Appetites: All Square serves up grilled cheese with a cause

Emily Hunt Turner
Emily Hunt Turner
Photo by Nancy Hauck

Yes, the grilled cheese sandwiches they serve are (mostly) square, but the origin of All Square's name is a little deeper than that.

"We wanted to make a bit of a statement that those who have paid their debts to society are all square," said Emily Hunt Turner who helped develop the concept for the new Minneapolis restaurant.

In addition to being a grilled cheese eatery, All Square acts as a professional institute. Students who have previously served time go through a 12-month curriculum, focusing on law and entrepreneurship, and working at the restaurant to help keep some money in their pocket as they learn.

The eatery hopes to address the systemic exclusion of those who have criminal records from society, Hunt Turner said. As an attorney, she's seen firsthand how frustrating it is for people trying to start their lives back up after serving time.

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"In short I guess it just was a way to be the one creating the policy," she said.

So why grilled cheese?

"Grilled cheese is actually one of my favorite cuisines," Hunt Turner said. "What I also love about it is it's also an equalizing thing. I don't know anyone who can't just smash some grilled cheese and be happy about it."

Right now, the restaurant is serving up 10 varieties of grilled cheese. They come in a range of sweet and savory and there's also a few dipping sauces to choose from.