Sunday, March 4, 2012

March Madness

Melt has a sandwich of the month along with theme sandwiches interspersed for 1-2 days throughout the month that are coordinated with the Cedar-Lee and Capitol Theaters. This weekend, "Fletch" is being shown so their weekend sandwiches are the Underhill's chicken fried steak and steak melt sandwiches ($13). As soon as Bug heard "chicken fried steak," his stomach decided that Melt was where we were having lunch this weekend.

In order to avoid a long wait, we rushed through our errands and arrived at the doorstep of their Independence location 4 minutes past their scheduled opening time. The place was already jamming as we walked through the threshold with only four empty tables out of 40-50 tables in the restaurant. Within 5 minutes of being seated, the remaining tables were filled.

365-244 Fletch Chicken Fried Steak Melt
Day 244/365 - Fletch

It was obvious at first glance the Fletch melt was a fork and knife affair, but I would not be persuaded to eat it in a proper manner. On my first bite of the sandwich, I grappled with the chicken fried steak, trying to bite into it. Instead, the entire steak pulled out of the sandwich, so I left it on Bug's plate.

While the bite I kept had a tasty deep fried batter, I didn't want to deal with it anymore and, instead, enjoyed the super gooey provolone, sausage gravy, and garlic mashed potatoes as it oozed all over my hands, face, and mouth. I love messy food as long is it doesn't get caught between my teeth. Had they pounded the beef a bit more, this would have been another flawless sandwich.

My heart was set on the March sandwich of the month when I found out it was the Reuben melt ($10). With St. Patrick's Day coming up, a corned beef special was not a surprise.

365-244 Reuben Melt Chowder
Day 244/365 - Reuben

The sandwich was incredibly delicious and well constructed. The corned beef was (thankfully) lean and appropriately seasoned. The sauerkraut had enough texture and flavor that didn't resemble mass produced overly crunchy and ultra-tangy crud. It may have been the euphoria talking, but it had a rounded mellow brownness. The Swiss cheese and Russian dressing were a wonderful complement of sweetness and piquancy that bound the contents together.

I am sure most people love their slaw. Not being fond at all of raw onions, I may overlook a little onion flavor but with the abundance of raw onions used, onions are all I taste. Instead of the cole slaw side, I substituted an order of New England clam chowder for $1. As you can see above, it was Manhattan clam chowder, which was all right.

All this food and I still contemplated dessert? You bet! (I packed away 1/3 of the corned beef sandwich-half and 1/2 of the mashed potato-gravy-provolone sandwich-half in a box)

365-244 Almond Joy Bread Pudding
Day 244/365 - Almond joy

As always, Melt's monthly bread pudding special is a creative decadence both in flavor and presentation. Their almond joy bread pudding is a warm concoction of chocolate and coconut flavored bread pudding baked with coconut, chocolate chips, and almonds that sits atop a chocolate-almond sauce, sprinkled with coconut flakes, toasted coconut, and almonds. Additionally, it is served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and two chocolate fish cookies.

This time, the bread pudding was powdery, presenting more like a cake than bread pudding.  Texture aside, this was delicious with a lot of coconut love.

While less than ideal, it was still a fun, delicious, and fantastically messy adventure to Melt. I look forward to our next excursion!

- Cassaendra

6700 Rockside Rd
Independence, OH 44131
Tel: (216) 520-1415

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