MELT

This is it, kids – the mothership had called me home. We arrived in Cleveland around 4 o’clock, perfectly avoiding that dreadful dinner rush that Yelp warned about. Upon entering, we are welcomed by the glowing embrace of holiday blow molds. Smiling, crazy, “WE ARE HAPPY TO SEE YOU.”

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The menu is paralyzing. The agony of facing descriptions and photos of the 24 other sandwiches I couldn’t eat was lessened by the weeks of research that had gone into my selection(s.) I say selections, plural, as my husband had graciously deferred to my expertise, and allowed me to order for him. I felt like a husband from the 1950s.

For those of you unfamiliar with Melt, they’ve been building absurdly proportioned grilled cheese sandwiches (and only grilled cheese sandwiches) since 2006. No ingredient seems to be off limits.

Grilled cheese purists, avert your eyes.

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“The Dude Abides:”Homemade meatballs, fried mozzarella wedges, basil marinara, roasted garlic, provolone & romano.”

This sandwich posed logistical challenges. While I can appreciate the wow-factor of baseball-sized meat, it’s just not practical. I mean, sure, they’re nice to look at – but I just couldn’t. Once I figured out how to conquer it, however, it proved to be a bit of a comfort food masterpiece. It was good – the sauce, the salt, the crunch, the dusting of Parmesan on garlic crusted bread, and the mountain of fries. So much cheese. It all checked out.

Mind you, I could only finish half. See, I know the gimmick of huge portions is that it’s supposed to make you feel all smug and satisfied when it arrives – but am I the only one who experiences a let-down while you’re all glassy-eyed, staring at what’s left? Isn’t it really just a racket to get people to buy two dinners, and then grin at each other like idiots while taking pictures of it? The answer is yes, of course – which is doubly cruel in this case, because everyone knows that leftover grilled cheese and fries are effing useless.

Despite those harsh realities, this was triumph. I was full and smug, had checked Melt off my grilled cheese bucket list, and put my first pin in the great state of Ohio. Nothing left now but to buy all the merch, and give it a 9/10. ($15)

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