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The Melt is a sandwich spot in Irvine. It operates in a fast-food-minded assembly line. Three industrial-sized panini presses that resemble repurposed Wall-E robots do most of the hard work. They even automatically flip open, beeping, when the sandwiches are done. The sandwiches are then halved, placed into a basket with a fistful of potato chips that taste suspiciously like an off-brand knock-off of Lays, and served in white room with metal stools. A single spigot dispenses three flavors of cane sugar-sweetened soda. For the base model just called “The Classic,” Cheddar is peeled slice by slice from a gigantic square block. The Melt does other variations of the basic grilled cheese, some using sourdough rather than white; Swiss, pepperjack, Fontina and Provolone are used in place of Cheddar, yet the difference in flavor is less important than the temperature. All need to be eaten hot for optimum gooeyness. For a menu offering all-day breakfast sandwiches, and perhaps for no other reason than because it makes for a series of cool-looking posters, the Melt offers a version of an egg-in-the-hole, for which an egg-sized hole is removed from the bread of a standard grilled cheese. The hole is then plugged up with a freshly cracked egg as it solidifies on the griddle. There's even a waffle version, which is actually better and sweeter, as it’s mopped with maple syrup.