Sunday, November 6, 2011

Melt Down Grilled Cheese

UPDATE (10/22/12): Unfortunately, Melt Down Grilled Cheese has changed their menu, removing nearly every sandwich mentioned below, including the Honey Apple.  The new sandwich I tried, Ham and Cheese was lackluster and disappointing.  Bring back the Honey Apple!!

Sorry for the silence on this blog, but all of my writing energy was focused on my [paid] column over on Upper Moreland Patch

I knew reviewing restaurants in the finite area of my tiny town would end sooner or later, but I am still sad to see it go.  I tried a stint at the Examiner but their compensation is laughable (think cents, not dollars), so here we are back where it all started.  I'm still looking for a real food writing gig -- and if you know of something, PLEASE pass it on -- but in the meantime, you'll find me here.

Last week I was headed to lunch at Saladworks with my 18 month old daughter, but the new restaurant next door caught my eye instead.  Poor Saladworks, I bet it is hard to compete with Melt Down, which offers grilled cheese, grilled cheese, and more grilled cheese.

According to my friend Jill from culinary school, who helped with menu development (she always has the coolest jobs!), Melt Down is from the guys who created Peace A Pizza.

Now, I know who these guys are, and if you read my Examiner article and earned me a half-penny, you know who these guys are too.  I was pleased to find that they brought the same level of innovation to grilled cheese as they do Eggplant Parm Pizza.

Instead of a hippie culture, though, Melt Down has modern tables and big floral Ikea light balls juxtaposed by 1950's big band classics blasting on the sound system.  Besides Frank Sinatra's standards, I loved hearing him sing Nimue's "Follow Me" from the musical Camelot. 

Like at Peace A Pizza, there is a tiny table set up at the back for kids with a large screen tv, quiet on the day we went, and New Hope cane sugar soda in flavors like Orange Mango, Root Beer, and Skinny Cola.

After ordering at the counter, we settled in at the tiny table.  By the time I collected napkins, utensils, and my drink, the food was brought over to us in metal baskets lined with paper printed like a the front page of a 1905 Hawaiian newspaper.

I ordered the kids meal for my daughter, which consists of half of the long diagonally cut Classic grilled cheese sandwich, one side, and a kids drink.  We were given the choice of cheddar or American cheese on the sandwich, chips or applesauce, and juice, milk or soda. 

She's 18 months old and still communicates with single words and shrieks, so I chose for her: American cheese, applesauce, and milk.  They were all very well received.  The sandwich was melty on the inside and dry on the outside, saving us from greasy hands, cheeks, clothes, etc.

Though there were lots of sandwiches I wanted to try -- the Maryland Crab, Baja Melt, Melt-akopita -- the Honey Apple caught my eye.  Sharp cheddar surrounded thin, soft apple slices and tiny square dices of raw red onion that added just the right sharp tang.  The honey and Dijon mustard spread separately on the toasty bread didn't combine to make honey-mustard; one bite had smooth sweetness from the honey, while the next zipped with mustard. 

As if the sandwich wasn't good enough on its own, it came with a tiny cup of Truffle Garlic sauce.  Holy deliciousness.  Though a slightly off-putting color of brown (from the truffles, no doubt), this sauce was insane.  It complimented and enhanced the Honey Apple grilled cheese, taking it from sweet to savory.  (Kudos, Jill!)

The menu boasted a Signature Grilled Ice Cream Sandwich, which layers vanilla or chocolate ice cream between two slices of grilled pound cake topped with raspberry glaze.  It sounded amazing, but I was stuffed.  Too much Truffle Garlic sauce, perhaps?

Dont worry, I'll be back to try it another time.

Hungry?  Go get yourself some!

Location: 111 Garden Golf Road, North Wales, PA
Hours:  Monday through Saturday: 11am - 9pm; Sunday: 11am - 8pm