Melt is on a quiet, tree lined street at 581 Jersey Ave. in Jersey City. The large storefront window reveals an amber glow from the ceiling lights and the old fashioned checkerboard floor. The narrow front room is decorated with pictures from local artists. The outdoor courtyard is nearly twice the size of the inside.
Melt is known for their specialty grilled cheese sandwiches. The owner, Glenn, said he got the idea from a few places in New York that offered variations on this staple. Glenn expanded this idea by using exotic and unusual cheeses that he blended with special sauces.
In addition to the six variations he created, they offer an "invent your own grilled cheese sandwich." Cheese lovers can choose from American, cheddar, edam, feta, Monterey jack, muenster, provolone, swiss, and buffalo cheddar. Patrons can choose one to three kinds of cheeses and a topping on white or multi-grain bread.
In addition to the regularly offered sandwiches, Glenn features two daily special grilled cheese melts. We tried the Murcia al vino, a cheese that is made from the best goat milk in all of Spain. It had a mild rich flavor with a slightly sweet finish from the mango chutney ($9). It was delicious from the first bite to the last.
From the menu, we tried the Happy Jack, which is a blend of provolone, Monterey jack, and cheddar with sliced tomato and citrus dijon. This thick melt has a buttery taste with a light salty aftertaste from the cheddar and the citrus. Another option, the Great Dane, blends horseradish havarti, smoked turkey and peach chutney into a spicy sweet flavor.
The sandwiches come with the homemade pasta salad or soup. Or you can order a side of the addicting Cajun French fries with or without cheese ($3). Other sandwiches include burgers, hot dogs, and a grilled veggie sandwich, which of course can come with your choice of cheese. The portions are huge and filling, so make sure to visit hungry!
Drinks and more
The latest special milkshake is called JAMM (Jersey Avenue Mocha Madness), which mixes chocolate and coffee ice cream, coffee, and milk. The thick creamy concoction is almost a meal in itself. They also offer fresh squeezed orange juice, flavored coffee, imported tea, iced tea, homemade lemonade, soda, and fruit smoothies.
For dessert we tried the Belgian waffle with whipped cream and ice cream, topped with hickory syrup. Did I mention the two giant sized waffles that span the plate? This tasty item was meant to be shared. Other items include cake or pie ala mode or homemade cookies and brownies.
On or off-site catering for parties is available, and they have a BYOB license. On Thursday nights, they have live music at 7:30 p.m. and local artists feature their work. They are open Tuesday through Saturday 11:30 to 10 p.m. For more information please call (201) 459-0008 or visit www.meltjc.com .
Sinatra Park Café
The café at 525 Sinatra Drive in Hoboken has one of the best views in town. The circular building has large windows that open out to the spectacular Hudson River. The silver chairs, green umbrellas, and large plants add to the elegant charm of the outdoor seating. The place, which has been open under new management since May, specializes in parties. Whether you are planning a birthday or business function, this venue will cater to your needs. For the private functions, white linen is placed on the tables with china and crystal. The restaurant holds a BYOB license, which is perfect for a quiet dinner for two or for a larger private party. In addition to the Sinatra Park location, you can sample their food at Pier A in the concession stand.
Their specialty items are the Italian Sausage Sandwich and Italian Beef Sandwich. The recipe from Scala hails straight from Chicago and is original. The grilled sausage sandwich, which is shipped from Chicago, is a full link that is made with garlic, chopped parsley, and caraway seeds plus other secret herbs to add to the flavor.
There are two topping choices, hot or mild. The hot blend is a spicy blend of marinated cauliflower, celery, onions, olives, peppers, and jalapeños. The mild mix includes everything but the jalapeños. The Italian oven roasted beef sandwich is made from top round sirloin and is sliced thin, covered with au jus, and piled high on crispy Italian bread. It is also served with the hot or mild vegetable topping. Not sure which to try? Have the combination sausage beef sandwich for $6.75. All three delicious sandwiches are large portions that are sure to satisfy.
Salads include a grilled chicken Caesar, mixed greens, and fruit salad. They also offer the usual favorites including: hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken fingers, and scrambled egg and pepper for $3 to $5. Other grilled items include: steak, sausage or chicken kebobs for $7.75. Other ala cart items include: French fries, chicken fingers, and homemade Habanero chili.
For drinks they offer fresh fruit smoothies, espresso, cappuccino, coffee, tea, and soda. Their homemade lemon Italian ice with chunks of real fruit are the perfect finish to any meal. They are open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. For more information please call, (201) 963-0080.