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Friday, April 11, 2008

Restaurant of the Weekend: Melt Bar and Grilled

Posted By on Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 8:58 AM

Even if April wasn’t National Grilled Cheese Month (so proclaimed by the publicists at the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board), we’d still dig a weekend visit to Lakewood’s Melt Bar and Grilled. (14718 Detroit Ave., 216-226-3699). After all, there are few things in life more satisfying than a perfect grilled cheese sandwich, its melty midsection peeking out coyly from between two slabs of griddled bread. The dainty crunch, the buttery richness, the savory tang of top-notch fillings: Like a universal language, it speaks to everyone, from 8-year-old to 80. ... For our money, there’s no place that does ‘em up better – more attentively prepared, more ample, and more delicious -- than Melt, musician and food-industry vet Matt Fish's grotto of gooey goodness, inside the former White Door Saloon. The space is comfy, the vibe casual, and the clientele eclectic. And with a menu that features nearly two-dozen towering variations on the grilled-cheese theme (as well as 8 burgers, two steak sandwiches, and a collection of soups, salads, starters, and snacks), there is certainly something for everyone. Among our personal faves, consider the Parmageddon ($9), a plump pierogi, smothered in cheddar, grilled onions, and homemade kraut; the Mushroom Melt ($7.50), with thick slices of woodsy, stir-fried portobellos, caramelized onion, and melted provolone; and the Hot Italian ($10.50), with salami, ham, pepperoni, sun-dried-tomato pesto, roasted garlic, and provolone -- like first-rate pizza, only better. Each of the two-fisted belly busters comes with a mountain of freshly cut fries, and a portion of peppery homemade slaw. And to wash ‘em down, the 100-bottle beer list is a treasure trove of pilsners, lagers, bochs, lambics, porters, stouts, and wheat beers. So go on and celebrate. Unlike the mortgage payment and the electric bill, National Grilled Cheese Month only comes ‘round once a year. It would be a shame not to make the most of it. Kitchen hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Read our full review from November 2006 here. --- Elaine T. Cicora Read Elaine Cicora's restaurant reviews, food news, and comprehensive dining guide on the restaurant page at

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