Todd and I just finished devouring a couple of sandwiches from this place and I realized, I should really talk about it on here and let people know of another great sandwich place in Tucson. Baggins, Jimmy John's, even Jason's Deli are all staples here. Another good place was Susie's Cafe, the little hole in the wall next to Nadine's Bakery on Broadway, but that place closed down.
But Melt stands out for me, because Jimmy John's, at the end of the day, is basically The Beach Club and after awhile you get bored with turkey lunch meat and an inordinate amount of mayonnaise. I mean does anyone ever order anything but The Beach Club on a sub roll? And as for Baggin's, they don't put cheese on their sandwiches, not really, and their latest store, the Gourmet Baggins in Williams Center, doesn't deliver. That stings, Baggins. That stings a lot. And Jason's Deli, eh. Their chips suck.
Melt, however, has a menu full of heavyweight champions full of all kinds of meat, all kinds of cheese, all kinds of fillings, and while their chips still suck (more on these later), the sandwiches more than make up for it, whereas with Jason's Deli, that's all I really remember from my last visit.
The guy who owns Melt started the Philly's Finest chain and then moved back East but when returning to Tucson, he saw that the Baggins on the corner of Broadway and Rosemont had moved, leaving in its wake a perfect sandwich setup. He quickly scrapped retirement plans and started Melt in that same location (which, I should mention, also is home to 2 Cupcakes - their confections look divine but way too caloric for me to even split one with Todd. The icing is higher than the goddamn cupcake). I've gotta say that I'm really glad he came back because these sandwiches are honestly some of the best I've had.
The Philedelphia really steals the show, I have to be honest. While ordering once I asked the owner his favorite and he said the New Orleans (cajun spices, roast beef, provolone and green chile), which was really good but whenever I try something new and Todd gets the Philly, I get jealous. Like today, when I ordered the Los Angeles (pastrami, swiss, sauerkraut, 1000 island on rye), I was in heaven, until I stole a bite from Todd. But honestly, all the hot sandwiches (aka Melt) I have gotten, I have not regretted. I haven't even attempted any of the cold sandwiches (aka Unmelt) because why would I? The San Diego tempted me (tuna salad, provolone) but having experience with the way their cheese basically becomes like a cheese sauce, absorbed into the meat.... there's just no way, even on hot days like today.
So, the good stuff: all sandwiches ever tried have never failed. They come piping hot, even if they're delivered, and hey, they deliver! The steak they use is RIBEYE (you read that correctly), tender and succulent, and the cheese... oh, the heavenly gooey melty delicious saucy cheese. They also have some pretty good pasta salad with balsamic dressing on it, and of course those devilish cupcakes I'm too chicken to try (I like owning pants that fit me).
But there are also some negatives: their chips suck, and the bag is stamped as being 25 cents... but the store owner actually takes a sharpie and blacks out the price and charges .75 for them. That's quite a mark up for chips that suck.
I did order a salad one time, The Bronx, with chicken, gorgonzola, roasted bell pepper, etc on it, and while it was good, it wasn't worth the cost of $8. It was too small, not enough lettuce, but was full of over-confidence as it came with not one, but two tubs of their balsamic vinaigrette.
Another negative: I ordered Todd a Philly once, and I went ahead and got all the goods put in there. Lettuce, onion, tomato, sweet and hot bell peppers, mustard, blah blah blah. I think I must have gotten too much because the sandwich had very little meat in it; the hot pepper to meat ratio was completely unbalanced, and was too spicy to really enjoy.
There's only three negatives on this list, but if you stick to sandwiches, two of those negatives are cancelled out, and the third issue is merely a preference for add-ons. So ultimately, I give Melt 3.5 out of 4 and I highly, highly recommend you give this place a try. But, maybe on your first visit try something besides the Philly so you won't fall victim to its siren song every time you go there.
5056 East Broadway, Tucson AZ 85711
Delivery 11am - 2pm