Pretty college towns like Kent always seem to attract the most interesting concepts in the dining world; college kids like to try new things on a dime. So it was no surprise to me as I wandered the alleyway of downtown Kent, Ohio, that I would find something different. The Kent State University crowd has a lot of places it can go for a sandwich. More so if they wander out into the Akron-Canton-Cleveland area which has an emerging dining scene. But it’s hard to imagine missing out on a chance for one of these enormous sandwiches.
Twisted Meltz specializes in grilled cheeses, but they’re very complicated varieties. Each of the melts on the menu is named after a celebrity who attended Kent State University, and each has some of the characteristics of that celebrity, as seen through the eyes of Steve Tannous, its owner. The restaurant opened earlier this year but seems to have already attracted a lot of interest from the college students and townsfolk alike. Pictured is the “Lou Holtz,” an interesting number stuffed with Macaroni and cheese, bacon, cheddar cheese and ranch dressing.
My favorite, though, was the James Harrison. With an Angus beef patty, this grilled cheese is more of a patty melt by definition. This enormous masterpiece has onion rings and caramelized onions, cheddar, barbecue sauce, and of course, smokey bacon. It’ll bust your diet to be sure, but who cares? Everything in the sandwich is delicious, and the mixture of flavors gives the melt a crunchiness with the bread and onions, a smokiness from the bacon, and a very juice meat patty to top it all off. It’s a great testament to what you can do with the simple ingredients, and definitely my favorite menu item I’ve tried so far in Kent.
The restaurant also happens to serve Ashby’s Ice Cream — a chain which can be found in little shops, usually in college towns around the Midwest. Through Ashby’s, you can get a number of ice cream flavors here, as well as milkshakes and root beer floats.
In all, this casual concept has a lot of potential to flourish in Kent, and I do hope to see it go far.
- The spot isn’t clear to spot from the street, instead it can be found in the alleyway between buildings off of Main Street.
- The grilled cheese sandwiches are the best and most prominent items on the menu, and worth a try.
- If you’ve got a hankering for dessert, worry not, there’s an Ashby’s Ice Cream co-located at this shop, and it serves milkshakes and root beer floats among others.