OMG Foodie Recommends:
Grilled Cheese That Will Make Your Heart Melt
As the newest contributor to OMGFoodie, I was initially curious when I learned that the first place I would try was one that specialized in comfort food. You see, I’m from the south where comfort food is a staple, something I feel we know more about than your average Tom, Dick, or Harry. So when I was handed a grilled cheese sandwich that both my hands couldn’t contain, spilling out chicken and cheese and butter, I knew that this, this is what defines comfort food.
Crunchy and sweet and cheesey all at the same time, not one taste overpowered another, but just drifted together as perfect complements.
Melt Shop is the brain child of Spencer Rubin, a graduate from the hospitality program at Cornell University, who has been working in the restaurant industry since he was 14. Nestled beneath the Citigroup Center between 53rd and 54th streets on Lexington Ave, it’s counter opened in the summer of 2011 and has been making a splash ever since. Lines can stretch for quite a ways as people come to get a taste of "something everyone knows," the thing our moms made us when we were kids, the grilled cheese sandwich.
The first sandwich I tried was the buttermilk-fried chicken with jack cheese and cabbage slaw on a two slices of country white bread. This was the monstrocity that took two hands. Crunchy and sweet and cheesey all at the same time, not one taste overpowered another, but just drifted together as perfect complements. If you’re not in a fried chicken kinda mood, there’s always the three cheese melt, made with gruyere, fontina, and goat cheese, topped with roasted tomatoes in the middle of two pieces of perfectly buttered sourdough. The buttered bread is a point of pride at Melt Shop, as every slice is ensured to be fully covered so as to be impeccably toasted.
Yet the ultimate Oh My God moment for me came with the special of the day, the pulled-pork BBQ sandwich. Heaped with pulled pork, aged cheddar, and just the right amount of sweet BBQ sauce, I in no shame admit that when I bit into it I blurted out, “Hello Nashville,” (the capital of my home state, and the place where I learned to appreciate barbecue just like the kind I was eating.)
And there’s more! The Melt Shop offers a variety of other choices to tickle your fancy from a smoked turkey ruben grilled cheese to a tuna melt-melt with sharp cheddar to tater tots. Melt Shop also offers a breakfast menu that extends until 10:30. And if you don’t see something you’d like to try on their menu why, you can just make one up! If the ingredients are there, they will try and make it for you. Be creative!
So when I was handed a grilled cheese sandwich that both my hands couldn’t contain, spilling out chicken and cheese and butter, I knew that this, this is what defines comfort food.
As Rubin says, spend every day having fun. And I guarantee, digging into a grilled cheese sandwich that’s so good your eyes roll into the back of your head, is just that.
Keep an eye out, the location is downstairs, by the subway.
The to-go sandwich keeps it’s crunch and won’t go soggy because of the packaging.