Dining out • High-quality cheeses are the best bet at this hit and miss "gourmet cheese" sandwich shop.
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Midvale • Melty Way opened its first brick-and-mortar location on Fort Union Boulevard in June. Before that, you could find these cheesy sandwiches being grilled up at weekend farmers markets, thanks to founder Rob Hale, of Park City.
Now, take your favorite childhood menu item grilled cheese and jazz it up with some adult ingredients and you've got gourmet grilled cheese from the Melty Way. I like this concept. I think it has some merit, but the key to making it work rests simply on quality cheese.
That's lacking at Melty Way. While there are flashes of brilliant cheesiness in the forms of mozzarella and gruyère, others such as the cheddar and swiss fall short. It's a fine line to walk when you talk about gourmet grilled cheese because quality cheese is expensive and the price point of Melty Way couldn't possibly add up if only the highest-quality dairy was used.
Anything with mozzarella at Melty Way is a good choice. The Italian ($4.99) featured fresh mozzarella, tangy sundried tomatoes and a generous spread of pesto. The cheese was soft and moist while mild, allowing the stronger flavors to shine.
Sadly, the best sandwich at Melty Way isn't even on the menu but is a regular special. The bruschetta grilled cheese ($4.99) reminded me of an excellent Italian pizza served between two slices of bread. Melty mozzarella cheese, roasted tomatoes, artichokes, Kalamata olives, garlic and oregano had me raving to the table after every bite.
Some of the more typical melted sandwich options include a hearty turkey club ($5.99) with two kinds of cheese, turkey, bacon and tomatoes, and the filling ham and swiss ($5.99) that could have done without the red onion slivers.
The Reuben ($5.99) was a dining disaster from beginning to end. The corned beef could best be described as cheap deli meat, while the bread was supposed to be rye but was nearly tasteless and the swiss and gruyère were only partially melted. Better was the artichoke-and-tomato grilled cheese ($4.99) built around well-marinated artichoke hearts and both provolone and pepper jack cheeses.
Two soups are available each day for $3.99 a cup or $5.99 a bowl. Tomato-basil soup is the house special and available every day. It offered a hot, creamy option for dipping the grilled cheese crusts in, as well as nice bites of vegetables throughout. The soup of the day on one visit was a chicken and rice that was too thick and tasted of raw flour instead of chicken, but the wild rice was a robust addition.
Big, thick, white Texas toast bread is the base for nearly all of the sandwiches at Melty Way. It's a good choice as it stands up to every filling, dunks well in soup and is satisfying as well. Wheat, rye or gluten-free from Udi's are other options.
Perhaps the most disappointing of all the grilled cheese sandwiches was the Classic ($3.99). Simple, mid-quality cheddar melted on white bread alongside potato chips (served with each sandwich) tasted lackluster but at least kept a 3-year-old diner at our table happy.
A kid's grilled cheese with American cheese or a grilled PB&J are also options for children, but most would be fine with a half of any sandwich on the menu.
Given the relatively small list of entrée choices, I was surprised by the many dessert options at Melty Way. A sweet grilled cheese ($3.99) offered warm whipped cream cheese and strawberry jam sprinkled with powdered sugar.
My favorite dessert was a tossup between the root beer float ($2.99) made with Wasatch Brewery's root beer and the build-your-own ice cream cookie sandwich ($2.99). While there are suggested choices on the menu (vanilla ice cream and chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies with coconut almond ice cream, etc.) you can select your own ice cream and cookie mix in any available combination.
Billing itself as a "gourmet grilled cheese" sandwich shop, Melty Way hits the mark with Italian-inspired melts while falling short on traditional made-at-home favorites. With a few more adjustments to the cheese selection, Melty Way could ooze its way into the hearts of local diners.
Salt Lake Tribune restaurant reviewer Heather L. King blogs at www.examiner.com/lunch-in-salt-lake-city/heather-king. Send comments about this review to firstname.lastname@example.org or post a response at facebook.com/nowsaltlake.
Food • Hhj
Service • Hhj
Mood • Hhj
Noise • bb
A Midvale fast-casual sandwich shop offers a grown-up spin on grilled cheese.
Location • 1036 E. Fort Union Blvd., Midvale; 801-566-5056.
Online • www.meltyway.com
Hours • Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Children's menu • Yes
Prices • $
Liquor • No
Reservations • No
Takeout • Yes
Wheelchair access • Yes
Outdoor dining • No
Onsite parking • Yes
Credit cards • All major