Thursday, August 25, 2011

Melt—The Spirit of Northside

Melt Eclectic Deli

     Melt Eclectic Deli has that Granola/hippie/ethnically diverse/Womyn’s Festival vibe going that linked with its tasty, upscale deli menu, is the soul of Northside.  We went for lunch and it was an eye-opening experience.  It’s a smart, but unprepossessing storefront on Hamilton Avenue with
a friendly, low-key staff.  There are three seating areas:  one is in front where the orders are taken looking out onto the avenue; the second is a retro coffee shop type space behind the kitchen; the third is a charming, outdoor, patio courtyard.  We ate out there and it really is a beautiful spot.  

The Tree Canopied Courtyard
Rachel Sandwich
and Vegan Chili
      There are Meaty and Veggie choices (also some vegan).  Neil had The Rachel, which is a Reuben with turkey in place of corned beef.  The rubykraut (red cabbage and apples) lent a sweet and sour note to the sandwich and the Shadeau Bread’s sourdough rye is an excellent choice.  Whenever a local restaurant offers Shadeau Bread, it’s a smart idea.  He had the Vegan Chili as his side.  It’s a rich, dense chili, practically ruby red in color and complexly flavored without being overly spicy.  

Tuscan Chicken
and Red Pepper Soup
I ordered the Tuscan Chicken, which was a flatbread pizza – an au courant item in restaurants – with a real sense of Italian and Mediterranean seasoning.  I ordered the Red Pepper Soup as my side.  It had a strong, citrusy taste of roasted red pepper, but there was also a strong note of either fennel or tarragon, I’m not certain which, and it didn’t mesh well with the pepper.  However, both meals were good values for lunch. 

Flourless Vegan Chocolate Cake
We wanted to try one of the desserts that were at the counter when we ordered our meal.  I asked Neil to make the decision and he returned with the Flourless Vegan Chocolate Cake.  It was rich with cocoa, incredibly creamy throughout, and a thoroughly satisfying ending to our experience.  It's only one reason this is a one of a kind place that’s turning into a Cincinnati institution.

Melt on Urbanspoon

Their garden would be a great place to run around and hide in.  This is one place I wish the guys had asked me to go along.

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