Melt - Cleveland Heights, OH
Melt should be familiar to you if you've watched episodes of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on Food Network. It's a definite bucket list destination and I finally worked up enough of an appetite to try it out. What you hear is true: you get loads (and loads) of great food. I still have Melt on the bucket list so I can try some of the other tastings from the menu.
I went with a group of my co-workers so we shared a couple of items. We started with an order of the Melt pierogi. I had never eaten a pierogi until I started traveling to Cleveland. It's essentially an Eastern Europe filled dumpling. The Melt pierogi is filled with potatoes and onions and was perfectly fried. It was a crunchy dumpling on the outside with soft pillowy potatoes on the inside. It was also topped with cheddar cheese and sour cream.
Melt is known for one thing, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. I remember watching these gigantic sandwiches on TV with melted grilled cheese oozing down the side. I couldn't wait to try one. I decided to finally try it when someone told me about their seasonal sandwich last month, the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. How can one resist such a name? I definitely could not, especially since it was the seasonal special. The timing was perfect because I was in bacon state of mind with my upcoming bacon-themed Christmas menu (remember the bacon cinnamon rolls?!).
So, the moment of truth, what exactly was in the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? How many different kinds of bacon can you really fit into one sandwich?
- Hickory smoked bacon
- Black pepper crusted slab cut bacon
- Maple bourbon glazed smoked pork belly
- Italian pancetta
- Herb cream cheese with bacon bits
- Housemade bacon infused mayo
Of course it wasn't all just bacon. It was melted with an lovely ooey gooey sharp cheddar cheese and topped with romaine lettuce and a tomato. But let's be honest. The bacon was definitely the star of the sandwich and it was worth all the extra calories.
My absolute favorite part of the whole sandwich had to be the maple bourbon glazed smoked pork belly. Hands down. Every bite was filled with bacony goodness, but this added such a great sweetness with the maple bourbon glaze. My second favorite part was the black pepper bacon. It gave a nice peppery kick. Every bite was crunchy and smokey with a little bit of sweet and spice. I was in bacon sandwich heaven. I had to order a full size since it was the seasonal special. I definitely had left overs, but that's OK. It was worth the trip.
We had to order dessert. Apparently they really are known for their sandwiches because our server even said no one really orders dessert. Not even the regulars. We decided to go against the grain and give it a try. They offer two, a seasonal bread pudding and fried twinkies. The bread pudding was more cake and less pudding, but still had a nice red velvety flavor. Perfect for winter. The fried twinkies were deep fried in a funnel cake batter, which was nice and crispy.
You'll definitely have to come prepared to eat. You can order 1/2 a sandwich, except for the specials. It's served with a side of fries and you can ask for a pickle as well. But if you are prepared, then you will likely have one of the funnest foodie adventures.