A gourmet grilled cheese adventure awaits...

I melt, UMelt, cheese melts… and is there really anything that isn’t made better when it’s put between two slices of bread and smothered by melting gourmet grilled cheese? The answer is no, there is not.

Sally Chen

UMelt, the gourmet grilled cheese shop, opened its first location in downtown Providence and quickly became a classic hang amongst the Johnson & Wales community. With its opening in the old Nice Slice location on Thayer Street early this past fall, the new UMelt promised a casual counter service location that was ready to cater to Brown and RISD students alike. Um, hello brain food! Naturally, I had to check it out.

So last week I hit the streets, Thayer Street to be specific, with the hopes that UMelt’s newest location would soon become my personal grilled cheese haven. I enlisted my best friend Emily to join me because who can possibly eat twenty-five dollars worth of grilled cheese by themselves? Okay, maybe I can. But everything is more fun when it’s shared, so on a chilly Thursday afternoon we tromped up Thayer Street, side by side, empty-bellied and eager for ooey-gooey goodness.

Here's what I found...

Sally Chen

The Space:

Everyone has that friend they’re always excited to see no matter how long it’s been. Walking into UMelt feels a little like seeing that friend. The space is small but welcoming, painted in hues of bright lemon yellow and rich teal.

Sally Chen

Upon entering I was greeted by the smell of freshly griddled bread and butter, which filled the room and gave it a certain warmth that made me feel like I could hang out there forever. And the best part was, I could! A narrow countertop bar fitted with a series of high top chairs lines the floor-length window that looks out onto Thayer St.

There is also a large communal table in the center of the space that is perfect for laying out your notebook and laptop to write during off hours.

I chose one of the bar seats, and from my perch I couldn’t quite think of anything cozier than posting up here and peering out at Providence’s bleak, white winter sky with the knowledge that toasty grilled cheese was on its way.

The Service:

The massive digital menu that hangs above the register broadcasting photos and descriptions of the shop’s sandwich options may daunt you—there are fifteen different savory grilled cheese sandwiches as well as a rotating weekly special, a dessert sandwich, a soup of the day, and two salads. Why anyone would order a salad at a gourmet grilled cheese store is beyond me, but it’s nice to know you have the option should you want it.

Sally Chen

The servers are friendly and enthusiastic about cheese because, really, who isn’t? They wear groovy hats printed with logos of tiny grilled cheese sandwiches (which you can buy for yourself at the register if you’re feeling fancy) and they are more than happy to chat with you about the plethora of choices for your impending grilled cheese adventure. A+ for making you feel at home!

The Food:

Okay, okay. I know why you’re here. For the FOOD. So let’s dive in. Here’s what I ordered…

The UMac: Mac ’n Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, BBQ Pulled Pork on Sourdough

Sally Chen

One of UMelt’s classics. Is it a heart attack in between two slices of bread? Maybe. Do you want it on your plate? Definitely. There is really nothing wrong with this grilled cheese sandwich. The sweet tang from the house-made BBQ sauce is a perfect counter balance to the creamy richness of the mac’s béchamel. Top it all off with the texture from crunchy sourdough bread and well folks, we have ourselves a winner.

The Veggie: Ricotta, Feta, Parmesan, Roasted Red Peppers, Baby Kale, Homemade Olive Tapenade on Multigrain Bread

Sally Chen

I’ll be honest, they may have gone a little overboard on the number of cheeses in here. Especially because they are all relatively soft and un-melty. However, the veggies are delicious and if you’re trying to be healthy this is probably your best bet. Not because it is healthy, but because it lists enough healthy sounding things that you can convince yourself you are at least being healthy-ish. The texture from the multigrain works well against the goo from the melted feta and while this sandwich may not be ideal for your cheese-pull Insta story, it's sure to leave your belly with plenty of likes.

The Special: Roasted Cremini Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, Swiss Cheese, Garlic Aioli on Sourdough

Sally Chen

This was the special and let me tell you, it was special. Now I’m a sucker for caramelized onions, on which this grilled cheese was admittedly light. However, this was still above and beyond the fan favorite. The earthiness from the roasted mushrooms rounds out the tart funk of the sourdough and cuts through the sharpness of the Swiss cheese beautifully. As I was trying all the sandwiches, I told myself I’d have “just a bite” of each. I ate this one in its entirety. Sometimes things are just too delicious to leave leftovers.

The Takeaway:

UMelt is a fun and funky spot that's perfect for grabbing lunch or a late night snack (they're open 'til 2AM on the weekends!). Whether you're by yourself or rolling with your crew, the quick and friendly service is sure to brighten your day and satisfy your cheesy cravings. While small, the space is comfy and cozy and if you're trying to run back to your dorm and hide until the end of finals, their take-out situation is highly operational. Happy eating!

Sally Chen

Want More Cheese? Check Out:

-The Best Grilled Cheese In Every State 

-How To Make Grilled Cheese In The Toaster 

-The Secrets To Navigating The Cheese Section