I do not rave. I can't remember the last time I ever raved about anything. I'm tough to please. I had dinner recently at Bacchus and came away mighty disappointed.
My fear of raving is one of the things that has to be considered after my visit to the Melthouse Bistro, a new addition to the East Side. The restaurant, which is building its reputation on the grilled cheese sandwich, is located across the street from Beans and Barley.
They've only been open a couple of days but on a blustery, almost winter, night, we decided to give it a try.
And I'm in full rave about this place. It's clean and well organized and the people who work there seem to have smiles on their faces. It's a very nice vibe. They say that all their food is local, with an emphasis on great Wisconsin cheeses.
There are about 20 varieties of grilled cheese sandwiches. For kids, and for those who just want the basics, there's a basic grilled cheese sandwich served on white toast. If you want to add a bowl of tomato bisque, you have the makings of one of the great traditional meals of all time.
But once you decide to be a little adventurous the excitement builds. You need a little time to read the menu because the detailed descriptions of each sandwich take some time to understand. But it's worth the exploration.
There are lots of different cheeses with vegetables and surprising ingredients that make exciting sandwiches.
I had the Baconmoto, a classic with sharp aged cheddar, smoked bacon, very fresh tomatoes and an olive oil mayo that was surprisingly understated. The mayo didn't overwhelm the sandwich and I finished the whole thing with ease.
My wife had the Sergent Pepper (slightly misspelled) that featured pepper jack and cheddar cheese. Toss in roast cauliflower, red peppers and tempura fried onions on sourdough bread, and it was a feast, both for the eyes and the taste buds.
The sandwiches, which come in a variety of breads, were grilled crispy on the outside and softer inside, just the way a great grilled cheese ought to be.
If there is one suggestion I could make, it's that they don't have anything featuring a sharp brick cheese, which is one of the great and classic cheeses of Wisconsin. But that's a minor criticism and it certainly won't keep me from trying again.
Prices are moderate. You order at the counter and then they make the sandwich to order and bring it to your table. They've got a liquor license so there is beer and wine, but why anybody would drink anything other than milk with a grilled cheese is beyond me.
But milk or beer or soda, what you drink is almost beside the point. This place is more than worth checking out, time and again.
Yes, it is clean and the employees seemed cheerful. If you are specializing in cheese if might be good to actually have some on the sandwich. The one I tried had brie on less than 1/8 of the sandwich. I'm sorry, but this place is not rave worthy.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published Sept. 15, 2014
Deborah Staples is an actor and an associate artist at the Milwaukee Rep. She is at the absolute top of her game and delivers memorable performances wherever she appears. It would seem that with her career and her family, there would be no room left. However, she has begun to scale a new mountain in her life as she steps behind the footlights to direct her first play.
Published Sept. 14, 2014
Sometimes stepping off the beaten path, or outside of the mainstream, can be fraught with peril but on occasion it can turn into a wonderful surprise and you pat yourself on the back for taking the big step. Such was my reaction after stepping into the deliciously tiny space of Theatre Unchained in order to see the production of "The Addams Family Musical."
Published Sept. 13, 2014
We may not have movie stars like California, oranges like Florida or corn like Iowa, but Wisconsin has a long list of excellent stuff we've given to the rest of the world. Here are the top 13 things that carry the "Made in Wisconsin" tag.
Published Sept. 12, 2014
The little Alchemist Theatre space is one of the real jewels in this city, and it comes alive in an amazing fashion with "Destiny, Deviltry & Dentistry," a hilarious collection of sketches running through Sept. 20.
Published Sept. 11, 2014
Political correctness has intruded on one of the most precious pillars of our government, a pillar that was embraced at the very beginning of this country.
Published Sept. 9, 2014
The Milwaukee Brewers can still run and hit and pitch and throw and catch as well as they ever could, but they aren't doing any of those things even decently now. And I think it's the fault of the manager.
Published Sept. 9, 2014
From that time on I have always thought those two things, intelligence and courage, were critical elements in any football player. And that's why I am so overly disappointed in the way the Packers opened their season last week against the Seahawks in Seattle.
Published Sept. 8, 2014
The Rep's new production is a rollicking start to the theater season and one that is full of everything that's great about country music: a sly sense of humor, an equally sly sense of what makes a good story and a devoted faithfulness to an era gone by and mourned.
Published Sept. 4, 2014
As the Milwaukee Brewers' swoon continues it won't be long before the finger pointing starts in earnest. I wonder if anybody is going to bother to look at the new right fielder, Ryan Braun.
Published Sept. 4, 2014
WIth Joyce Garbaciak coming back to the WISN-TV weeknight anchor desk, it's Milwaukee television viewers who are the winners.