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Melt: The Restaurant


glenn
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Congratulations! The website is fantastic (I could hear that beautiful, crisp, grilled-cheese sandwich "crack" as I mentally bit into it ), and I'm sure the place is even better "in the flesh." Best of luck to you! :smile:

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Hi Glenn -

I've been lurking in this thread fo a while, just because my work schedule was so hectic and I had had to step back from posting for a time. But I want to wish you the best of luck!! Any of us who have even owned or run a small restaurant know all the frustrations and joys that go along with it, and I give you many kudos. I am sending as much good karma your way as I can summon.

I wish my life took me towards Jersey City more often, because MELT sounds like the type of place that I would have lunch at every day. But I'll make it out there someday soon

-Dave

Nothing says I love you like a homemade salami

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My boyfriend Chris & I used the lovely sunny day today, as a good excuse to wander down around the waterfront in JC/Hoboken/Edgewater (we love shopping at that huge Whole Foods!), and I've been dying to try Melt as well. Well, what a *fantastic* culinary experience!

The ambience is great- funky artwork on the walls, good mags to read and all sorts of fun items on the menu. Chris was very excited that they served Coke in the old glass bottles (yum!), as I salivated to see so many cheese choices on the menu. Chris ordered a grilled cheese with buffalo cheddar (hot, and damn good), mozzarella & muenster with jalapeno jelly on the Balthazar multi-grain bread. I ordered a grilled cheese with muenster, feta & monterey jack with basil pesto on Balthazar levain bread.

Holy cow were these good! Chris & I rarely agree on food, because our tastes are so different and both of us agreed that these were the best grilled cheeses ever. The bread is thick & crunchy (and ridged panini style- AWESOME), but the cheese is only semi-melted in the middle so you can truly taste the differences in cheese.

Our total was $15.11 for 2 sandwiches and a soda, and Glenn served us- thanks Glenn! I'm always irritated when the owners of a restaurant aren't soliciting feedback from customers, and I think you have a great idea by waiting tables and introducing yourself.

All in all, a fantastic lunch and I can't wait to return :biggrin:

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  • 2 weeks later...

eGulleteer Glenn Susser's new cafe - Melt seems to be getting some nice publicity lately.

He got a mention on Bob Lape's WCBS (AM station in NYC) radio show today and is due for another bit of coverage tomorrow. There was also a small mention recently in the Daily News in their column The Latest Dish. He'll be getting some press this in the Star Ledger this Friday but I don't know the details of that.

I've been staying in touch with Glenn off-line to check on the progress of coffee equipment I assisted him with prior to his opening . His business seems to be developing nicely but it's fascinating to see how things can grow and evolve in different directions than one can predict or project when in the pre-opening phases.

He's mentioned a few of those issues in his replies on this thread - hopefully when he has a bit of time he'll be able to elaborate a bit more. I think it's very educational for us "armchair restaurateurs" and prospective entrepreneurs to see how differently things can work out than anticipated - not bad just different.

I'm hoping to be passing through that neighborhood on April 1st and will report back on my meal after I finally get there.

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Thanks for the mention Owen.

I hope the eglutton staff doesn't mind, but I'd like to say thanks once again to everyone for all the helpful suggestions and comments I've received over the past 4 or 5 months. Many of those suggestions have been used, including the name, "Melt." Without the help of many people here, Melt would not have turned out to be as cool as I think it is. I am an accountant and have little imagination not to mention that I have virtually no culinary background. This site compensated for those shortcomings. That's saying a lot!

I'd especially like to thank the eglutton staff for allowing this type of discourse. Everyone has been super great, members and staff, and I am super grateful.

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Bob Lape, the veteran food reporter for WCBS Radio in NY, also has a nice comment on Melt in this week's review.

Bob Lape - YUM!

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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Friday afternoon my steadfast dining companion and I made the trek into Jersey City in search of Melt, of which I've read so much about here on Egullet. It was situated in a rather nondescript building that is badly in need of some signage. Had we not had a specific street number in hand, it would have been very easy to overlook. I'm sure a big Melt sign must be in the works.

The cafe itself is quite cozy. Interesting artwork, wooden floors, a great welcoming overall feel. It became extraordinarily "cozy" after a large group of 4-5 year olds with parents in tow descended on the place. More about them later.

Walking into the shop you immediately notice the funky-cool overhead, bread-shaped menu board. Yes, as mentioned previously, it is a bit overwhelming (not to mention hard to read without squinting a bit -- my bad eyes) and menus were immediately offered upon sitting at a small table for two. The idea of a mix-and-match grilled cheese on hearty bread is just too perfect. The cheese that were offered were diverse but at the same time comforting and familiar. I went for a Buffalo Cheddar and Mozzarella combo on the Levain bread....he ordered The Adriatic and a side of fries. We both had a cup of the Tomato Cheddar soup.

The soup: Thick, smooth, wonderful. The cheddar gave this comfort soup a tang and a thickness that made is very special. I wish I could have taken a quart of it home for later.

The sandwiches: Crunchy, crusty and grilled to perfection. Not at all greasy. The Buffalo Cheddar made me want to run right out and find out where I could buy some of my very own. I probably should have experimented with a topping or two but this first time I just wanted to focus on the cheese, the cheese, the cheese. Its been mentioned before that Melt doesn't melt their cheese all the way through the sandwich and understandablly so... they are so thick that they would probably either burn or take a much longer time to grill on a lower heat. That being said, I DO like my cheese meltier and wish that the mozzarella had melted enough to mix with the cheddar rather than stand on its own. It seemed to be that block kind of mozz that really benefits from melting. Hmmm.... you Melt guys ever give a thought to putting Fresh Mozz on the menu? Fresh mozz slightly warmed or served cool is incredible... Panini's anyone?

The fries: The fries were ok. Seasoned with perhaps paprika, salt & pepper. At the conclusion of our meal, we thought that next time we might skip the fries and dessert and just order another awesome sandwich.

Drinks & Dessert: I had a Jones Diet Cream soda... yummy and he went for the sugar-ific 'real' Coca-Cola. Dessert was an ok cinnamon ice cream, his - cookies & cream.

Overall impression: Melt was a great eating experience. As far as DINING experiences go, its hard to judge as the aforementioned rugrats dancing around the place and whining because their bread wasn't Wonder and the crusts weren't cut off (or did I just imagine that <grin>) made it difficult to judge the service (which was a bit overwhelmed) and the atmosphere (having a flock of 4 year olds choosing drinks from a fridge en masse or yelling across the room to each other does not make for a good dining experience anywhere... ever...then again, I certainly don't blame the little ones -- oh, parennnnts?)

If I had a craving for a crunchy grilled cheese, Melt! would definitely spring to mind. If I had to be in Jersey City for some reason, I would make a point to stop and have a bite.

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Thanks for making the trek! And jeez, I will never forget that afternoon and trying to cope with an avalanche of unsupervised kiddies. I love the kids, but yep, the parents do have to take some control. I did say something to the mom but that didn't go over so well. Oh well. There's quite a lengthy thread on the JC list forum about kid friendly restaurants and Melt was mentioned as not being one because we don't have high chairs. I won't let the Friday experience color my feelings and probably will get a couple of high chairs. I've had lots of kids in and not had a problem - on the contrary, it's a joy having them and having them order one of the bestest sandwiches in the world - american and bacon or american and tomato. Don't knock 'em!

However, that buffalo cheddar is among my favorite cheeses -- quite a hot item. And it was incredibly hard to find but my persistence paid off - it's one of the most popular cheeses.

You hit upon a good point about the melting. I'm not quite sure from your post, but you simply had mutz and the buffalo? If that's the case, the cheese should have been gooey and melted. Even with the thick bread, those cheeses lend themselves well to melting. I apologize that wasn't the case. It's when people add a lot of toppings or order what I call "unfriendly cheeses" (like feta) that we have a hard time getting the cheese to be gooey. Also, the mutz should have been fresh. At one point we carried an aged mutz, but that was only temporary. I wonder if the chef was using some of the aged mutz on your sandwich which I thought we were out of.

Again, thanks for coming.

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Hey Glenn..

My fiance and I will be coming for dinner tommorrow (if our place allows us to leave for 1 hour!).

What do you recommend? Also, will you be there? Id love to say hi.

I get that question all the time. At first, I had no idea how to answer it and usually came up with a stupid smart aleck remark like, "cheese." It's really a matter of personal preference; that's why I have trouble addressing it, though not so much any more. Lots of people like the fun of building their own sandwich - we have roughly 12 cheeses to choose from and you can choose up to 3 on 1 sandwich. Then we have approximately 20 different toppings (ranging from no charge to $1). There is no limit to the amount of toppings, though hopefully sanity will prevail. So you have a plethora of combos to choose from - I'm surprised all the time by peoples' ingenuity. Then, for those who don't like too many choices and just wanna order and get it over with (hand raised high), we have "suggested" sandwiches - 3 altogether. They range from a classic trio of cheeses with tomato and citrus dijon topping to an over the top peanut butter and cheese combo. We also have a new "suggested" sandwich that'll be going on the menu - it's really dynamite and you're welcome to ask about it when you come in.

I always like to keep things fairly simple - one or two cheeses and one or two of the very unique 50 cent toppings (olive tapenade - green or black, or fig jam (regular or orange.) If you like hot, go with the buffalo cheddar. Paired with the sweet mango chutney or peach chutney, it's an incredible sandwich.

Last, we generally special 2 "upscale" cheeses daily. Yesterday we had a blue cheese and goat (fourme d'ambert and montchevre.) I think they were both wonderful and are aimed at a more sophisticated palette and are a little more expensive.

Please make sure to introduce yourself (don't forget the eglutton handshake!) and I can give you further recommendations. This has now become my favorite part of the job.

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Good news for those of us whose geographic limitations or schedules haven't yet permitted a visit to Melt - they'll be featured in a segment on tomorrow's evening news between 5 PM and 6 PM on NYC's WABC Channel 7 television. Apparently they'll be filming Glenn and his chef at work and the news crew will then eat four of the sandwiches.

Yet I don't even get one :angry: but then again... it's a four hour drive for me - I have a good excuse :rolleyes:

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no luck on tonight's broadcast?

It airs tomorrow (4/1) between 5pm and 6pm. They taped today (after dragging me out from hiding under the table.) From what I understand, they'll be showing portions of the interviews (with the chef, customers and me) as well as the cooking scenes throughout the broadcast and they also might be doing some live stuff. All I can say is I'm glad it's over, though Lauren was nice as pie.

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no luck on tonight's broadcast?

It airs tomorrow (4/1) between 5pm and 6pm. They taped today (after dragging me out from hiding under the table.) From what I understand, they'll be showing portions of the interviews (with the chef, customers and me) as well as the cooking scenes throughout the broadcast and they also might be doing some live stuff. All I can say is I'm glad it's over, though Lauren was nice as pie.

Fab. I'm usually in cardiac rehab 5-6, & they usually have the exercise room sets tuned to Ch 7. If they don't, I'll make sure they do!

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Ghost, are you allowed to watch a show about CHEESE when at cardiac rehab?!? :laugh:

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Ghost, are you allowed to watch a show about CHEESE when at cardiac rehab?!?  :laugh:

Not to mention the excitement generated by some of Glenn's amazing sounding sandwiches! :laugh:

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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Ghost, are you allowed to watch a show about CHEESE when at cardiac rehab?!?   :laugh:

Not to mention the excitement generated by some of Glenn's amazing sounding sandwiches! :laugh:

Obviously I'm going to have to be devious with the staff & not tell them about the content of the story I'm interested in! :laugh:

Though I expect the Pope's condition to dominate the news today. I almost hope that they postpone Glenn's segment.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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[...]

Though I expect the Pope's condition to dominate the news today.  I almost hope that they postpone Glenn's segment.

That's precisely what happened. It's postponed until next week. However, I understand they've been running teasers about our "ugly american" all day.

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Please let us know if you find out what day it is supposed to run, Glenn!

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Saw it! The rehab staff loved it too!

How did you get ABC to follow the segment with one of those "3 A Day - Consume More Dairy!" ads? That was an uncanny juxtaposition.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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