April 29, 2014

Grilled Cheese Gets Fancy at Meltkraft in Reading Terminal Market

A long-time staple sandwich for kids across America, the ever-dependable grilled cheese has been taken up a notch by sandwich entrepreneurs lately, as us grown-ups search for a more sophisticated grilled cheese experience.

Last year, the cheese gods at Valley Shepherd Creamery launched Meltkraft in Reading Terminal Market, where you can find creations that would make any foodie salivate.

Some highlights include the Somerset (cured ham, 12-18 month gruyere, pickles and mustard), the Brielle (brie, cranberry chutney, caramelized onions and pine nuts on brioche) and the Melter Skelter (raclette, picked green tomatoes, jalapenos, BBQ chips and watercress).

It was the Valley Thunder, however, a grilled cheese stuffed with brisket, cheddar and baked mac & cheese, that piqued my taste buds most.

The year-aged cheddar was flavorful and cooked to a nice gooey consistency in a panini-like grill, and the brisket was nice and moist. The bread was tasty albeit a tad overcooked on the edges, a common occurrence with many grilled cheeses.

Overall, though, the Valley Thunder didn’t quite match the sky-high expectations I had for a sandwich that sounds like heaven. It was a solid grilled cheese, but not amazing.

Three subtle changes would help perfect Meltkraft's Valley Thunder:

1. Spread the brisket and cheese more evenly. The outer inch of the bread didn’t have any bite of brisket and, in some cases, no cheese either. Spreading the ingredients evenly is a reasonable ask if you’re trying to make the upper echelon of Sandwich Quest and charging $8.75.

2. Bake or even fry the mac & cheese to a crisp. I was hoping the crispy part of the mac & cheese (you know, like from edges of the pan??) would shine through, but that slightly burnt sensation, and even more importantly the texture, was nonexistent.

3. Add a condiment to boost the flavor. I’m thinking some caramelized onions and/or a horseradish aioli would have done the trick for the Valley Thunder.

My best endorsement for Meltkraft is that I want to go back with Kristy to try some of the other options. It's another great place to try in Reading Terminal Market, which keeps turning out some of the best sandwiches in Philadelphia.

Has anyone else been to Meltkraft?

Inside the Valley Thunder, not as much or evenly-spread filling as I'd hop

Meltkraft Grilled Cheese on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Come to Cheese E Wagon in front of Drexel Law school 33rd and Market middle of the block for an Awesome gourmet grilled cheese. One of my pet peaves is to make sure there is protein in every bite. www.cheeseewagon.com