Nothing can beat a grilled cheese, other than an entire Manhattan restaurant dedicated to the classic sandwich. Zagat Editor Kelly Dobkin filed the following report.
The Melt Shop first opened in Midtown East last spring, serving up a variety of unique and delicious takes on the classic childhood staple.
"I was actually doing real estate design and construction for restaurants in the city. I always kind of wanted to do my own thing, something very entrepreneurial, only in the food space, though," says Spencer Rubin, the founder and managing partner of Melt Shop. "I’ve always been very interested in restaurants. I was talking to my old boss and we kind of decided to partner up and start our own original concept and when the idea for grilled cheese came about I had an immediate vision kind of thing."
The newest outpost located on 26th Street in Chelsea features a large outdoor seating area among other notable design details.
"The menu board is my favorite thing in the whole world. The idea is to make something so you can clearly see each sandwich we have on the menu and also being able to change things out regularly, so we can do seasonal specials," says Rubin. "We took it from the idea of an old train station sign and I think it came out perfectly."
The buttermilk-fried chicken grilled cheese is one of Melt Shop’s signature items in addition to its other unique sandwich offerings.
"My favorite sandwich is the buttermilk-fried chicken," Rubin says. "We actually marinate them for a couple hours in some buttermilk, garlic, cayenne pepper and then we bread them with our homemade breadcrumb mix. We use pepper jack cheese, homemade red cabbage slaw and then we put it on sourdough with our special Melt sauce."
"I think people really like the simplicity of grilled cheese and then the opportunity to get creative with it," Rubin continues. "I think that’s what we really try to do, is give you the opportunity to really put different layers of homemade ingredients into whatever combination you’d like to make. I think it’s the best grilled cheese in the city."