Jillian and Josh Moskites put the key in the ignition and turned their food truck business into a success back in 2011. The idea for a grilled cheese truck began as a joke and eventually became reality, but Jillian says the road was rough in those days. Food trucks weren’t trendy, farmers markets didn’t want them around and there was nowhere near the number of breweries there is today.
The Whey Station persevered and now the fleet comprises three trucks and a trailer. The wheels came off, in a good way, in January when Middletown’s Main Street became home to their first brick-and-mortar location. The cleverly named Whey Station(ary) is a cheese-lover’s melty dream.
All the grilled cheese sandwiches we’ve come to love over the years are here, but the menu is more expansive with multiple mac and cheese options, salads (which can be served in a parmesan crisp bowl for a $3 upcharge), dips, and the show-stealing raclette ($11). The European delicacy is essentially a wheel of cheese, Swiss or cheddar, that is heated, with the bubbly, gooey part scraped onto fingerling potatoes and/or tater tots. “We’ve traveled three times now to Germany and that area of the Alps,” Jillian says. “Raclette is big in that area. We love the idea of doing raclette. Last time we went to Germany we actually went to France to go to Strasbourg. They have a restaurant that just does raclette and fondue and we went just to get an idea of how they do it over there.”
Build-up is baked into the order, as a skillet of crispy tots and fried fingerlings is placed in front of us as the wheel begins to bubble up in the raclette machine. When ready, the server carries it over and swipes the melted portion with a broad knife, the lovely lava cascading over carbs. Attempts are made to get equal cheese and potato in each forkful, but you can’t lose either way.
Moskites says she expects to push the dish more as the cold weather moves in, even mentioning the possibility of having raclette nights. “It’s a different idea that’s gonna take a little bit of time to grow here, which is why we started doing the cheddar,” Moskites says. “People read ‘Swiss raclette’ and they’re thinking Swiss cheese, but it doesn’t taste like that at all.”
What needs no time to grow is the sterling reputation of the Whey Station(ary) grilled cheese. There are 18 options on the menu — nine “fun” and nine “fancy” — and we’ve happily sampled our fair share. On our most recent visit we opt for the fancy Ella ($11), which is the signature monger blend of five cheeses with Brie, prosciutto and fig jam. If you ever question Moskites’ ability to combine ingredients and create something special, just remember, she won an episode of Food Network’s Chopped.
Completing our cheese-overload order was the French onion queso fondido ($9), which is salty French onion confit and Swiss cheese served with garlic bread points. The Whey Station(ary) also has spinach artichoke, buffalo chicken and French onion dips, with an option to get all three in a giant soft pretzel.
This menu will make you thirsty, and while the beer and wine selection is perfectly sufficient, we love the combination of Avery’s soda syrup and White Claw Spiked Seltzer. So order as much cheese as you can handle and then wash it down with Avery's flavors like Dog Drool, Kitty Piddle or Zombie Brain Juice — you can even throw in a scoop of Grassroots Ice Cream and make it a float.
544 Main St., Middletown
Hours: Wed.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 1-8 p.m. Closed Mon. & Tue.