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Melt Bar and Grilled – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series

Cheese on cheese on cheeeeeeese…

Our first look at Melt was similar to most others, through the Man vs. Food grilled cheese challenge at Melt. 13 cheeses, 3 slices of bread, a pile of fries and slaw, coming in at a whopping 5 lbs. of food. It’s a hefty challenge, but thankfully we weren’t here for that.

Primarily located in Cleveland, Melt has started to expand over the past few years, getting into Akron/Canton along with two locations in Columbus (Short North and Easton). Melt is well-known for their crazy big grilled cheese concoctions, fun art and unique menu items. One that caught our eye was the “El Diablo” burger, but when we arrived at the beginning of October another sandwich stole our spicy gaze.

The Voodoo Zombie Jerk Chicken is the sandwich of October and is definitely a bizarre mashup of some of our favorite things. Grilled jerk chicken, fried and smashed plantains, Caribbean pickled peppers and onions, peach habanero marmalade, pepper jack cheese and a healthy smattering of their special zombie dust seasoning. That peach habanero marmalade sounded delicious and something called “zombie dust seasoning” has to be a bit crazy right? Plus, look at this poster for the sandwich!

A sandwich fit for Marie Laveau.

It was decided, I’d get “El Diablo” another time because surely this zombified sandwich would pack more of a punch. That’s when the lady of the farm stole it right out from under me. SHE ordered the Voodoo Zombie Jerk Chicken for herself. I was shocked, but also proud. The marmalade didn’t scare her and she wanted those plantains. I panicked momentarily, then remembered why we had initially come to Melt. I ordered El Diablo and stared at the lady of the farm, mouth agape. There would be sweat this time around, but not from your typical narrator. Another challenger had appeared. We decided to swap half and half that way we could both get a feel for the heat of the sandwiches. First, El Diablo.

El diablo at melt bar and grilled by fartley farms

So much cheeeeese.

El Diablo is a Melt burger with “Hot & spicy dried pepper rub, fresh jalapeño peppers, sweet chipotle sauce, pepper-jack” cheese and fries (or mac and cheese as a side now too). The first bite, I was worried that Satori Ramen had killed my spice receptors. There was nothing. The jalapeños had a standard jalapeño kick, but I didn’t pick up much of the hot or spicy that the rub was supposed to offer. The pepper jack cheese was fine and the burger itself was a little overcooked. The sweet chipotle sauce was probably the best part, primarily from the sweet smokiness that chipotle sauces tend to provide. Moral of the story, stick with their grilled cheeses and other non-burger options. This burger goes right above last place and Siam Orchid’s Crazy Noodles, but we can’t go higher than that.

Now about that zombie chicken…

Spooooky chicken…

The lady of the farm’s first bite gave her an eyes wide open “did I make a mistake” look, one that I hoped for after she stole it away from me. Working through half the sandwich, it caused some sniffles, a few more eye opening bites, but she was able to make it through. There is a hefty sweetness to this sandwich and I was glad the chicken was pulled instead of a large chicken breast. The smaller chunks made it easier to get a lot of the flavors together. The sweetness of the plantains and marmalade with the tangy taste of the pickled peppers were a great combo and pair nicely with the rest of the sandwich. Heat-wise it’s still not high on our list, but we’ll slap it up to #22, just below Helen’s Asian Kitchen and their Stir-Fried Cauliflower. Sadly the “zombie dust” turned out just to be cumin-heavy spice mix with almost no heat. We also couldn’t get an answer of what else was in there.

Not the spiciest dish in the city, but a great place with almost unreasonably large sandwiches. It’s rare when we don’t leave Melt with two halves of a sandwich left over, but the Voodoo Zombie Jerk Chicken sandwich did not make it home. It’s an awesome seasonal sandwich with a small kick and two thumbs up from us. Also, we’re big fans of the Korean War Pig (Korean BBQ boneless pork with kimchi slaw) and any of the many Macaroni and Cheese options on their menu.

You can find Melt in the Short North or in the portion of Easton nestled into the corner of 270 and Morse Rd.

Look below for more in our spiciest dish in Columbus series and hit us up if you have any suggestions that are not already on our list!

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