Saturday, June 30, 2007

Meltdown Etc. - CLOSED

There's just something about comfort food like grilled cheese sandwiches that give me the warm fuzzies. I'm just reminded of growing up as a kid and having my Mom making them as a snack. She even would cut the crusts for me. What a great mom!

But now I'm all grown up and I appreciate that Meltdown offers grilled cheese sandwiches that are grown up as well with cheeses and ingredients that go beyond the American processed plastic wrapped cheese of days gone by.

For my first time meal there, a friend of mine and I ordered a variety of items to share. Let's talk sandwiches. First up was the Market Melt, which had herbed goat cheese, fontina cheese, grilled Farmer's Market vegetables, caramelized onions, walnut pesto on ciabatta bread. For this particular sandwich, the vegetables which were fresh, delicious and crisp were the real stars of the show with the other ingredients, including the cheese playing supporting roles.

When you're able to take advantage of locally grown produce, it doesn't make sense to overpower those seasonal flavors with too many other ingredients. You really have to find a good balance of flavors. With the Market Melt, the sweetness of the onions, the nutty flavor of the walnut pesto, the slight pungency and saltiness of the two cheeses enhanced and not overwhelmed the vegetables' natural flavors. That's how it should be and that's why this sandwich was such a bit hit with me.

The second sandwich we tried was the Classic 3 Cheese with the Applewood Bacon. The three cheeses were the sharp cheddar, muenster and fontina, all on a sourdough bread. When this sandwich arrived, the cheese was already oozing out of the bread. It was actually a little messy and oily to eat, but I still loved every bite. How can you not love biting off strings of oooey-gooey cheese from your sandwich?

Along with the savory grilled sandwiches, there are also what Meltdown refers to as "Sweet Melts" and course, we had to try one of those and we settled for the Brie & Apricot Melt. Wow! What a great dessert sandwich! The smooth creaminess of the brie cheese combined with the tart-sweetness of the apricots and than you throw in the nuttiness of the walnut bread was a perfect marriage of flavors.

Along with the sandwiches, we also ordered a couple of sides. One was the Fennel-Red Onion
Slaw, which I found cool, refreshing and crunchy. My only one little complaint is that there was just too much dill, but other than that, it's a delicious salad. The other side was a special soup for the day, a cold potato leek soup with spring garlic. The soup had a nice herb flavor to it, but I didn't really taste any garlic, so that was the only thing I found lacking.

In general, I think the food is fantastic at Meltdown etc and I look forward to returning and trying other items from their menu really soon.

To see pics, go to:

Meltdown etc
9739 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 838-6358

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