling orders on a mega phone – there is no hiding from this guy.

“I love grilled cheese,” he says enthusiastically.  “I have about three a day and when I go home I nibble on cheese. I was at a party the other day and they brought out cheese and crackers and I was like ‘YEAH’ and they were like ‘as if you like it that much’…but I’m around it all day and it’s the first thing I go for at a party.  Cheese – it’s just awesome!”

When asked what his favorites on the menu are Colin describes the “Cheese and Chong” consisting of pickle, mayonnaise, cheddar and bacon on multigrain, and “The Billy” a marriage of goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and spinach.

Interior of Grilled Fromage

I couldn’t end this post without describing the interior of Grilled Fromage. Colin says, “It’s nostalgic, eclectic, and off the wall.” With orange and yellow walls I think it’s safe to say it’s cheesy too. There is actually a cut-out of David Hasselhoff running in his Baywatch trunks stuck in a wilderness painting.

Grilled Fromage is crazy, but crazy fun!

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