As we travel around the country, we always take our 'hot list' of restaurants with us. This list includes tips from friends, magazines, the Roadfood newsletters & books, and of course, the list from Guy Fieri's TV show, Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. A positive appearance on Guy's show led us to Melt Bar & Grilled in Lakewood Ohio.
To say that this place is popular is an understatement! At 12 Noon on a Tuesday, we waited 45 minutes for a table. When we left at around 1:30 PM, there was still a 20 minute wait! This place is jumping...lots going on...with an interesting mix of customers. So, by the time we were seated, we were ready!
Laurie is always more adventurous than I am... In addition, the sandwich that she ordered, the Tokyo Tuna Melt, had been featured on the show! What a disappointment! As you can see, it looked great... But it had almost no taste...no flavor of any kind. On the menu, it's described as consisting of marinated grilled yellowfin steak with ginger wasabi dressing, lettuce, tomato and muenster cheese. Unfortunately, we couldn't taste any marinade or ginger wasabi dressing...pretty much just the muenster and the tomato. Laurie was so disappointed in her sandwich that she gave half of it to me and, feeling bad about her food, I gave her part of my sandwich.
I ordered the Hot Italian. It was described as containing grilled salami, honey ham, pepperoni, sun-dried tomato pesto, roasted garlic and provolone. As you can see, it is a handsome sandwich. I expected that my taste buds would just 'pop' at the first bite...to no avail. Not that it was a bad sandwich...it was a decent creation...and it had decent flavor, but it didn't live up to what I'd expected. It wasn't something that I'd miss if I never had it again...
The sandwiches all come with fries and a sweet slaw. The slaw was quite nice but the fries were too greasy.
So, maybe we ordered the wrong sandwiches. There are 25 'cheese melt' sandwiches to choose from...plus a half-dozen burgers and 2 steak sandwiches. The problem is that I'm not sure that we'd wait 45 minutes again to find out if we just happened to miss the good stuff!
For those that are into beer, this may be a terrific place to wet your palate! The Melt Bar & Grilled has 20 beers on draft plus 117 other beers, ales and ciders. There are 2 locations...the original in Lakewood and a new restaurant in Cleveland Heights.
The Lakewood location is at 14718 Detroit Avenue. Hours are from 11 am to 11 pm, Monday Through Thursday, from 11 am to 12 midnight Friday & Saturday, and from 10 am to 10 pm on Sundays. The bar is open until 2 am every night. Phone: 216-226-3699. Website: http://www.meltbarandgrilled.com/. In addition to Guy Fieri, Melt Bar & Grilled has been featured on TodayShow.com, and On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. The owner has a real knack for getting a lot of positive publicity.