Melt Shop

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tucked away in the shadows of an office complex, Melt Shop is little more than a walk-up grilled cheese sandwich vendor, but it'd like to have you think otherwise. Its menu boasts the all-American comfort food done in a number of ways, many of them "gourmet" or, at the very least, "American Nouveau."

There's the three cheese melt, made up of gruyère, fontina and goat cheeses held together by homemade roasted tomatoes between sourdough bread ($7.75). "Creamy" and "buttery" are words that come to mind, but I'm not sure the roasted tomatoes (perhaps particularly suspect because they were "homemade") really work here. Altogether, the sandwich is nothing that can't be made at home following a quick trip to Trader Joe's.

We also had the fontina and goat cheese sandwich with wild mushrooms and parsley pesto on whole wheat bread ($7.50). This one I liked more because the mushrooms gave it an almost rustic (I'm reaching now) Provence-like flavor and a whole lot more to chew on. The goat cheese flavor was mostly absent and the pesto was concentrated towards the center of the sandwich, but appreciated when discovered. I felt this one was more worth its $7+ price tag, though more as a luxury than a regular comfort food item.

The highlight of the meal was probably the Stumptown coffee (hailing from Portland, Oregon) milkshake ($5.50). This shake would have been perfect if the coffee grounds hadn't been so plentiful and it hadn't been so milky. It had the perfect sweetness and just the right amount of coffee flavor, though the portion size was typical of Manhattan -- petite.

We considered ordering a $3.50 portion of tomato soup for tradition's sake but ultimately decided against it. Maybe next time ... and only if I'm really cold and really hungry for my childhood.

Melt Shop
601 Lexington Avenue (at 53rd Street)

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  1. Stumptown in NYC! That's all I really wanted to say. As if I even hailed from Portland, OR :x That shake looks divine. Milkshakes are so expensive here. Like, 6-8 euros! :(



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