Here’s a pro tip: save plenty of room in your belly for the new Melt Bar and Grilled.
The Cleveland area-based sandwich restaurant opened its first Dayton area restaurant at the Mall of Fairfield Commons in the summer of 2017.
It will bust your gut.
We learned firsthand why several members of the “Melt Tattoo Family” — devotees who have official “Melt” tattoos granting them 25 percent off of purchases for life — made the trek to Beavercreek from Northwest Ohio for the sneak peek held this weekend.
Sure, you can get a salad. But why?! Melt puts Cleveland on a plate and covers it with cheese.
Its menu is filled with hearty, over-the-top sandwiches that put spins on all-time classic American dishes.
“The Parmageddon,” for instance, puts potato and onion pierogis (a Cleveland mainstay) with sharp cheddar, kraut and onions between two pieces of bread.
And a lot of restaurants serve Mac & Cheese Bites, but few do them as successfully as Melt. You’d have to have a pretty big mouth for this to be a “bite.”
The battered and fried triangles ($9) are golden brown and filled with cheesy and buttery good pasta in pool of cheddar cheese sauce. Parmesan cheese is sprinkled on top.
“The Attack of the Green Tomato” fried green tomatoes ($6.50) are another must-try, but save room for the main event.
Melt has about 30 gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, including the savory, show-stopping Monte Cristo sandwich.
Imagine a classic Monte Cristo married a funnel cake at the county fair. The battered, deep-fried sandwich includes honey ham, smoked turkey, Swiss and American cheeses, powdered sugar and a berry preserve (half $9.50, whole $12.50).
There are gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options.
Melt takes unusual approaches to well-known dishes.
Take the Korean War Pig ($11 half, $15 whole): Korean BBQ-style pulled pork, pork belly, a zesty kimchi slaw, muenster cheese and a pear, onion and cilantro relish.
Or the Peanut Butter and Banana ($8 half, $11 whole), made with sliced banana, house-made peanut butter, sweet cream cheese, candied peanuts and a berry preserve for dipping.
A colorful mural paying tribute to Dayton innovators from the Wright Brothers to Guided by Voices and The Ohio Players greets guests on the way in.
As Melt owner and founder Matt Fish explained during our Facebook Live with him, much care was taken to represent the community. The walls are covered with historic images and posters from Hara Arena concerts.
“We dive into the archives of every city we go to,” Fish said. “We want to be part of that community.”
The Beavercreek store, Melt’s ninth location, employees 100 people. The restaurant has about 450 employees statewide.
Want to go?
WHAT: Melt Bar & Grilled
WHERE: 2727 Fairfield Commons, Unit C
HOURS: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday