Grilled cheese is the essential childhood lunch or lazy college kid staple. Your mom would whip up a few sandwiches with some tomato soup on a snow day, or you’d just throw some bread and cheese in a pan for the perfect hangover fix.
Cleveland’s Melt Bar and Grilled has been putting a twist on these memories for 10 years now, and these sandwiches are not your mom’s grilled cheese at all. From vodka kraut to a thick Belgian waffle, Melt has any topping you could ever dream of.
Each grilled cheese can either be ordered as a whole or half sandwich, but there’s a good chance any option will leave you stuffed. Every sandwich is also served with a mound of fries, so you’re definitely not spending $10+ for a simple, unstuffed grilled cheese.
10. Fried Green Tomatoes BLT
The BLT is a classic, but why not up the ante with a little bit of fried tomatoes? The bacon is just the right amount of crispy, and the herb remoulade has just enough kick to keep your tastebuds on edge. And there’s lettuce on it, so it must be healthy.
If you’re not planning on passing through Ohio any time soon, amp up your BLT on your own. There’s even a recipe for fried green tomatoes so you don’t get major FOMO.
9. Big Popper
If spice is your thing, then the Big Popper is your match made in heaven. It’s stuffed with all the flavors of jalapeño poppers that will leave you reaching for your water glass. If that’s not enough for you, the whole sandwich is fried, dusted in powdered sugar, and served with berry preserves.
8. Cleveland Cheese Steak
Philadelphia might claim the rights to the cheese steak, but this Cleveland take is just as good. It has all the usual fixings (pulled beef brisket, provolone, sautéed onions, peppers, and mushrooms), but the tangy onion aioli gives it a new, vibrant twist.
7. Mighty Macaroni
Mac and cheese is a sublime meal on its own, but when it’s fried, covered in more cheese, and then pancaked in between two golden pieces of bread, heaven becomes a place on Earth.
If this just doesn’t sound like your kind of sandwich or you’re trying to maintain a summer bod, try and healthier version of mac and cheese that’s still just as gooey.
6. Parma, Italy
The Cleveland suburb of Parma is a mecca for Polish food, but Melt still pays homage to the original Parma with this glorified chicken parm sandwich. The fried chicken is colossal, while the marinara is slathered on thick.
You’ll probably need a few napkins and a fork to tackle this one because it’ll make you feel like you’re dining right in the heart of Italy.
The other sandwich with a Parma namesake gets its inspiration from the more local city. The potato and onion pierogi is a Polish staple, and you can never go wrong with a nice mound of Napa vodka kraut.
Cleveland native Michael Symon is always throwing in a dash of his Polish heritage into his recipes, so why not take a pierogi lesson directly from him?
4. Korean War Pig
The Korean War Pig might be one of the more expensive options on the menu, but the $14.50 will be totally worth it. Not only are there two kinds of meats stuffed inside, but also a sweet kimchi slaw, an even sweeter pear and onion relish, and stringy muenster cheese.
3. Chicken & Waffles
Of course, the maple syrup on the side is a sweet companion to the spicy Sriracha and pepper jack cheese. But the real star is the thick, fluffy Belgian waffle. Sure, they could have just used the waffle as the bread, but instead make it a topping for major carb overload.
2. Peanut Butter & Banana
Elvis would be the biggest fan of this sandwich, which delivers one of the best flavor combinations ever. The sandwich is definitely not savory, but there’s no rule that says you can’t have sweets for lunch or dinner.
The bananas are caramelized, the peanut butter is homemade, and the cream cheese and crunchy peanut combination is a condiment on its own. Don’t forget about the jelly, though, because the berry preserves on the side make this the ultimate childhood throwback.
As the Godfather himself once said, “Great sandwiches are not born great, they grow great.” We already know that mac and cheese is great in sandwich form, but what about lasagna?
The Godfather keeps it pretty simple with classic Italian flavors, so don’t worry about overdoing it. This vegetarian-friendly option is stacked with lasagna, more sauce and cheese, and the perfect blend of seasoning to make you miss Italy, even if you’ve never been.