**Just walked by this place (4/1/2016) and seems this original location (their first) is no longer. First it closed to changeover from quick grilled cheese to quick burgers and now it is closed permanently****
Created by a guy who made a lot of money with Flip Video, The Melt is supposed to be a new concept in fast food, a quick healthy grilled cheese and soup in the amount of time it would take to order say McD's fast food. He created a machine that can cut the time it takes to make the sandwiches in half. Evidently he wants this idea to really take off and be like what Chipotle is for burritos. He has some big name backers and one way or another they will probably push their way to chain status whether you like it or not. The very first location opened around the corner from where I work.
The inside is all white tile, wood and metal with orange highlights, much like an In-N-Out Burger.
It gives a feeling of cleanliness..but also a bit sterile and generic, which makes it perfect for a chain. Truth be told I tried this place about a month after it first opened and was terribly unimpressed. Now that it's been there about a year I decided to give it a go and see if anything had changed. A few things I noticed from before: now they don't charge to add bacon or tomato to you sandwich and they have priced combos set up with sandwich and soup and the prices are about a buck less which was a good thing and major complaint I had first time around. After much perusal of the menu choices I settled on "the outlaw combo".
Spicy black bean soup with colby jack on whole wheat, yes I added the bacon and tomato and it comes with potato chips and a pickle all for $8.75. That is a pretty good deal in this town considering many places charge $9 just for the sandwich. The soup was really more of a brown broth. The beans have been pureed so this is more of a cup to drink than something you need a spoon for. It was okay but I really would have liked texture or chunks of beans or something. It tasted like black beans but wasn't terribly spicy and had quite a bit of salt in it, though it was at least hot. The sandwich was a decent size and the cheese was completely melted, the bread was well buttered and had a nice brown crisp crunch to it. Flavor wise you couldn't taste the bacon much and the tomato had gotten a little soggy inside and the outside was loaded with parsley salt and which pretty much drowned out the flavor of the cheese and much everything else. Add in the salted chips and salty vinegar pickle and I pretty much had to scarf a gallon of water to re-hydrate.
I really wanted to like this more as the concept and value is there, but you can't position this as a fast healthy alternative when there is that much sodium in the meal. On the other hand it does make it just like the other fast food restaurants out there so it will probably go over gang-busters and you'll see one popping up on a corner near you soon. They also plan to have a fleet of Melt buses out there serving up grilled cheese to drunks which will be great as all that salt can soak up the booze and then you can go out and drink more! A real win win for all those partying hipsters with no taste buds who have very little time to stop and eat real food.