When I learned there is a place in Lakeland called Planet Grilled Cheese, this was my reaction:
There is, sadly, one drawback – they are located in the food court at the Lakeland Square Mall. (Their web site lists another location near I-4 in west Lakeland. Also, the business started as a food truck, it’s an interesting story that is summarized on their web site.) We at Polk Eats are not generally fans of indoor shopping centers, but we can be lured about anywhere for grilled cheese. So my wife and I made the trek to the mall recently to investigate.
The decor is, well, mall food court. It’s at least an interesting people-watching opportunity. And our lunch got off to a questionable start as the young man who took our order was downright surly. At Planet Grilled Cheese, you can buy just a sandwich, or a sandwich with chips and a fountain drink (a “fast meal”), or a sandwich with fries and a fountain drink (a “regular meal”). The menu available at the web site lists bread options and sandwich choices that we were not offered (and were not posted) at the food court. So that was a little confusing for us.
Regardless, my wife ordered a regular meal with the Healthy sandwich (feta, mozzarella, spinach, onions, and tomatoes on whole grain bread). I ordered a regular meal with the Chicken Bacon Ranch (American, cheddar, and mozzarella cheeses with chicken, bacon, tomatoes and ranch dressing). I had a bottled water to drink, which required an upcharge. The food didn’t take long to prepare and the young man who took our payment was much more pleasant than the order-taker. We did appreciate that they serve the food in biodegradable cardboard containers rather than plastic or styrofoam.
The food is where Planet Grilled Cheese won us over. The sandwiches were delicious and of surprisingly good quality even for a conventional restaurant, let alone a food court location. It was all cooked well without being over done. There was plenty of spinach on my wife’s sandwich and it was fresh. There were enough onions to provide flavor without overpowering the bread. My sandwich had thick, tender pieces of white chicken meat. The sandwiches were not soggy despite the quantity of ingredients. The fries were also good – it did appear they were frozen and then put through an automatic fryer, but still came out crispy and tasty.
The register payment system did not allow an opportunity to add a tip, and there was no tip jar visible. So our total cost came to about $19. So if you loved grilled cheese (and if you don’t, why?) and can tolerate mall crowds, Planet Grilled Cheese will delight you with hearty sandwiches at a reasonable price. This location is in the food court at the Lakeland Square Mall in north Lakeland.
If we have inspired you to visit Planet Grilled Cheese, or if you have already been and want to share your experience, please do so via the comments section below. And if you have Polk County restaurant tips, we would love to hear from you via our Contact Us page. Thanks for stopping by and happy eating!