The reason behind the appeal of is simple.
It's bread, it's cheese, it's warm, it takes us back to our childhood.
Of course, Mom wasn't putting pierogies or lasagna in the grilled cheese sandwiches she made for us. So Melt becomes a delicious combination of comfort and adventure.
That combination has garnered Melt, and owner Matt Fish, national attention. It was featured on Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives," and "Man Vs. Food" host Adam Richman came to Lakewood to take on the gargantuan, gallbladder-busting Melt Challenge. People have gotten Melt tattoos depicting grilled cheese sandwiches for a 25-percent discount for life.
There's something for everyone at Melt.
Picky eaters can play it safe with the Kindergarten ($5.50), a classic grilled cheese sandwich.
Those who want to try something new can order one of Melt's monthly specials. The regular menu spans the globe for flavors from the Tokyo Tuna Melt ($12.00) using a yellowfin tuna steak to the infamous Parmageddon ($10.00), an Eastern European onslaught of two cheese and potato pierogies, sauerkraut, grilled onions and cheddar cheese.
The cooks running the grill know their stuff. Our sandwiches -- a recent special called The Dude Abides featuring homemade meatballs and mozzarella sticks -- were toasted beautifully, without leaving the bread soaked in grease. Even so, we could only eat half of them. The fresh-cut fries were perfectly done.
The atmosphere at Melt is part diner, part dive. The warm, worn wood throughout the place gives it the feel of a comfortable, soft flannel shirt. Menus are on the back of old album covers. The staff is fun and friendly. While I was waiting for my cousin Ben to arrive, the waitress brought over some Goldfish crackers.
Melt's only downside? There can be a wait of an hour or more for a table during prime lunch and dinner times. Best bet? Go mid-afternoon. Oh, and come hungry.