Ernie greets every customer by name. If it's your first time, he calls you Baby, makes you hold out your open palm, hands out a bunch of Hershey Kisses, and then introduces himself as a friend for life.
Though I am a chef, I humbly had to learn that my daughter was throwing away her sandwiches at lunchtime when she was in kindergarten -- and as a busy mom, I had to come up with easy, healthy, delicious solutions.
Bay Area restaurants are not trying to re-invent the grilled-cheese wheel. Rather, they seek to create a new-age sandwich; embarking on culinary endeavors that make our mouths water and our hearts, for lack of a better term, melt.