Melt Bar and Grilled, cheesy enough, was worth the wait.

The restaurant has been around Cleveland since 2006 but more recently took up shop in Columbus with locations in the Short North and now at Easton. On the restaurant’s website, the founder Matt describes the idea behind Melt as “a combination of comfort food dressed up and beer… that started from a fairly simple germ: he was always a big grilled cheese fan.”

My Aunt and I visited the new location at Easton around 4 p.m. on a Saturday. The venue was very open with plenty of natural light. I decided it was a little too much natural light because I could see every single dust particle but, that’s just my opinion.

Once inside, my Aunt and I decided we didn’t want to wait for a table and sat behind the bar. While it was still early on in the day, we decided that splitting a sandwich would be the best option for an “early dinner.”

The menus were designed to look like old record covers and mine had Whitney Houston’s face plastered on the back of it. The ceiling was a bright royal blue and the decor was all very crazy looking. On the website, it says that Melt is supposed to evoke a “relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.” Relaxed, maybe, but not comfortable…too many colors for me. The waiters and bartenders all had on everyday clothes and didn’t wear name tags as far as I could see.

While I wasn’t sure what I expected Melt to smell like, I told my Aunt several times that it smelled like feet (really bad, actually). It could have been all of the cheeses, but, it was a little unsettling and unappetizing.

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I’d say the target demographic is primarily families. I saw a lot of younger children, their parents and their parent’s parents. There weren’t many people my age who were just “hangin’ out” but, then again, it was only 4 p.m.

We finally decided to order our food and our waiter put our order in. We ordered around 4:15 p.m. and we didn’t get our food until 5:15 p.m. I thought my stomach was going to eat itself. We didn’t order any appetizers because we wanted to eat light, so by the time the food got to us we ate it faster than a jack rabbit.

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(See all that natural light?)

This is one half of the “Cleveland Philly Steak” which was really, really great. While it was expensive ($14.50) it was easily shareable and I was satisfied with one half of the sandwich and fries (the portions are huge!).

The sandwich was filled with a very tender braised pulled beef brisket, garlic mushrooms, sauteed onions & peppers, rosemary onion aioli and provolone cheese. The combination of all these flavors was both savory and satisfying. While I’m not a huge mushroom fan, the mushrooms blended well with the onions and aioli sauce.

Warning: this isn’t first date material. The sauce ended up all over my hands and face… it was not a very attractive sight.

The fries were hand-cut and hot. Maybe a little too salty for my taste, but, I ate them all nonetheless. (who wouldn’t?)

Overall, if you’re on a diet, this would definitely be your cheat meal. You could easily split a meal or eat one half and take the rest home. They have a fairly wide beer/alcohol selection (although, I didn’t try any) from what I could see, and people seemed to enjoy everything they had to offer. The wait was too long, however, and that did take away points from my overall experience.

If you’re in the Cleveland or Columbus Ohio area, go check out http://meltbarandgrilled.com/ and let me know what you think!

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