Channel your inner child with Melt Bar and Grilled

September 9th, 2010

As children, many of us were enthused at the prospect of mom or dad serving us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, or even pancakes for dinner.  Anything that deviated from the usual plate of chicken garnished with a green vegetable was enthralling.  Grilled cheese sandwiches were most likely another supper choice that put smiles on our vernal faces, an easily-crafted meal of which “Melt Bar and Grilled” decided to dedicate almost its entire menu.

Lucky for us, Melt took the simple sandwich and turned it into exotic combinations for our eyes (and mouths) to feast upon. The restaurant’s newly-opened second location, on the corner of South Taylor Road and Cedar Road, contains over 25 different grilled cheese concoctions as the staple of their menu.  From the simplest choice “The Kindergardener,” (old-school grilled cheese) to some of the most complicated sounding recipes such as “The Godfather” (three cheese lasagna, fresh fennel-oregano pasta sheets, spicy red sauce, provolone, garlic-spiked bread), there are enough choices for any craving.

Some of the menu items read horrid, but taste divine. To keep customers interested, the chef creates a sandwich special each month.

September’s special? The Soul Vegetarian: Fried Green Tomatoes, Vegetarian Collard Greens,  Jalapeno Corn Bread, Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Puree, and Pepper-Jack Cheese.

One of the most popular sandwiches is the “Parmageddon,” packed with two potato & cheese pierogies, napa vodka kraut, grilled onions, and sharp cheddar.

The loaded sandwich is  literally bursting with flavor, not to mention the plate will also be loaded with tasty hand cut fries, pickles, and sweet, dry slaw.

Vegans, as well as those who are lactose intolerant, need not fret. Melt offers not only non-dairy cheese options, but will also slather your bread with vegan-friendly butter.

However, something to fret about would be the time spent waiting for a table, which could reach up to two and a half hours.  Featured on The Food Network show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” the restaurant’s popularity skyrocketed.Now it’s almost always packed with customers waiting to try a new menu item.

Something to keep customers interested while they wait for a table is the restaurant’s eccentric and original ambiance.  Containing some of the most random and out of place (not to mention out of season) decor such as numerous giant injection-plastic yard figures, those waiting will find their curiousity sparked. “Kiss” figurines are interspersed throughout the takeout counter, walls are lined with vintage license plates, an enormous Velveeta box, and Cleveland memorabilia is everywhere in sight under a tin ceiling painted a deep blue hue.

Staff members contribute to the modern feel of the restaurant, many a tattooed canvas with earrings galore and brightly-dyed hair to complete the retro look.

Those who don’t buy in to the gourmet grilled cheese selections will find other menu items such as salads and burgers.  All of the items on the menu are affordable, and the portions match the price, meaning there will be takeout boxes included in most customer’s dining experience with Melt.

Melt Bar and Grilled seems to have turned a juvenile meal into a sophisticated wonder, making it the best thing on sliced bread.