A couple of weeks ago, the Daily Melt began serving melty cheese concoctions and savory soups to the folks in midtown. The concept is simple -- and superb. After all, regardless of age, race, or income, grilled cheese is everyman's sammie.
Yesterday, Short Order stopped by for lunch to try a bite or two and gauge this new grilled-cheese-lover's paradise. With a menu chock full of provolone, Swiss, bacon, and truffle butter, what's not to love?
My lunch partner and I took to the counter, debating the myriad cheese choices. I went for a three-cheese melt (mozzarella, provolone, and cheddar) with truffle butter and extra mozzarella. It runs a shockingly cheap $3.50, plus 99 cents extra each for additional cheese and truffle goodness. Then, for $2.50, you can get the "full melty," which includes a soda and a "shot" of soup or a bag of chips. I went the soup route and chose broccoli cheese.
My companion opted for the bacon melt (roma tomatoes, spinach, cheddar, and bacon, $4.95) without the bacon. She also scored a roasted-tomato soup shot. The dude behind the counter was nice and knowledgable enough to inform us that it's cheaper to order the original melt (American cheese, $3.45) and then add tomatoes and spinach instead and sub cheddar for American.
We were a little shocked by his concern. They sure as hell don't make those kinds of suggestions at Subway -- or any other fast-casual establishment that I know of. For two people, our lunch was $15 and change. Those are fast-food prices, which is pretty amazing.
Some of the cashiers seemed a little flustered, presumably new hires who need a little more training. But no matter -- everyone was nice nonetheless. The interior is clean, pleasant, and accented with rosy reds.
I could have easily spent all day at the soda machine, creating my own multifaceted flavor concoctions. It's the rare Coca-Cola Freestyle machine -- a touch-screen soda dispenser that spits out a whopping 100-plus soda options. Sprite Zero with cherry flavor? Yes, please.
We took a table outside, where there are a handful of setups on the sidewalk -- perfect for people-watching the midtown hordes. The food came quick and hot, but my three-cheese melt was a little less than fully melted. It could have spent another minute on the grill.
I went for the soup shot first. The broccoli cheese was rich, thick, and flavorful. Next, my sammie. Super-rich, it had a thick, generously cheesy center and was intense and buttery and heavy on the truffle. Pretty delicious, but were it a wee hotter, it would have been epic. (On that note, I nuked half of it later at home, and it was perfection.)
My companion loved the roasted-tomato soup but was less than impressed with her sandwich. I snagged a bite -- sadly, it was lacking in flavor. With sauce or a sharper cheese, it could have been spot on.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Our final assessment: For the price of a Big Mac Value Meal, you can score a cheesy treat, some home-cooked soup, and a drink. That's a pretty sweet deal in this city.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.