I’m not sure where I thought the University of Notre Dame was, but I didn’t know it was two blocks away from the final grilled cheese (#9) of our adventure, or the last place I would ever eat brie on purpose.


“Not your everyday grilled cheese: Bacon, caramelized onion, brie, cheddar bread.”

You’re probably wondering why I would do this to myself again, and I don’t actually remember. I can only assume it met my search criteria – something like: Indiana, close to an I-80 off ramp. At any rate, it was a horrible mistake, and I knew as soon as it arrived. There was brie rind poking out of it, the onions looked like kraut, and it was already triggering fight or flight impulses in my brain. I took a bite, because I had to, and just held it in my mouth.


I filled my mouth with cola, and swallowed hard. My eyes were watering. Whhhhhhhhew.

My husband hadn’t noticed my distress, but he also hadn’t ordered anything, so by now he’s just looking at me, expectantly. (“Well?”) Shit now what?! Sending it back would be humiliating, (“SIR there is mold on this cheese!”) and asking for the check and abandoning it would be worse. (“We thought one of us was hungry, but turns out, we’re not.”) I decided I’d take a crust bite while I weighed my exit strategies. But, my mind (and esophagus) had already begun shutdown sequence. Tiny heaves were happening, and he was watching me now. “You need me to eat that, don’t you.”

So, my selfless husband ate the Brie. (“It was okay.”) And I was never so happy to eat chips, and flounce out into the sunshine like I’d cheated death.

After my ordeal, rating the experience was tricky, since I can’t just give bad ratings to sandwiches made with ingredients I don’t like, and ate on purpose. Upon careful reflection, I pardoned it with (an awfully gracious) 6/10, just to show that there are no hard feelings. Which, of course there are, because I almost fucking died back there.