By Mia Shehadi
For the first time in forever my sister and I finally got to actually finish each other’s sandwiches. That wasn’t just for my Disney fans; we actually got to try a sandwich food cart! Melted serves a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches for an on-the-go lifestyle. Although a bit away from campus, their King Street location provides a nice relaxing setting surrounded by ample outdoor seating. It is right on the Capitol Square in front of the Park Bank, across the street from Colectivo.
While my sister was in town we agreed to meet at Library Mall and begin the trek, and because three is company, she brought her adorable boyfriend, which made for amusing photo opportunities. The walk was a really pleasant 10-minute stroll up State Street, through the Capitol, down the East corridor. The weather was perfect too; it was nice and sunny with a light breeze. A refreshing turnover from the grey cold I had become incredibly accustomed to.
As soon as we popped out of the Capitol’s revolving doors, a sweet, light blue cart shone in the shade. With chrome accents and a large grilled cheese logo “M” on the side, it was pretty hard to miss. The outside design reminded me of a ‘50s diner, very inviting with a retro touch. Their menu wasn’t posted on the side of the cart, but was written in eye-catching color on a large chalkboard placed to the side. We each ordered a different grilled sandwich and agreed to share. I ordered The Standard, Lily ordered the Southwestern Bacon and Joel ordered the Chicago Dog. The total added up to around $35, which sounded pricey until we saw the amount of food we each got. Although it didn’t come with a side, each sandwich was more than enough for a single person to fill up on. The average price is around $8; it’s a solid deal especially for a quick grab-and-go meal that is so substantial. We were also offered a free shot of homemade Tomato Soup to dip the sandwiches in.
The Standard grilled cheese had sharp cheddar, Muenster and Swiss.
The Southwestern Bacon had thick cut bacon, sharp cheddar, tomato and a chipotle aioli Ranch drizzle. Wipe away the drool because here comes the big boy. The Chicago Dog had a 1/4 pound beef frank, onion, tomato, spicy house-made relish, sharp cheddar, Muenster and deli mustard.
We took a seat on one of the Capitol’s many carved stone seats and I proceeded to photograph every beautiful moment of the meal. I unwrapped my classic grilled cheese and the melted cheese hung like beautiful, rope bridges between the two sandwich halves. It may have been the sun reflecting on the tinfoil wrapping but there was definitely a halo and a chorus singing the father apart I pulled the halves. It was delicious, the outside perfectly crispy with a gooey center. It was very rich but not overwhelming, which can happen often and easily with a buttered grilled cheese. The Southwestern Bacon Sandwich was the perfect crispiness as well but with a much more dynamic flavor profile. The chipotle aioli wasn’t too spicy and helped cut the greasiness of the bacon, while the tomato was a good balance for the rich, sharp cheddar. The Chicago dog was huge in size and success. It held true to the classic flavor combination of a Chicago style hotdog while combining very well with the grilled bread and not-too-messy portable food cart style meals.
After gobbling most of it down like we were scared it would run away, we tossed out and recycled the extra paper and little free cups of soup. Admittedly the walk back was a little slower but we were all beyond pleased with our choices and relished in the peaceful sunlight away from the University. The Melted food cart is perfect and convenient for the workingman, hurried students and Sunday strollers alike. Aiming to please the customer with tasty comfort food, its adventurous menu will satisfy any flavor combination craving. I highly recommend a stop by this place for a bite both gargantuan in size and flavor and will definitely be returning soon.