“Grilled Cheese: American on sourdough.”

I was pretty happy with myself for scoring a grilled cheese respite on a day trip to Iola (population 1229,) and even more pleased to find one that served a dozen varieties of gelato. As I understand, this place has some historic value as well, although I don’t claim to know all the facts, as their website is a little bit feckless. (Is it a museum? A gift shop? Restaurant? Who can tell.) Anyway, it’s a charming little place with friendly service, eclectic decor, and greets its guests like this:

There is something to be said for first impressions.

Although their menu carried a bevy of promising grilled cheese prospects, (my accomplice had a pretty creative hawaiian panini with bacon, onion and pineapple)  for whatever reason, I decided to test the least redeeming of these. Say what you will, I still think the grilled cheese with the fewest ingredients can be the most delicious, and also the hardest to get right. In this case, unfortunately, less was not more. Admittedly, I was pretty charmed by the curious little nubbins on the bread crust – but as lunches go, it was pretty mediocre. Off-putting, too, was the unending stream of sax-y, Kenny G muzak, which (coupled with fact that the place was otherwise empty,) somehow made me feel like I was on an awkward first date. I gave the sandwich a 5, and the gelato a 7. Worth a visit, so long as you’re ordering the gelato, or sandwiches with a 4-ingredient minimum. ($3.95)