April 22, 2011


I usually try very hard NOT to go to places that have just opened--I like to give places a few weeks/months to work out their kinks. It was quite by accident that I met a friend, HRB, for lunch at Melt just 2 days after it opened in Midtown East. (We almost missed it--you can't see it from the street--take the stairs down into the outdoor seating at the Citigroup building!) They start delivery in a few weeks--if you use it, let me know how well those sammiches travel!

We came at the end of the lunch rush, but there was still a line of about 12 people ahead of us. Melt is just a storefront, so people filed up to the window to place their order, then stepped aside to wait for the cheesy goodness. Despite the line, and at least 2 people who came with 3-4 separate orders (sigh), we moved quickly and placed our orders in minutes.

I was torn between the buttermilk fried chicken with pepperjack (my favorite!) cheese, and the smoked ham & gruyere with grainy mustard and rye (FOUR of my favorites!) I asked the busy but friendly young man at the register, and he suggested the ham. Done. I also ordered the snickerdoodle ice cream sandwich, and the server chuckled "That's my exact order every day." Good sign!

We didn't have to wait long--those grills must be super duper hot. They come in these paper bags with helpful handles. (HRB commented that one bag was a lot of packaging for a single sandwich--perhaps they'll come up with smaller/single-serving size bags? Just a thought on this Earth Day!)

Speaking of grills, check out the raised 'griddle lines' on the box! I'm sure they're meant to keep the bread from getting too soggy too soon--some thought went into this!

My friend HRB ordered the cheddar and glazed bacon--bacon is extra but it's almost always worth it. If you have to ask if this was good, you need some glazed bacon in your life. : )

We grabbed an outdoor seat, as the weather was finally starting to turn almost springlike, and shared our sandwiches. H is a good sport--this is her first time going to lunch with me, and she gamely let me snap my pix and share sammiches.

I couldn't wait for the ice cream sandwich. It's little but more than enough. The snickerdoodle cookie had a perfect balance of sweet and salty, and while I didn't really notice the ice cream flavor as much, it was a great way to make the cookies last a lot longer. This was really, REALLY good.

The sandwiches were pretty good, soothing my doubts that 'grilled cheese' was worth a trip. The service was friendly and fast: no glitches at all, which surprised me considering they just opened a few days ago! It's not going to be an everyday treat for me, but I would absolutely go back to Melt Shop. An ooey-gooey grilled cheese is just the perfect food some days. In the hot weather, I'll be picking up one of those cracktastic ice cream sandwiches! They also serve Stumptown coffee and even Stumptown Coffee Shakes (I resisted, but Imma come back for that one!) Just remember to go down the stairs into the public seating area and look over in the corner--you'll see the line and smell the melted cheese. mmmm..cheese....

Melt Shop
601 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212)759-MELT (6358)

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