Find any friend who is from Cleveland, and ask them which restaurant is the best in town. Odds are, Melt Bar & Grilled will be in the top three.
This delicious nightspot has a line out the door before it even opens, and it’s been expanding business to a few more locations around town and in other parts of Ohio. Melt makes grilled cheese creations like you wouldn’t believe, with dozens of local beers to go along with it. Melt is an experience, one that few other bars can offer. It’s not about being fancy. It’s about being good.
Melt has a massive menu of grilled cheese sandwiches and there are a few dozen different options. Each one of them is a monster, too. Take a loot at the “Backyard BBQ” with chicken, brisket, pulled pork as well as onion rings and barbecue sauce with a cheddar cheese medium. Or maybe “The Dude Abides” which is filled with meatballs, mozzarella sticks, marinara, and a provolone/Romano cheese blend. Go all out, try the “Peanut Butter & Banana” which has cream cheese, berries and peanuts to go along with the two namesake ingredients. The sandwiches are big as they are varied.
- Monte Cristo: The grilled cheese I heard the most about was the “Monte Cristo,” and what an unbelievable thing it is. This one has ham and turkey with Swiss and American cheese. Then, they take the whole thing and fry it. And believe me, a fried grilled cheese sandwich is enormous. The outside is crunchy and the inside is soft and gooey, the hot ham and cheese was outstanding. One thing though, it is absolutely filling. A carb explosion. Each half is a meal by itself, especially with the fries it comes with. It’s the epitome of what makes the place great, huge and over the top food.
- Korean War Pig: You’d think this flavor wouldn’t match, but it does. A Korean BBQ pulled pork, with seared pork belly, a kimchi slaw, pear onion cilantro relish and muenster cheese to accentuate it.
- Melt Pierogi: A tasty but not too greasy app with potato & onion pierogi, sautéed onions, shredded cheddar & sour cream. Small but great.
- 4 Bean Chili: A chili with plenty of beans and meat, topped with cheddar, sour cream & scallions.
- Buffalo chicken chowder: A warm heat to this one that sticks. Thick stew with pulled chicken, blue cheese, celery, carrots & banana peppers.
- Awesome Noodle Salad: Based with spinach and cabbage and also topped with, lo mien noodles, a bit of avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, basil, scallions & candied peanuts accent this one. Then it’s topped with a peanut sesame dressing.
The bar has its own personality, filled with over-the-top trinkets and lots of little tables for groups to congregate. The folks who run the establishment seem to have a personality to match, eclectic and a little quirky, but nonetheless a great experience.
It’s hugely hyped, but I can guarantee you will discover a new taste for grilled cheese sandwiches after visiting this place. It’s a true Cleveland original.
- A wait is almost certain, especially if you get here during meal time. Be prepared to stand in line, possibly outside. There’s no telling how long you’ll wait.
- Also a certainty, you will have a huge meal with a lot of leftovers. If you’re going out to the bars or just don’t want to heft a lot of food around, I’d suggest you split a sandwich with a friend.
- Which one is the best? A lot of people like the “Monte Cristo” and a lot of others like “The Dude Abides.” If you have a taste for strange things, they do have a “build your own” menu.