Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Tasting at Meltdown Etc - CLOSED

Last September, I set up a tasting of the ultimate comfort food, grilled cheese sandwiches at Meltdown etc in Culver City, a part of town that's starting to be quite a foodie mecca. Our ooey-gooey-cheese fest started with the perfect accompaniment, a tart tomato soup, which definitely paired well with the first three sandwiches we partook in.

We started off with their Classic Three Cheese sandwich, which consisted of sharp cheddar, Meunster, Fontina, Roma tomato on sourdough bread. For this particular sandwich, there are different variations to its ingredients. The three cheeses stay the same, but you have the option to add separately or together, a roma tomato and/or applewood bacon. For our tasting, I opted to include the tomato, simply because I like how it added a fresh, juicy acidity to every bite of the sandwich.

Up next was their Cheddar, Ham and Apple sandwich that was made up of sharp cheddar, smoked ham and apple butter on sourdough bread. In truth, the apple butter seemed a strange bed partner to the other two ingredients, but I was willing to give it a whirl. Surprisingly, it was a total hit with me. Usually, I don't like ham because I find it too salty for my taste, but the sweetness of the apple butter actually counter-balanced that saltiness so much so, that I could have happily eaten a whole sandwich without complaint.

Just around the corner came the Turkey Melt with brie, oven-roasted turkey, arugula, cranberry-horseradish mustard on walnut bread. Of the three savory sandwiches we sampled, this was my least favorite. Usually, I'll pick turkey over ham any time of the week, but not in this case. What I found lacking or should I say missing was the cheese. There just wasn't enough of it. The turkey portions were generous, but with the word "melt" being part of the sandwich name, cheese is an important part of equation and unfortunately, it was MIA.

Also, while I loved the addition of the arugula which added a nice peppery kick, I was a little disappointed in the cranberry-horseradish mustard, which I expected to add more oomph to the sandwich and it didn't.

With three of Meltdown's savory grilled cheese offerings under our belt, it was now time to experience two of their "Sweet Melts". First up was their Goat Cheese, Fig and Honey sandwich on walnut bread. What's interesting about this sandwich is that if you are someone who doesn't like goat cheese because of its pungency, you may actually be able to eat this sandwich and even like it. The sweetness of the fig preserves and the honey cuts into the piquancy of the cheese, which may make it more palatable to goat cheese naysayers.

Last, but not least, came the Brie and Apricot sandwich, also on walnut bread. I've actually had this sandwich before and at first, I couldn't quite equate melted brie mixed with apricot preserves as being a good combination. My first bite; however, made me a convert. The mildness of the cheese was a perfect foundation for the tart-sweetness of the apricots.

Overall, this was a fun little tasting and I think we were able to get a good sampling of Meltdown etc grilled cheese sandwiches. For those of you who weren't able to join us, I guess you'll just have to live vicariously through my photos below. :-D

To see pics, go to:

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


Anonymous said...

Wow, a whole menu dedicated to melts! That's a pretty neat idea. The sweet melts sounded interesting, and I mean that in a good way.

I've been reading so much about Culver City lately and its food scene. There's even supposed to be a Father's Office opening up there soon!

pleasurepalate said...

Father's Office is awesome. I haven't blogged it yet, but I absolutely love their Office Burger and their sweet potato fries are the best I've ever had.

You can see pics here:

Also, in the Culver City area, check out Ondal 2 for tableside Korean soups. It's awesome.


H. C. said...

So much melty goodness! I'm glad they FINALLY opened on Saturdays now, so I can actually check it out.

Chubbypanda said...

Now that's food porn!

glutster said...

thanks for commenting...oh and in that case, don't waste your money at The Point in Culver City (post coming soon).

pleasurepalate said...

h.c.: When you do make it to Meltdown, etc, try the Market Fresh. It's actually my favorite sandwich on the menu, because all the veggies come from farmer's markets.

chubbypanda: Every time, I look at the pic of the cheddar, apple and ham, I want to reach through the monitor and grab it. :)

teenage glutster: Isn't the Point also owned by the owners of Beacon? I have a couple of friends who rave about Beacon, so I've been curious to see if the Point will be just as good. I'm definitely looking forward to reading your thoughts about it.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That melty cheese is making me hungry....even though I am working on breakfast here!

pleasurepalate said...

Hi cedar! Thanks so much for visiting my blog. As for the grilled cheese sandwiches, isn't it the breakfast of champions? :) Maybe, you should give it a try.

food makes me happy said...

I'm craving for sandwich now..

pleasurepalate said...

cindy.lo: Thanks for visiting my blog and I'm with you in that I'm also craving a grilled cheese sandwich, too. Maybe, I'll just go make one. :)