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The Reuben sandwich at Bread & Cheese Eatery in Oceanside. Courtesy photo/Bread & Cheese
The Reuben sandwich at Bread & Cheese Eatery in Oceanside. Courtesy photo/Bread & Cheese
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Ultimate comfort food at Bread & Cheese Eatery

I fondly recall the simplicity of grilled cheese dipped in tomato soup from childhood — a cherished comfort that epitomized life’s little pleasures. When my mother introduced the idea of enriching the soup with milk instead of water, it elevated the experience to a new level of indulgence. Those were indeed simpler times.

Recently, my culinary journey led me to Bread & Cheese Eatery, owned by Justin Frank and Devin Gneitling and nestled along Coast Highway 101 in Oceanside. A visit to their charming establishment left me savoring every bite and sip of their grilled cheese paired with coconut curry tomato soup — an exquisite rendition that elevated the classic pairing to new heights.

Additionally, their generous classic breakfast burrito, which sustained me over three meals, easily ranks among the finest in North County. But this venture isn’t Justin’s inaugural foray into the culinary world. He graciously shared his background and the genesis of Bread & Cheese and Breakfast Burritos with me.

LTP: Tell me about your background, upbringing, and early food memories from your parents’ kitchen.

Justin: I grew up in Burbank, California. I was drawn to cooking from a young age. It started in kindergarten when I complained about my lunch multiple days in a row. Finally, my mom had enough and said to either make my own or stop complaining, so I started making my own. That started my life of cooking.

Those first few years had to be hard on my parents. I ruined our popcorn machine by trying to make cheddar popcorn by throwing cheddar cheese in it. However, my parents were supportive and willing to let me cook meals for myself and the family from a young age.

LTP: When did you start working in restaurants and take me down your culinary road to your current endeavor?

Justin: My first job at a restaurant was when I was 21. I got a job as a busser at Nick’s at the Beach in Pacific Beach. I had no restaurant experience, but my roommate worked there, so I got the job. I loved the atmosphere and co-workers, made good money and had fun.

Bread & Cheese co-owners Justin Frank and Devin Gneitling. Courtesy photo/Bread & Cheese
Bread & Cheese co-owners Justin Frank and Devin Gneitling. Courtesy photo/Bread & Cheese

Within a year, I moved up to server and bartender positions. Then I had a friend opening a restaurant, so I told him I’d help him. That restaurant started to take off, and the concept continued to grow, so I became director of new store openings and opened four restaurants.

After that, he and I started another concept called S&M Sausage and Meat in North Park and downtown San Diego. When S&M closed, my new partner and I started Bread and Cheese Catering, and we have been doing it ever since.

LTP: How did Bread & Cheese happen? What was the inspiration, and how has it evolved? How is the current location chosen?

Justin: My previous restaurant went out of business, and I needed a job. My good friend also needed a job, so we decided to team up and start a company focused on doing events. We agreed on making grilled cheese, were off to the races, and have been in business ever since. Initially, we were just grilled cheese, but we quickly added our second brand, Pineapple Crush (pineapple smoothies served in a pineapple), so we could have two tents at the big events.

After doing that for a few years, it was time to jump into brick-and-mortar. We opened in a food hall in Carlsbad and a tavern in San Diego. Unfortunately, we had to close both during COVID. But after COVID-19, we landed the concessionaire contract at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista in 2021.

The Bread & Cheese and Breakfast Burritos storefront in Oceanside. Courtesy photo/Bread & Cheese
The Bread & Cheese Eatery and Breakfast Burritos storefront in Oceanside. Courtesy photo/Bread & Cheese

After the 2022 season, we decided to open a brick-and-mortar again, so we started the search. We were looking for a specific size and rent and came across this location in Oceanside. Once we got to the location, we decided to add breakfast, which was when “And Breakfast Burritos” was born. We opened in October 2023.

LTP: Walk me through the options and the grilled cheese and soup menu.

Justin: We originally had four different grilled cheese sandwiches. We now have nine on the menu full-time and another few that we have done for various events and can use as specials. The Classic is our bestseller and is our version of the classic grilled cheese. Ours has five pieces of melty cheddar and provolone on garlic-grilled sourdough.

My favorite is the Reuben, melty Swiss cheese with thinly sliced pastrami and sauerkraut on 1000 Island grilled sourdough. If you are a grilled cheese restaurant, a good tomato soup to pair with the grilled cheese is essential, and we knocked it out of the park when we created our Coconut Curry tomato soup. It’s amazing!

LTP: Tell me about the addition of breakfast burritos.

Justin: Breakfast burritos were a fun addition for us! Once we knew we would open in Oceanside, we knew we wanted to add breakfast. That’s when “And Breakfast Burritos” was born. We wanted it to be cohesive with Bread and Cheese yet have its own website and brand, and so far, the burritos have been a huge hit!

LTP: Are you still catering, and do you have any expansion plans?

Justin: We do still cater. We now offer grilled cheese, pineapple smoothies and breakfast burritos. We are building our next restaurant in Santee, set to open in September. There was nothing on the books after that, but assuming all goes well, we will keep expanding.

The goal is to franchise and see our burritos in every tourist and beach town in the country. I’d also like to add a shout-out to our wives who helped us at our first event, our brother-in-law who hired us, our sister who let us store equipment in her garage and our friends who came and bought grilled cheese from us so many times. Running a business is not something you can do without help.

We have been very fortunate to have so many people who have helped us, believed in us, loaned us time/money/advice, and, of course, patronized us. To those people, a huge thank you. And yes, of course, shout out to our team, which is now up to 50 people.

Find them at  and 1904 South Coast Highway in Oceanside.

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