Who can turn the world on with her smile? My BFF Amanda can light up a room, and melt the blues away and she doesn’t even have to toss her hat in the air. Not that I’ve ever seen her with a hat.
I am craving her luminosity as we slog through this long, cold winter, so we make a lunch date to pop over to the “Melt Shop” for grilled cheese sandwiches, a new arrival in our work neighborhood.
The only thing more comforting than a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch is a date with Amanda. She’s let her fondness for me override her attraction for grilled cheese. She’s held off storming the Melt Shop solo until I was available. She made a pinky promise. I’m truly blessed.
Melt Shop has a lively white and yellow dairy cheddar motif. There are bright yellow picnic tables and sparkling white tile on the walls. And, it’s packed tighter than a dairy barn during the milking hour. There’s a heck of a lot of folks suffering from grilled cheese fever. The team behind the counter wears T-shirts with cheesy slogans like “Girl, you looking Gouda!”
We cue up to place our order. After some consideration, Amanda selects “The Classic” – cheese on white bread with tomato and caramelized onions. It’s kind of an elementary school throwback with a dollop of sophistication.
I go for the “Truffle Melt” – Havarti, truffle oil and arugula on sourdough. It’s kinda precious, and kinda noveau grilled cheese. As always, the lunch adventure rules apply. We have to share.
Amanda snags a table, so we have a chance to sit and savor the cheese. It’s surprisingly warm in the dining area – even warmer than the grilled cheese sandwiches. Amanda cuts her sandwich into quarters, because it’s easier to share, it’s very grilled cheese traditional, and as she puts it definitively, “I always cut my grilled cheese in quarters.” I follow suit with the truffle melt.
Did I mention the side dish? Some super cute, crispy tater tots that are downright yummy.
While the tomato classic is a tad short of piping hot, Amanda declares, “Great flavor, and I like the bread to filling ratio.” She is clearly a grilled cheese connoisseur.
The Havarti has just the right melted, stringy, pliability.
My truffle addiction is in full gear. I could bath in it. Amanda is more reserved, but she thinks the truffle to cheese ratio works. “I like my truffle subtle, not noisy, intrusive and bossy,” she says.
We spend a little time gossiping and pack away a healthy amount of grilled cheese. You would think all this lactose would satisfy, but it’s not quite enough. I make a proposition.
“If I got a shake for dessert, would you share it?”
“In a second,” Amanda replies breathlessly. There’s no debate about the flavor – Nutella-Fluff is the clear winner. I head back to the counter to place the order.
Amanda signals her appreciation by posting this update on her Facebook page: “Love is T.W. Barritt waiting on the really long Melt Shop line so you can share a shake.”
I bring back two straws so we can share. Archie and Veronica, eat your heart out. The combination of Nutella, Fluff and a drizzling of chocolate sauce are deliriously good and enough to guarantee that our afternoon productivity will probably falter.
I ask Amanda’s permission to slurp, because you can’t finish a shake without slurping.
“You have to,” she insists. “It’s the only way.”
My BFF even approves of slurping milkshakes.
My heart is like a warm and cozy puddle of delicious melted cheddar.
©2014 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved