Meltkraft

151 E 43rd St. New York, NY 10017 (212) 380-1735meltkraft.com

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Self proclaimed as an artisan grilled cheese sandwich shop with farm-sourced everything, Meltkraft sounds like a cheesy paradise waiting to be discovered. Unfortunately, if you listen closer you can also hear the sounds of wind leaving your sails, because their craft needs a little work based on the two sandwiches I tried.

The first was the Melter Skelter. I mean ya gotta love a sandwich named after a Beetles song and a movie about Charles Manson. It’s made with 3 month aged reclette, pickled green tomatoes, jalapenos, BBQ potato chips and watercress (pictured). Which sounds off the charts by description alone, and while it is certainly good, I was hard-pressed to actually taste much more than the cheese and jalapenos.

That said, at least it was far superior to the Brielle, made with Brie (obviously), as well as cranberry chutney, caramelized onions and toasted pine nuts. Again, delicious in theory, but quite bland in execution.

And so along with the ho-hum performance comes a knife count with matching syllables. For better melts just a stone’s throw away, I suggest heading down to Beecher’s in the Flatiron.

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The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

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Greens – San Francisco, CA

As vegetarian places go, Greens is way up there for me. And a huge part of the reason behind that is this sandwich alone. It is so damn good we bought the cookbook right there on the spot, just so we could replicate it at home. It’s fontina with marinated cremini mushrooms and harissa on a bread that knows how to be the man behind the man.

Beecher’s – New York, NY

Figs, honey and cheese are like the Three Musketeers of deliciousness. And Beecher’s puts them together in proportionate perfection on a raisin walnut bread that only adds to the party. I know it sounds so stupidly simple that you could even make it home, but as I have said more times than you would probably care to hear, simplicity is the root of greatness.

Melts – Armonk, NY

Similar to Beecher’s, this place is a treasure trove of grilled cheese greatness. But once you sift through all of the treasure you will come upon the Hope Diamond of grilled cheeses, The Heat. Made with home pickled jalapenos to get that perfect level of spiciness, cherry peppers, Sriracha and muenster. It will melt your heart, along with your tongue.

Melt Shop

55 W 26th St. New York, NY 10010(212) 447-6358meltshop.com

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Upon entering we were immediately greeted by a beggar asking for us to buy him the fried chicken melt. Not the best first impression for a restaurant.

Unfortunately second and third impressions weren’t much better. The second being the fact that they were already sold out of one of the main things I came there to get, the tomato soup. And this is before 1:00pm on cold winter day. How poorly planned can you be?

The third, was the fact that they only have about 4 tables. Which makes it primarily a take out joint- not ideal for a grilled cheese establishment.

So, with three strikes against it before I even took a single bite, this was an uphill battle in the making. And then came strike four. The Buttermilk Chicken was dry and the melt, if you can call it that, was barely blessed with cheese.

Fortunately, I split with a friend, so I also got to try the Shroom and that was actually pretty darn good. As were the tots. Granted, there’s nothing really special about them. They’re just tots. Really makes me question what impresses people these days.

In general, if you crave a good melt, I’d suggest ‘wichcraft, Eataly, Beecher’s or No. 7 Sub, all in the area and all of them MUCH better.

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