A few weeks ago my new man and I went to The Melt. We went for the same reasons you may end up going: the line at Torchy’s is still too damn long. It’s like the women’s bathroom line at Mile High, but without the desperate need to actually have to stand in it. They’d have to be giving away tacos to force me to be patient enough to wait outside when it’s 35 degrees. And probably margaritas too.
So, to The Melt we went! (Because CB & Potts had a line as well and I get violently hangry.) I figured we would be rewarded for our commitment to non-commitment with a surprisingly delicious meal. I was wrong.
Remember a couple of weeks ago when I had that Mac & Cheese stuffed Grilled Cheese Sandwich? I don’t mainly because I’m trying to block out the entire experience, but when I saw the same concept on The Melt’s menu I figured this would be a way to right how terribly I had been wronged. I would not give up on the idea of the blissful holy matrimony existing within these two classic cheese dishes. I was going to eat what this sandwich was supposed to taste like, dammit. And it was going to be, as the kids say, the tits.
It was not the tits.
On their own, each component of the Mac Daddy ($5.95) was fine. The marriage however suffered with their forced cohabiting situation. The cheese part of the grilled cheese gets lost in this mess, much like my own sense of self did in my marriage. It’s there, you can see it, but you can’t detect it through the cavatappi pasta that serves as the base for the Mac & Cheese partner. I am an elbow mac girl myself and anything else feels wrong, I don’t care how creamy it is. The bacon on the other hand was fully cooked which delighted me because of my new gutter-low expectations, and certainly added a little flavor. The bread itself was toasted fine and had an insane amount of parsley sprinkled on it, which made it feel fancy and like I should give it more of a chance.
I upgraded to a combo ($10.95) which adds a side and a fountain soda. Still suffering from the whiplash of not eating where we intended to, I wasn’t able to quickly made sense of their somewhat odd menu and ordered Sweet Potato Fries. I looked forward to a big, tall, icy Coke and instead was treated to fountain natural soda options. I lived in Boulder County long enough that I can roll with this kind of thing, but JP is from the south and I think this was the point where the whole meal died for him a little bit. I will say that their natural sodas would make an excellent mixer. In the event you carry around little airplane bottles of booze with you (which I don’t, Mom).
The fries, be them “Naked” or Sweet Potato, are not quite shoestring, not quite regular, but rather in that middle dead zone area that’s just confusing. Perhaps had they been stuffed into my grilled cheese as well, the whole thing would have worked out better. But I may be taking the concept too far. I do that sometimes.
JP got the Swiss & ‘Shroom Burger ($6.95/$11.45 as a combo): a “Quarter Pound 100% Wagyu & Angus Beef, Baby Swiss, Fresh Spinach, Grilled Mushrooms, Crispy Onion with Aioli.” After he tasted it, I got to hear a rousing rendition of how he grew-up on a farm which I didn’t know. I’ll sum up his point much quicker than I
had to suffer through got to hear about by telling you that organic beef can be a gamble in the flavor department. This burger was nothing special and still fine all at once. The cheese was melted, the mushrooms seemed to be out of a can, saving the aioli to be the best part. Aioli should never be the best part of anything.
Ready for my Second Verse Same As The First, I returned with my mother in tow. I want to preface this visit by saying that I love cheese. I was a vegetarian for years but was never willing to go full vegan just because of cheese. So a great grilled cheese sandwich isn’t boring for me and the one-two punch of tomato soup and a solid sandwich is one of my fondest childhood memories on a plate. Well, it was. The Melt robbed me of this a little.
When I make a grilled cheese at home, I use every single kind of cheese I have in my fridge. And there are always at least three because of the addiction I mentioned before. I then “toast” that cheesy goodness in a way that some people would call frying: in a pan with an obscene amount of butter. This is the way I was taught and if this is wrong, well…..it isn’t. It’s the way it’s supposed to be done and if you didn’t know before, you do now. The Melt skimps. On cheese, on butter, on meltiness (it is too a thing). My Classic Cheese ($4.95) reminded me of the time my dad tried to make me a grilled cheese; it was perfectly fine, certainly edible, but just not right. Not the way my mom did it, which as we all know is usually far superior.
I tried to get around this disappointment by using my Tomato Soup ($2.95) as a dipping agent. A proper soup can save an average sandwich—that’s just basic math. The Melt describes their tomato soup as “Vine-riped tomato, Touch of cream & basil.” Basil never touched my soup. It maybe whispered to it from across the room, but there was no touching, of that I’m certain. In the end, this soup is nothing more than a sauce with less flavor than the Organic Heinz that is free and readily available on each table.
My mom, bless her heart, decided to put off her retreat back to a vegan lifestyle one more day and ordered a Build Your Own Burger ($5.95) with Naked Fries ($2.45). I advised her to add the aioli because, boy howdy, she would need it. Her (previously frozen) burger arrived completely tasteless. The “touch” of taste failed to give this burger a big hug on it’s way out of the kitchen. That hug is essential. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t gross, it was honestly just tasteless. It was a tomato/romaine/pickle/raw onion/aioli sandwich. With a side of Disappointment Fries.
I was excited to try The Melt. Their Facebook page is basically just porn for cheese lovers. I imagined eating cheese, cheese everywhere, on everything. I would be struggling to pull apart my bites of all this melted deliciousness. Maybe I set my expectations too high based only on good photography; I do that too sometimes.
The Melt’s schtick is everything organic. If eating organic is the most important part of your dining experience, great! You’ll be happy to see that every single thing is organic. But all this effort is lost on me and it would appear that flavor suffers with the deal.
The staff at our local franchise is as kind as they come. And the environment is clean with plenty of seating. But truly I can’t think of anything fantastic or terrible to say about the food. It’s like trying to review water.
The iced tea was the tits though.
185 East Foothills Parkway (Foothills Mall) #110
Parking: Mall Parking.
Healthy Options? Several salads and Vegetarian options.
Budget-Friendly? Slightly higher than other Quick Casuals.
Recent Health Inspection: Excellent.