Melt In Your Mouth

Last month I did an entry about finding sandwiches in Portland and my thoughts on what are considered the best spots in the city. Literally a couple days after posting that entry someone posted on Twitter (it might have been Barista, might have been Coffeehouse Northwest, can't recall) about a new sandwich place up on NW 21st, between Irving and Jefferson they claimed was excellent.

So natuarlly Melt Sandwiches shot near the top of the must visit list (website here, but it's only a shell so read about them on Yelp).

Saturday was hair did day for Wifey, so I went out on the prowl for some good eats, with this place on the list to pick up lunch. After reading through the Yelp reviews we had already picked out what we wanted without ever seeing the menu - pot roast sandwich for her and the chicken for me.

When I walked in, not too long after 11am, the place was empty of customers, with just the cashier/order taker guy and a couple people in the kitchen, which is semi-open. Well, I guess it is open, just not right next to the seating. He explained to me the concept of Melt - hot sandwiches with high quality ingredients - and talked about their new Happy Hour menu (yep, they also serve drinks). I glanced at the menu for only a few seconds before ordering, which I think surprised him a bit since I also told him this was my first time in.

After I had paid for the sandwiches I happened to notice a tray of chocolate cakey-looking things. They were round - about two and a half inches diamater - and tall, roughly the height of one and a half cupcakes. I asked what they were and he told me mocha brownies, then also added all their desserts were homemade just for them. Well, I had to get one of those two.

Both sandwiches were excellent. Wifey's pot roast was perfectly cooked and came with a light amount of gravy and onions. If you think back to the yummy pot roasts mom or grandma made when you were young, then hack off a piece and put it on a sandwich, you have this. Oh yeah, it was good. Very good.

While the pot roast was a simple flavor done very well, my chicken sandwich was a veritable medley of goodness. The chicken was moist and well cooked, and along with that on the bread was avocado, apple-wood smoked bacon, onion marmalade, jalapeno orange mayo, and pepper jack cheese. It wasn't hot at all, just had a nice little kick, and I loved the orange flavor mixed in with all the others.

Both sandwiches also came with potato chips.

The mocha brownie was decent, but not great. There were bits of bean grounds in it, which were weren't expecting and are not quite sure we liked. It was also a tad dry for my tastes - I admit it, I love the gooey ones - but it was obviously done with a lot of attention to detail. If you don't like gooey you'll probably enjoy the brownie more than I did (but like I said, it was still good).

So yes, we loved Melt and we'll definitely go back. Of course, the question now is, where does it rank with the other big three (Meat Cheese Bread, Bunk, Kenny & Zuke's)? You won't like this, but much as I did with those three I'm copping out again. Here was my conclusion about those three:

So is there a winner here? I mean, after all of this I should pick one, right? That's the whole point of having a "throwdown" isn't it?

Well, I can't. See, in my view all three of these places - while all serving sandwiches - fill a different niche, a different craving.

Meat Cheese Bread is perfect in its simplicity, the place you go when you don't want something out of the norm but still want it to be good.

Bunk fills the need to challenge your taste buds, to present you with the chance to try something you never thought you would eat, or maybe just never thought of putting on a sandwich.

Kenny and Zuke's is the place to go for variety, the place that harkens back to what many people think a sandwich shop should be (and after experiencing it, not having been to one in New York, it's hard to disagree).

All three of these places also serve various breakfast foods which I have not tried, but plan to at some point.
In all honesty, it just depends on your mood and what sounds good - all three are excellent and will make your stomach happy.
I have the same conclusion here. See, Melt has a different thing to set them apart from the other three - hot sandwiches. That's not to say the others don't have hot sandwiches or you might not go there for a hot sandwich, but this is Melt's trademark and from what I can tell they do it pretty damn good.

Simply put, you can't go wrong.


I checked out a food cart at the 10th and Alder pod of carts for lunch the other day, Addy's Sandwich Bar. I picked up the ham and gruyere sandwich. The ingredients were very good and worked excellent together - I love a good gruyere - but I think the star was the bread.

Addy's mini baguettes she uses for these sandwiches come from Little T American Baker (yep, if you read the blog you've heard me raving about them before) and they are absolutely perfect. A light crust on the outside, not too hard it makes your mouth raw, with amazing softness inside. This sandwich made me want to drive up Division to get some of these rolls myself.

Overall the sandwich was very good and it's quick and easy and cheap. I'm definitely going back because I need to try the chocolate, sea salt, and olive oil. Putting that on those baguettes sounds simply divine; just thinking about eating that makes me feel French.

1 comment:

  1. Note to self...do NOT read this blog before lunchtime. I am now starving! I'm planning on going with a group to MELT 12 November so I'll let you know what the group-think is on it. But from reading your review I know it's going to be fantastic. Pot Roast Sammy for me!