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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Melt Bar & Grilled

Place: Melt Bar & Grilled
Location: 13463 Cedar Road Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118  Google Maps

Quick Blurb:
Experiencing Melt’s sandwiches is something that everyone must do at some point (very much like Gasoline Alley). Unique, tasty and redefining the phrase “comfort food”, Melt serves up gigantic grilled cheese sandwiches stuffed with almost anything you can imagine (lasagna or perogies anyone?).

Arriving at their second, newer location in Cleveland Heights (aka East Side), we were met with 24/7 parking meters! Oh no! Luckily we scrounged up some coins, popped them in and off we went. Not much to look at as you walk to the entrance besides abandoned storefronts; it would be great if having Melt here attracts more business to the area.

Once inside, you can experience every holiday at once! Decorations for Halloween and Christmas look as if they hang year round – very fun. Lots of photos on the wall; I assume to fulfill your time waiting for a seat.
Not a great shot, but here's a view of where we sat at the bar - you can see the holiday decorations in the background
We arrived at 2pm on a Sunday and there was still a wait to be seated along with the phone ringing non-stop. The staff still took time and gave us “the time of day”, so to speak – I admire that. We chose to bypass the table wait and sit at the bar. Our waitress told us up front that it was going to be about a 35 min wait for food once we ordered – I like the honesty and straight forwardness.

Um, take a look at the size of the sandwiches and you’ll understand why we didn’t even consider ordering any appetizers.

I psyched myself up before coming by watching the Man vs. Food episode where he attempts the Melt Challenge – over 3 ½ pounds of cheese, plus fries and cole slaw…

I opted against insanity and chose the Big Popper instead. By now, some of you will know my love of ‘hot’ and I just couldn’t resist when the first ingredient listed is “fresh jalapeno peppers”. Keeping the jalapenos company: cheddar & herbed cream cheese, beer battered bread, and mixed berry preserves…Yum.
Imagine a pile of cole slaw hidden behind the Big Popper
When this was placed in front of me, I thought they might have somehow given me the Melt Challenge – not the case. My eyes couldn’t process what was in front of them, but I bravely moved forward and took the first of three pieces of Big Popper that lay in front of me.

The first bite definitely included a fresh jalapeno pepper; so far so good. The herbed cream cheese overpowered any cheddar that may have been included, but that doesn’t bother me. Then I start to appreciate the beer battered crust of the bread, which was sprinkled with some powdered sugar; it reminded me of a funnel cake from a county fair. Surprisingly, it worked. One piece down, two to go; I’ll skip ahead and let you know that I could only finish one other piece and took the last home with me (which I ate that evening after heating it up in the oven). The richness of the cheese and the thick beer battered bread slices were very filling.

After my second piece, I decided to engage the sides. Not being a cole slaw lover, I figured I might as well get that part out of the way. Crunchy cabbage, vinegary dressing, with a hint of sweetness – I’ll be the first to admit, I took more than one bite; that never happens. I didn’t finish it off, but I actually liked cole slaw that afternoon.

Onto the fries: no doubt about their freshness. These were homemade fries, nicely deep fried to a dark golden brown, salted well, and not greasy! They get a ‘thumbs up’ from me.

My wife opted for the Wake and Bacon. She prepped all day for this, starting by eating cereal instead of eggs and bacon that morning for breakfast; it paid off with her coming within a few bites of finishing it (albeit she only had two pieces to my three). She was raving about it throughout the meal and continued to on the ride home – so I can honestly say that she would recommend it.
One of the best 'breakfast sandwiches' you'll taste!
The last piece of my sandwich later that day.

Melt has a great draft beer selection – I opted for the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA.

Most sandwiches were priced between $8 and $11. Beers about $4 average.

Overall Experience:
After hearing all the hype, I did enjoy my experience here at Melt. Would I get my sandwich again? Probably not; but only because there are many other masterpieces that I would like to try. Well, maybe also because I ate a lot of Big Popper! The servings are big and I saw people polishing off their plates (impressive).
We were lucky to find a seat at the bar and not have to wait 45 minutes for a table – this was Sunday at 2pm (as we have read in other reviews, the waiting time can be a little on the obnoxious side).
Ultimately, come with a big appetite and enjoy selecting your concoction from the menu, oh, and enjoy a beer while you wait!

Melt Bar and Grilled on Urbanspoon

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