I turned a corner and quite literally stumbled upon "The Melt" a grilled cheese specialty restaurant I'd been wanting to try since I first read about it early last year before they'd even opened.
I thought to myself, "Self, both of my friends Carl and Gordon want to try this restaurant too. Should I wait to try it with one or both of them?" As I debated the boundaries of culinary loyalty between foodie friends the temptation was too great. The opportunity was simply too irresistible to pass up. I hushed the voice that said to wait for them and walked in to order a "The Melt" grilled cheese sandwich all by myself.
The Mission Combo ($8.75)
I emailed them this picture (above) while I was there. As my friends, I knew they would be happy to know that I was enjoying my sandwich and soup enough for all three of us. LOL
I know, that was very evil of me >:D
So, what did I order? I tried the Jalapeno Jack Grilled Cheese Sandwich. It was spicy, cheesy, gooey, flavorful and delicious. The bread was made more flavorful with seasonings on the topside and a schmear of jalapeno spread on the inside.
I also tried the Sweet Corn Tortilla Soup. It's the perfect complement to the spicy sandwich, though I will say I found it odd that there was no tortilla anything in the soup.
The combos also come with a side of really nice, crunchy, potato chips. I ate all of my chips except for the one I accidentally dropped on the floor.
Two Tomato Basil Soup and Brie with Apple Butter
A few days later I met up with Gordon and went back to try the Brie with Apple Butter on Whole Wheat and Two Tomato Basil Soup. There was less cheese on my sandwich than the jalapeno jack and though I could taste both the earthiness of the brie and sweetness of the apple butter the flavors weren't strong enough to give me the same "wow" reaction I experienced on my previous visit. The Two Tomato Basil soup was good and solid, just the way a tomato soup should be.
The Outlaw Combo
I also sampled the Colby Jack on Eight Grain bread with fresh tomato slices. Of the three it was the least flavorful and my least favorite. I was told the Spicy Black Bean wasn't all that spicy and the beans are pureed so there were no whole beans in the soup.
When I go back again I'll stick with the Jalapeno Jack and the tomato soup. They will be the best combo of everything I've tried so far The spicy flavor really packs a punch. It's too bad all of the sandwiches aren't equal in their flavor-fullness.
I noticed a lot of online comments are that a meal at The Melt is expensive. While the portions aren't huge they are what I'd call nostalgic, or as classic as a grilled cheese sandwich. They're the size food used to be when I was a kid, not over or super-sized the way everything is now. If you order a sandwich, soup and beverage you can expect your lunch to run between $10 and $12. A sandwich only is $5.75.
The restaurant even has a sense of humor. Their napkins say "The Napkin" on them and at the drink station selections say "The Ice," "The Water," and "The Tea." LOL
To request an update if they open a restaurant where you live visit their Locations page and enter in your email address and you'll be among the first to know if a "The Melt" opens in your city.
For now there are four locations in Northern California where you can try The Melt grilled cheese sandwiches.
The Melt Stanford - (Enter Sand Hill Rd By Pottery Barn)
Stanford Shopping Center
180 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94304
The Melt New Montgomery
115 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
The Melt Spear
345 Spear Street, Suite 126
San Francisco, CA 94105
The Melt Embarcadero - (Sacramento and Front)
One Embarcadero Center
San Francisco, CA 94111