In a city whose restaurant options often read as a map of the world, finding classic North American comfort food can be tricky. Melt Grilled Cheese makes that task easier.
With only three locations – Toronto, Etobicoke and Oakville – Melt is a small enough operation to feel like a hidden gem. They offer a happy compromise between fast food and sit-down dining, perfect for lunch breaks and casual dinners.
Melt turns the traditional grilled cheese sandwich on its head with modern twists such as the Grilled Vegetable ($7.99), which features mozzarella, provolone, Asiago, parmesan and Romano cheeses, zucchini, peppers, eggplant, herbed tomatoes and feta-oregano mayonnaise.
The Tattooed Chicken ($7.99), the restaurant’s most popular sandwich, features crispy or grilled chicken, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, bacon and an herbed tomato and roasted garlic mayonnaise.
The sandwiches, which are served crispy, buttery and flattened like paninis, are made-to-order in front of the customer, with a large selection of fresh cheeses, toppings and breads. Many of the toppings are free to add on, including sweet sauteed onions, sliced jalapenos and hot banana peppers.
A large selection of complexly-flavored dipping sauces sit on a counter, just begging to be sampled. The Jalapeno Mac sauce is zesty and cheesy with a spicy kick at the end.
The Maple Mayo is sweet and warm, a uniquely Canadian combo that somehow works with the saltiness of the grilled cheese.
Other menu items include poutine, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and a soup of the day (tip: try the roasted red pepper and tomato bisque).
But it isn’t just the flavorful food that makes this restaurant so interesting and inviting. Melt’s employees offer a wealth of knowledge and passion about their product.
Sam, one of only three employees at the Etobicoke location, offers much more than a standard greeting to patrons. She explains that all the bread comes from a local bakery and there’s a gluten-free bread option that’s not listed on the menu.
She informs people eyeing the dipping sauces that they’re all house-made and encourages them to taste. The poutine cheese curds come from Quebec. The deep fryer is self-cleaning. These tidbits are offered as more than selling points; they come from an employee who believes in the quality of the product she’s putting out.
For classic comfort food in the GTA, check out Melt Grilled Cheese. Come for the crazy good dipping sauces, stay for the excellent customer service.