Northside has such a great concentration of unique restaurants, and other fun things to do. Slim’s, Honey, Take the Cake, Sidewinders, Hideaway and Melt– to name a few! I’ve done Slim’s, Honey, and Take the Cake (and have a review of Hideway pending), leaving Sidewinders and Melt. Terry and I wanted to do something different for lunch one Saturday, and I suggested Melt. He was hesitant– Terry can, at times, be put off by overly vegetarian menus– but I coerced him into going. I think I won this battle.
Melt Eclectic Deli has something for nearly everyone. Carnivore? Tons of burgers and meat-based meals. Vegan? They cover vegans extensively. Looking for something healthy? They have that too. Comfort food? Check. It’s an incredibly popular place on a Saturday afternoon, so unless you don’t mind waiting, you might call ahead for take-out. The wait time averages a half hour to 45 minutes on a Saturday, and fighting for a table can be a little difficult since it is a small place. However, the wait is totally worth it.
Both Terry and I went carnivore this time around. Their meats are all very high quality, hormone-free and organic, breads freshly baked and sourced locally, and many of their desserts come from Take the Cake. Everything is made fresh, to order, in a semi-open kitchen (if you get the right seat, you can watch!). Terry picked a roasted red pepper soup and The Joan of Arc, which is roast beef, and swiss on rye with mushrooms, red onion, spinach, and horseradish cream. Both Terry and I love the richness of roast beef (ah, the delicious burnt ends!) with the sharpness of horseradish, so this combination was a winner for both of us. The Roasted Red Pepper soup was also nice– rich, creamy and warm, perfect for a fall day.
I went with the Rachel– turkey, swiss, a Thousand Island-style sauce, “rubykraut”, which is apples and red cabbage– sweet and sour and incredibly good– I could eat a whole bowlful– all on a crusty sourdough rye. If you notice, the whole “sandwich” is actually a sandwich and a half, since the sourdough was small, but two “halves” were perfect for me. The side I chose were addictive, crispy rosemary redskin potatoes– home fries the way they ought to be. As much as I love crispy, twice-fried frites, I also love the crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside fried potatoes. They remind me of my childhood (though I doubt Grandma ever used rosemary…).
Melt will try to make anything they can vegan, which is unique in Cincinnati, and they also have an array of salads and desserts (if you want to be good or very, very bad…). They also have healthy beverages, including sodas that use cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, teas, and coffee. Sunday Brunch is also available (which I’ll have to try soon). Prices are reasonable– mostly between $6-10 for a sandwich or salad– and portions are great for the price. Head there either a little early or a little later to beat the rush, and remember that there are tables in the back (and outdoor seating when the weather is nice).