133 W Chapman Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832
I was recently invited to taste a few items from the Thirsty Thursday menu at Grits Fullerton. This is a special menu that is only available on Thursdays and all craft beers are half off. So it is a win win anyway you look at it. The outside of Grits has a very industrial feel to it but that gives way to a dining room that feels very modern and spacious. The music selection when I was there was full of music that I grew up with and it was awesome to hear that, made me feel like I was eating at my best friends house who happens to be an excellent chef.
We started with the pork belly banh mi sandwich which is served on a crusty baguette with pickled veggies, spiced garlic aioli and of course the house made pork belly. The outer crust of the bread gave way to soft interior that sucked in the juices from the pork belly. The pork belly was tender and moist starting with a sweet tang and finished with a hint of heat. The pickled veggies added a tartness which helped to cut through the fatty belly. The pickles that are served on the side brought some sour to the plate but not mouth puckering sour. If this sandwich was a sign of what else was to come then I was in for a treat.
Next on order was pork belly nachos which were crispy chips covered in pickled veggies, chunks of pork belly, cheddar cheese and what I think was citrus crema. The chips stayed nice and crunchy even after being piled high with all the other saucy ingredients. The pork belly was crisp, the veg added acidity and the crema was cooling. Getting the perfect bite was no problem as there was plenty of food offered in the dish. This is a dish that I could see myself enjoying a nice IPA with and a few friends. While we got our drinks and shot the shit.
Quickly the next item came to us and this was one heck of a grilled cheese. Two thick slices of sourdough bread held together with copious amounts of of white cheddar, with bacon, jalapeno grits, jam and port salut. The texture of the perfectly golden brown sourdough contrasted with the gooey cheddar. The bacon brought the salt and the grits brought the heat. The added surprise for me was the macurated strawberries and blueberries. The sweetness of the fruit really blended well with each bite and gave me the total salty, sweet experience. This is not your mother's grilled cheese that you grew up on, and worth every carb that comes with this sammy.
The home run of the night for me was Grits version of poutine. This dish was inspired by a classic but taken to new levels by Grits. First instead of using french fries the guys at Grits use a home-style potato that one might see on a breakfast plate. These potatoes are then covered in a white cheddar cheese sauce, red eye gray and a mound of pulled pork. From my first bite of this glorious dish I was speechless. This poutine hit every taste bud on your tongue. Sweetness gets you right off the bat, then salty comes in second, then smokiness kicks in to let you know that you are eating something from a BBQ and finally a subtle yet very present heat sneaks up on you. The home-style potatoes were soft and velvety. I was absolutely blown away by this dish and I must say if there is nothing else you get on Thursday then this is the dish.
When I thought it was all over we had one last plate to try and this was dessert on steroids. It was a deep fried, house-made biscuit that was covered in cinnamon and sugar, served with a couple dollops of whipped cream, bacon bits and what I thought was a coffee caramel. The best way for me to describe this dish is to think of a classic churro but combined with a short bread cookie. The biscuit was still flaky even after being fried. The coating of cinnamon and sugar was just enough to ring true for dessert without being cloyingly sweet. This was a great way to end tasting at Grits.
But remember these dishes can only be found on the Thirsty Thursday menu at Grits Fullerton. So I would definitely recommend checking out Grits on Thursday and I personally cannot wait to get back to Grits to try a few other items I saw on the website. Like the Dr. Pepper braised pork shank, I must have it!
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