Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Brunch at Melt Bar & Grilled

I could eat a grilled cheese sandwich at least once a week. I don't because I can't make them very well. I either don't use enough butter or oil and fail to get that satisfying crunch, or cook it too long at too high of a heat and get a far too blackened crisp. When I heard that the Cleveland-based Melt Bar & Grilled would be opening a Columbus location for their grilled cheese sandwiches, I knew it was something I would have to try.

Paul, however, isn't a huge grilled cheese fan, although he does honor my request to make a cheese sandwich about once a month or so, for a lazy weekend lunch. But when we initially went to a restaurant a few weekends ago that didn't have high chairs, we needed a back-up place for lunch fast. Melt was nearby, so we decided to try it.

Good choice.

Despite the "bar" in its name and the wide variety of beers it offers, Melt is actually very kid-friendly. Plenty of high chairs, and the level of noise was just perfect for covering up typical toddler noises. There was a lit candle as a centerpiece on every table -- a nice touch for such a laid-back restaurant, but not great with a one-year-old in tow. But it was easily moved to another table.

Melt offers your standard grilled cheese sandwich, but most of the options on the menu go far beyond it. There are burgers, soups and salads, but of course I immediately began perusing the grilled cheese menu. I finally settled for the Backyard BBQ -- pulled chicken, beef brisket or pulled pork (I chose pork), topped with giant onion rings, barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese.

This was hardly a grilled cheese sandwich. It was a fully meat-lovers sammich that happened to include cheese. But I was far from disappointed. The Backyard BBQ was one of the best sandwiches I've ordered at a restaurant (those onion rings -- yum!), and big enough that I easily could have split it with someone else. In fact, most of my french fries went into a doggie bag.

When I'm in the mood for a grilled cheese sandwich, I probably won't go to Melt. My nothing-special sandwiches are good enough for a simple craving. But I'll definitely return to Melt when I want a delicious sandwich at a family-friendly restaurant with a better-than-average atmosphere.

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