Melt Bar and Grilled is one of those rare restaurants with a crest: a grilled-cheese-and-crossbones. It fits all six Ohio-area locations to a tee. Melt was started by chef and owner Matt Fish who drew from his childhood love of the grilled cheese sandwich to create a menu centered around the idea of "comfort food dressed up". Melt has been featured on shows such as Travel Channel's Man vs. Food, Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and the Today Show. The signature meal at each spot is a creative spin on grilled cheese—a brisket-filled Cleveland Cheesesteak, perhaps—paired with a beer from the fully-stocked bar. Below are four reasons to dig in.
They take a kitchen-sink approach to grilled cheese sandwiches. On yours, depending on which one you order, you might find chorizo, chipotle ketchup, banana peppers, a dusting of powdered sugar, or a brand-new flat-screen TV.
There's a Hall of Fame, and non-celebrities can join. All you have to do is consume the entire Melt Challenge, a massive plate of grilled cheese, fries, and slaw that weighs more than five pounds.
Given the menu's devotion to cheese, it's surprisingly vegan-friendly. So much so that the Parmageddon sandwich—stuffed with pierogis, vodka sauerkraut, and dairy-free cheese—was honored as one of the best vegan grilled cheese sandwiches by PETA.
The grilled cheeses are good enough to inspire body art. Some regulars have actually gotten tattoos of Melt sandwiches, a practice that the eatery encourages by giving lifetime discounts.
Pick up some affordable and healthy grocery staples from Cafe Europa in Mentor and make some tasty meals from scratch.
If you're a lover of all things dairy, help yourself to some great products at Cafe Europa for all your protein and calcium needs.
If your hydration habits could use some work, pick up some delicious beverages to drink with a meal or on the go.
Skip the hassle of baking your own bread and pick up a freshly-baked loaf from Cafe Europa.
Feeling hungry and creative? Fix up a tasty meal or salad with some oil and vinegar from here.
While you're stopping in today, you'll love browsing their selection of terrific meats.
A healthy and light snack from Cafe Europa is a great way to keep your energy up throughout the day.
Add a little more flavor to your meals with their quality selection of spices and seasonings.
For cool, refreshing H20, Cafe Europa's got you covered.
Get your noodle on! Cafe Europa has some of the best and affordable noodle and pasta options in the area.
Whether you pop it in the microwave or warm it up over the stove, the frozen food here is ready to eat.
If you're looking for a great coffee or tea beverage, the team at Cafe Europa will help you out.
Ready, set, fish! For heart-healthy fare, super fresh seafood is readily available.
Just a touch of these key baking ingredients will make your baked goods pop, so make sure your kitchen is always well-stocked.
Who's hungry? A frozen entree will fool anyone's palate, so why waste time cooking up a storm?
All your favorite cereals are stocked on the shelves here.
From canned soups to canned vegetables, this store has a wide selection of tasty and healthy options.
Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, the produce from this store will give you the energy your body needs.
Cafe Europa is close to multiple parking options.
The folks at Cafe Europa in Mentor put you first, offering only the highest quality foods and ingredients. Make sure to stop by for all your grocery needs!
Hooley House offers a wide variety of classic American dishes.
Take your pick of beer, wine, or other beverages offered on this restaurant's menu.
Don't leave the kids at home — youngsters will love the family-friendly cuisine at this restaurant just as much as mom and dad.
Hooley House is known for its happy hour, which includes food and beverages.
Wifi access is totally free at Hooley House, perfect for catching up on the news, hopping on social media, or even working.
Whether you have a group of five or a group of 20, Hooley House can seat both large and small groups.
Patio tables and chairs are ready for Hooley House diners who prefer their meals al fresco.
The noise level can often drown out conversation, so make sure your party is prepared to speak up.
Hooley House wants guests to dine in comfort, so save that stuffy suit for another date.
Hooley House prides itself in its delicious catering.
Leaving the couch is half the battle. Your foods awaits your pickup at this restaurant.
We believe in rewarding our loyal customers. To do just that, we give all patrons free parking in our very own lot.
Bike parking is quick and easy at Hooley House.
Hooley House offers a wide variety of payment options, including payment by major credit card.
The dinner menu is a crowd pleaser at the restaurant, though breakfast and lunch are also served.
No matter what type of American dish you're in the mood for, Hooley House has a great selection of dishes to choose from.
So for some delicious American fare any time of the day, head to Hooley House.
At Winking Lizard of Mentor, you can enjoy a classic American burger or sandwich.
This restaurant also provides alcohol, so diners don't have to worry about bringing their own bottle.
Eat out with the little ones at this restaurant, and don't waste time scurrying for a sitter.
Don't go off the grid! With the free wifi at Winking Lizard of Mentor, you can surf the web and get some work done.
During the summer months, don't miss out on Winking Lizard of Mentor's outdoor patio seating.
Between the music and the crowds, be prepared for a lot of noise at this restaurant.
Jeans are just right for a meal at Winking Lizard of Mentor, which embraces a casual vibe.
A catering menu is also available if you're looking to dazzle the visitors at your next shindig.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this restaurant.
Diners at Winking Lizard of Mentor will love the free parking nearby.
Customers should be prepared to spend around $30, but more importantly, they should be prepared to enjoy a great meal.
For a meal truly worth eating, the place to go is definitely Winking Lizard of Mentor who serves up the mouthwatering best food in town.
At Winking Lizard of Mentor you can find great American food at any time of the day.
When you need an American restaurant that is sure to impress, come to the highly-rated Winking Lizard of Mentor.
Joey's Italian Grille does pasta right — this restaurant is known for its top-of-the-line Italian recipes.
Take a peek at the drink menu here, and make sure to sample something off the list.
Wifi is on the house at Joey's Italian Grille, so bring along your tablet or laptop.
Seating is readily available at Joey's Italian Grille for those with large parties.
Weather permitting, come enjoy a wonderful meal outside at Joey's Italian Grille.
Whether you're coming from work or a ballgame, the dress code at laid-back Joey's Italian Grille is come-as-you-are.
You can call it in, then carry it out.
Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — Joey's Italian Grille offers catering.
For convenience, diners can park in a neighboring lot.
Joey's Italian Grille provides ample space for bikers to store their bikes.
For food that tastes like a million bucks, Joey's Italian Grille s got you covered for a fraction of the price.
At Joey's Italian Grille, you can quickly and safely pay with any major credit card.
Chow down on breakfast, lunch, or dinner fare at Joey's Italian Grille — they're open for all three meals.
Visit Joey's Italian Grille for great Italian food that is well worth the price.
So head on over to Joey's Italian Grille and send your taste buds on a delicious trip to Italy.
Zappitelli's Pizza does not just make pizza. They serve decadent slices of heaven that anyone who sinks their teeth into rate high on their list.
This pizzeria's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal.
Bring your whole brood to this pizzeria, where families can dig in to tasty and kid-friendly fare together.
Score quick and easy seating for your large group at Zappitelli's Pizza.
Zappitelli's Pizza's dress code is casual — diners are welcome to dress up (or down) to their comfort level.
This pizzeria lets you stop by or stay home for your food.
A catering menu is also available if you're looking to dazzle the diners at your next shindig.
Take advantage of the free parking next door to Zappitelli's Pizza.
Cyclists will love the spacious bike racks outside of Zappitelli's Pizza.
Smothered in piping hot cheese and toppings of your choice, the pies at Zappitelli's Pizza come highly recommended by pizza connoisseurs.
For a casual meal that is highly-rated, look no further than Zappitelli's Pizza's pizza.
It's time you enjoyed a piece of pizza casually with your friends and family at Zappitelli's Pizza's restaurant.
When you need a good meal in a flash, grab a pizza from the highly-rated Zappitelli's Pizza.
The hot dog is no mere meal. It’s more of a canvas decorated with toppings and condiments in a way that embodies the person who eats it. Most cities and regions have a personal take on the ballpark standard, and Cleveland restaurants have their own: the Polish Boy.
A nod to the city’s Polish population, the Polish Boy starts with a grilled or deep-fried kielbasa. Then, the sausage is buried beneath a mountain of crisp french fries, creamy coleslaw, and either hot sauce or barbecue sauce. The resulting sandwich is a delectable mess that demands a knife and fork, or at least a steady supply of napkins.
Where You Can Get OneA lineup of the best restaurants in Cleveland will cover a wide range of cuisines and styles of dining. Visit some of the city’s most inviting, un-stuffy spots, and you’ll likely find the Polish Boy. On the east side, Hot Sauce Williams delights families with fried chicken and other classic comfort foods. Its chefs top their Polish Boys with the restaurant’s signature hot sauce and authentic Southern-style coleslaw.
But some might argue that Cleveland’s best Polish Boy comes from a truck. Far away from the linen-topped tables of downtown Cleveland restaurants, Seti’s Polish Boys operates out of a fully equipped food truck, feeding hungry crowds with the titular sausage. Seti’s adds even more delicious richness by dousing the dish with chili and melted cheese on request.
If that’s not enough savory toppings, some spots, like B&M Barbeque, top their Polish Boys with tender chunks of pulled pork shoulder. This extra-meaty variation is known as a Polish Girl.
Approved by an Iron AppetiteBefore earning his spot in Kitchen Stadium on Iron Chef America, Chef Michael Symon cut his teeth and sharpened his knives in Cleveland restaurants. He’s moved on in the culinary world, but both the city and the Polish Boy have remained close to his heart. On a 2007 episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, Symon took the host to Hot Sauce Williams to chow down on a pair of Polish Boys for some authentic local flavor. And when Symon appeared on the Food Network show The Best Food I Ever Ate, he gave that title to the Seti’s Polish Boy.
Photo: Polish boy by stu_spivack under CC BY-SA 2.0.