I would like you to participate in an experiment. Please call your best friend, mom, spouse or anyone else you would like to spend some time chatting with. Ask them how the prefect grilled cheese sandwich should be constructed. I’ll wait. When you’re done, come back.
Welcome back! I’m sure that was a lovely hour and a half you just spend debating cheeses and bread textures. Now imagine if there was an entire restaurant that only made grilled cheese sandwiches. Yeppers – Grilled cheese sandwiches. Not only do they make several varieties of grilled cheese sandwiches but they have a really cool sense of humor about it and a cult following to go with it.
Melt Bar and Grilled www.meltbarandgrilled.com
Most Clevelanders have at least heard of this popular hang out but it has been growing so much recently that two new locations have opened – one just 3 blocks from my office! The lines out the door attest to the great food, which catches the eye of travel and food shows, which draws more people in…
The magic of Melt begins even before you have to choose your cheese. A close look around and you see grilled cheese sandwich tattoos. Yes, if you declare your permanent love of all things cheesey you get 25% off for life.
Everyone in our office was thrilled when we heard the newest location was walking distance from our building. A few of the girls went over for lunch one day and the wait was 45 minutes for a to go order. They were told that we could call in an order ahead of time. Upon hearing this angels rejoiced, the sun came out and everyone stood up a little straighter. Our office was putting together a to go order!
For days we pondered over the Parmaggedon (pierogies on a GCS), the Big Popper (cream cheese and japalenos on a deep fried GCS) or the Godfather ( homemade cheesey lasagna, fennel pasta and spicy sauce with provolone inside a garlicy GCS). I eventually chose the Choriso and Potato, but (and here’s the best part) I traded for vegan cheddar! Clearly I am not vegan but damn if I’m not lactose intolerant. Melt will swap vegan cheese or goat cheese for a small up charge.
Technicalities aside time to eat! I was presented with one of the largest sandwiches I’ve ever seen, a mountain of seasoned fries and a cup of cole slaw topped with a pickle. This sandwich started with fresh baked bread 3/4 of an inch thick that had clearly been introduced to and made friends with butter. Grilled to a beautiful toasty brown color it was then topped with a layer of vegan (still melty and gooey) cheddar, a heaping portion of choriso and diced potatoes, another layer of cheddar and finally, the other slice of bread. The entire thing was then cut in half. Each half was the size of a homemade grilled cheese but about 4 times thicker.
The texture of the whole thing was amazing. The bread was crispy on the outside and soft and airy in the middle with a rich buttery flavor. Gooey cheese mixed with spicy choriso is always a treat but finding the little potatoes studded throughout were like little hidden treasures. The sandwich was far less greasy than I was prepared for and had very complex flavors.
For all the richness the slaw was a perfect counterpoint. Crunchy and bright this was a vinegar based slaw not a cream based mix. The veggies were super crunchy and refreshing. The fries were the only so so part of the meal. I think this was more because of the fact we made a take out order as they were a little cold by the time my co workers returned and sifted through the 14 sandwiches we ordered. They were well seasoned with plenty of black pepper but had lost their crunch.
I’ll admit I am intrigued by the perogies. I am dying to taste the Mom’s Meatloaf with mashed potatoes. You know how I feel about Elvis themed sandwiches but the best part is I get to try all of these ON A GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH!!!!
I’ll have to eat more salads on my off days as this could all get very dangerous.
Until we eat again,