I don't know about you, but I grew up on grilled cheese. It's easy to make, delicious, and tomato soup's best friend. In fact, I loved grilled cheese so much when I was growing up that that's practically all I would order when I went to a restaurant. I was a bit picky back then, to say the least. As my sister terms it, I "only ate beige food"...grilled cheese, mozzerella sticks, cheese pizza, french fries and chicken fingers. Yeah, that's pretty much all I would eat. But then I hit High School and I started branching out a bit. I still consider myself a tad picky, but I enjoy trying new things.
But, I gotta say, I still have a soft spot in my heart for grilled cheese. So, when I heard a couple years ago about this place called Melt Bar & Grilled that served up killer creative gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches I was immediately salivating. Only downside, it's in Cleveland. And even though my parents live in northern Ohio, Cleveland is kind of out of the way. Then, my one and only HLP moved there in June and I told her, "Fine, you move 4+ hours away from me, but we HAVE TO go to Melt when I come to visit!" And since then we've gone every single time I've come up to visit her...it's that good! So, I thought it was about time that Melt got it's own post, so let me take you on a magical journey through cheesy awesome deliciousness! Think of me as your grilled cheese tour guide, your chubby Willy Wonka, if you will. "Come with me and you'll be in a world of pure imagination..."
Awesome thing #1 about Melt Bar & Grilled: it's vegetarian and vegan friendly, which means they pretty much have something for everyone! Including my HLP who is vegetarian but still eats fish and my brother-in-law who is lactose intolerant (vegan cheese). Now, the first time I went I tried creating my own custom sandwich. Normally, that's my thing. But here, I advise that you try out one of their delicious creations...because every single one I've had was ridiculously good! Seriously, these people know their fancy grilled cheese!
Well hello Ultimate Fries, completely with cheese, grilled peppers and onions, veggie chili and sour cream. Oh my sweet fried god, these are awesome! Seriously the best chili cheese fries I've ever had, and the best veggie chili I've ever had! But, word of warning, this dish is enormous! We had 6 people sharing them and that was perfect...but still, no one finished their grilled cheese, but no one ever does!
My sis and I decided to share two grilled cheese sandwiches, it's what we like to do so we can try more things! Pictured above is the Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana: fresh made peanut butter, caramelized bananas, sweet cream cheese and mixed preserves for dipped! YUM! The cream cheese in there blew my flippin' mind! So good!
Since we started off with Ulimate Fries I followed in my HLPs footsteps and subbed broccoli as my side, instead of fries. The broccoli was really good, cooked prefectly (still a slight crunch to it). Although, I gotta say their hand cut fries are AWESOME! And they re-heat really well, unlike most fries, if you can't finish them.
For our other sandwich to share, Michelle and I ordered my personal favorite the Parmageddon; a grilled cheese sandwich with two potato and cheese pierogi, fresh napa vodka kraut, grilled onions and sharp cheddar. I love this sandwich...and I don't even care for sour kraut usually, but theirs it fresh made and it's awesome! This sandwich was the one featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives...and for good reason!
I mean, look at that! Come on!!!
Here's another awesome thing about Melt, the prices are so reasonable for the amount of food you get. Two people could easily go in there, share a sandwich and maybe a dessert, be completely stuffed and spend well under $20, with tip and everything! I have never gone there and finished my whole meal...NEVER! I usually can manage about half my fries and half my sandwich...and that's without an appetizer.
And best part is, it's awesome reheated. This time around, I finished my half of the Grilled PB & Banana, because I figured it would not hold up to reheating well, then I ate about 2 or 3 pieces of broccoli...the next day I had an amazing lunch, half a Parmageddon and some broccoli. Here's a tip for leftovers, preheat your oven to 400 degrees, put your sandwich on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. I've found it works best if you separate the top and bottom of your sandwich so that the bread is on the cookie sheet and the insides of the sandwich are facing up. Cook the sandwich and fries (straight out of the fridge) for about 10 to 15 minutes. The cheese will get all melty and the bread will crisp up again...even if it was a little soggy. Yum!
If you happen to be in Cleveland for a visit, don't deny yourself the awesomeness of Melt Bar & Grilled. Check out one of their three wonderfully eccentric locations. And try to get there early! The word is out and the wait can get super long. I advise going early (when they just open) or going late! Also, for all you beer lovers, they've got a stellar selection and you can always grab a seat at the bar if there's a long wait.