The concept is simple: open up a restaurant in an area heavily traveled by hungry business people, tourists and students alike and make lunch as convenient as the push of a button. That’s the idea behind the newly opened grilled cheese spot The Melt in SoMa.
Jonathan Kaplan, the founder of Flip Video, doesn’t normally think small. He looks at The Melt as a fun dining experience offering fresh comfort food with the added bonus of using technology to make for quick pick-ups. The restaurant at New Montgomery is the first in what he hopes to be a nationwide chain; plans are already in the works to open two other locations in San Francisco and one in Palo Alto by the end of the year.
The menu features five grilled cheese sandwiches and five freshly made soups that can be purchased together or separately. Because his restaurants wouldn’t be able to have gourmet chefs at each location, Kaplan and a group of advisers went to Swedish home appliance maker Electrolux to come up with a contraption to easily make all the sandwiches uniform.
Whether it’s The Mission (Jalapeño Jack on Sourdough), The Italian Job (Fontina and Provolone on Garlic Bread) or The Wild Thing (Aged Gruyere on White Wheat), the sandwiches do come out pretty perfectly. The soups aren’t bad either. With the popularity of grilled cheese sandwiches nowadays, it still is a bit pricey for what you get ($8.95 for a soup/sandwich combo), but I thought it served its purpose perfectly as a convenient comfort food spot.
As of this writing, the restaurant has not launched its online ordering service yet. It will allow customers to order either online or on their mobile phone and be able to pick up their orders at any Melt location. When ordered via the mobile app, the customer will receive a QR code on their smartphone that can be scanned at any location. They will also be allowed to pay through their phones as well.
The Melt is located at 115 New Montgomery Street and is open from 10:30-9:00 Monday-Friday and 11-6 on Saturday.