Melt Shop Brings New Menu to 50th
I’m a total sucker for grilled cheese and tomato soup. So two weeks ago, when I had the day off from work (and it was freezing outside), I made my way down to the Melt Shop on 26th to enjoy my personal favorite – the Buffalo Blue with a side of their tomato soup. As always, it was a delightful combination. When I heard they were opening another location in Midtown on 50th between 6th and 7th Ave, I was ecstatic. I ran over to their website to get the exact address, and moused over the menu. To my surprise, it was completely different than the menu I had become so familiar with. It now contained far fewer grilled cheese selections, and my beloved Buffalo Blue had disappeared. How was this possible? Was Melt Shop ruined forever? There was only one way to find out….
As I glanced over the new menu, I noticed a few similarities, but also a lack of what I would describe as “unique” offerings – no longer did they have a grilled cheese with buffalo chicken, pulled pork, or smoked turkey. New to the menu (from what I can tell) are the Wisco, Burger Melt, Grilled Chicken and Great Brit. Fortunately, they still offer a grilled cheese with their fried chicken, letting me know they still have a few priorities in line.
On this particular visit, I managed to try the Award Winner and Fried Chicken selections from their menu, two items which were available previously. Would it have made more sense to order a new item? Probably, but I figured it was worth testing their consistency at this new location first. The Award Winner ($8.96), tomato soup ($2.99) and lemonade ($2.07) had me forking over a little over $15 dollars, well over the ML Limit, but I was treating myself that day so mind the extras.
Before getting a taste, it was clear that Melt Shop had mastered how to make a great looking grilled cheese. The bread is always toasted to perfection, and the tiny morsels of cheese attached to the side of the bread had me skipping back to my table. The first bite triggered two immediate thoughts, first, the sweet cranberry & onion chutney with the salty bacon was a great mix. And second, the sandwich was not nearly as greasy as I envisioned it. Just taking one look at the glistening bread immediately triggered a future reminder in my head – vigorously wash hands before touching keyboard. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of grease, and went for my first dip into the tomato soup.
I can safely report that the tomato soup has remained unchanged. It still makes for an excellent companion to any grilled cheese on the menu, while some patrons might find it a little salty for their taste buds. What felt like only a few dips later, and I was winding down to the last bite of my grilled cheese. Despite the relatively high price, this particular grilled cheese wasn’t offering much in the way of quantity. I found it to be somewhat flimsy. Maybe I am used to one of their larger, fried chicken stuffed, sandwiches.
This leads me into the next sandwich, simply titled “Fried Chicken” on the menu. This was a formidable sandwich, held together loosely by the melted cheese, and on completely different bread than the Award Winner. It was stuffed with their delicious looking fried chicken and red cabbage slaw. I absolutely loved the fried chicken on the Buffalo Blue, and this hit all the same notes. While dipping this particular grilled cheese in the tomato soup can seem daunting, it is possible, and would definitely be my grilled cheese of choice on my next visit.
So, stuffed with grilled cheese and warmed up by the tomato soup, I began my walk down 6th Ave back to my office on 42nd. As I weaved between tourists on their way to Rockefeller Center, I had to ask…was it worth it? With the majority of their grilled cheese selections around the $9 mark, and my inability to eat grilled cheese without tomato soup, I would easily be over the ML limit each time. I didn’t find the Award Winner satisfying enough to justify the walk or the price. And, as much as I would love to eat a grilled cheese with fried chicken every week, I would also like to live to see the age of 40. If you can get away with eating a single menu item for lunch, then Melt Shop offers a nice selection of gourmet sandwiches that all seem to have some serious thought put into them. If you are like me, then Melt Shop makes a great special treat, something to enjoy when that craving comes along and when it does, they will definitely deliver.
Melt Shop, Multiple Locations
- 135 West 50th Street (btw. 6+7th). 212-974-3423
- 601 Lexington Avenue. (btw. 53+54th) 212-759-6358