The grilled cheese craze has come to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, in the form of Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese. In addition to "build your own," the menu is divided into three categories of sandwiches. Simple are "familiar grilled cheese sandwiches" like the Kid Comfort with "big ol' slabz of oozing orange and white American," and American Ooze! with orange and white American, sharp cheddar, Colby jack, Swiss, and Cheese Wiz (sic).
Uncommon are "beyond grilled cheese" that includes Ode to Lil' Polpetta (with crushed meatballs, mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan along with marinara on garlic bread), Cheesey Caprese, and Tiajuana Taxi. Then there's the Extreme category with a Potsticker Meltz (with fried wontons, sriracha-chili aioli, and more), Gobbler (with smoked turkey, sausage stuffing, and fried sweet potatoes, and more), and The Idahoan (think meatloaf and potatoes).
From the Uncommon Menu, I ordered the Matty Melt ($4.95 half, $7.50 full), containing fontina, blue cheese, lightly smoked roast beef, grilled red onions, horseradish, and huckleberry BBQ sauce. Cooking takes a little time, but it's worthwhile as the cheese melts out and gets that crispy texture that's so tantalizing. The fontina and blue cheeses are strong and earthy, standing up strong to the horseradish and roast beef, with the onions and BBQ sauce adding sweet notes.
These are behemoths—a half-sandwich is plenty, and comes with homemade potato chips. (I believe the whole can feed a family of four.) If you want a little more, but not a full sandwich, there's a half-sandwich and soup combo for $6.75. You get your choice of a custom sandwich plus a cup of the soup of the day or, surprize surprise, Meltz's Extreme Tomato Soup.
Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese
About the author: Jay Friedman is a Seattle-based freelance food writer who happens to travel extensively as a sex educator. An avid fan of noodles (some call him "The Mein Man"), he sees sensuality in all foods, and blogs about it at his Gastrolust website. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfriedman.