Owners of Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese turn the well-loved classic sandwich into an adventure
Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese is serious about comfort.
Owners Joe McCarthy and Matt Yetter have teamed up to take simple, lovable grilled cheese to new limits. McCarthy’s favorite, the Wingz Twist, is stacked with mozzarella, pepper jack, blue cheese, fried chicken, ranch dressing, celery slaw and buffalo sauce. Yetter’s top choice, and namesake, is the Matty Melt and features fontina, blue cheese, smoked beef tri-tip, grilled red onions, horseradish and huckleberry barbecue sauce.
The casual restaurant opened mid-June at 1735 W. Kathleen Ave. in Coeur d’Alene, the former home to Lil’ Polpetta. All of the sandwiches are made to order and are done in about 10 minutes.
McCarthy, who studied at the New England Culinary Institute, has worked exclusively at fine-dining restaurants. He travels about 16 weeks each year cooking for the drivers, staff and television crews for IndyCar Racing, where he whips up meals for up to 200 people at the track. He’s also worked for restaurants from New York to Georgia to Idaho, including a stint at Brix in downtown Coeur d’Alene.
Yetter is a friend and handyman who helped McCarthy with everything from the concept to the reconstruction and lighting in the new restaurant.
McCarthy used his fine-dining expertise to layer the flavors of the sandwiches. They are not stacked with cheap ingredients. “I want people to know that the combinations are very well thought out and tested,” McCarthy said.
He worked hard to create a combination of butter and aioli that gives each sandwich a crispy (but not too greasy) crust. Every order comes with a bit of frico – that delicious crispy fried cheese you break off to eat first – around the exterior of the sandwich.
Yetter said they tried to keep the prices approachable. “I want people to know that for $10 you’ll leave here stuffed.”
The “extreme” sandwiches are $7.35 for a whole sandwich and $4.75 for half on a choice of sourdough or whole wheat bread. Gluten-free bread is also offered. For $1.95 diners can add the house-made seasoned Russet potato chips and a small drink.
Simple, familiar grilled cheese sandwiches are on the menu, too ($3.75 full/ $2.50 half). And there is tomato soup that can be ordered as a dipper to go alongside a sandwich for less than 50 cents. Don’t miss the house-made dips that can be eaten with the sandwiches or chips. There’s garlic Alfredo, grainy honey mustard barbecue, gorgonzola and sweet chili, or buttermilk ranch, for 75 cents each.
If your taste lies somewhere in between familiar and extreme, there are some “uncommon” choices on the menu, including a sandwich named Ode to Lil’ Polpetta, a nod to the restaurant that used to be in that space. McCarthy created Lil’ Polpetta as a consultant.
McCarthy said parking can sometimes be a problem since the small restaurant shares a lot with the gas station and another business in the complex. Customers can also park in the gravel lot next door, he said.
Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Call ahead to order at (208) 664-1717.
Little Euro Café opens
Spokane Valley fans of Old European are welcoming the return of aebelskivers and German potato pancakes.
Old European owners David and Tami Sevier recently opened the new Little Euro Café in the space formerly home to Victoria’s Espresso, 517 N. Pines Road.
The restaurant got a sunny makeover with the help of Paint Room Studios designers Dawn Kiki and Catherine Boles, including a whimsical orange tree with a spigot to help highlight the restaurant’s new orange juice machine, Tami Sevier said. The juice is fresh-squeezed to order.
The menu at Little Euro Café is the same as at the north Spokane and Post Falls Old European restaurants, which the Seviers also own. Tami Sevier’s sister-in-law owns the Pullman location.
The restaurant is known for its traditional and European-inspired breakfasts, including Danish aebleskivers (which look and taste like spherical pancakes), Swedish crepes and German potato pancakes. Omelets, cinnamon swirl French toast, buttermilk pancakes, and biscuits and gravy are also customer favorites.
“People just kept asking us when we were coming back to the Valley,” Sevier said. “They are excited to have their aebelskivers back.”
There is room for 60 diners inside the restaurant and 16 people on the patio.
Little Euro has something the other Old European locations don’t: drive-through espresso. In addition to Craven’s Coffee, made-from-scratch breakfast sandwiches can be ordered.
Little Euro Café is open daily for breakfast and lunch. The coffee drive-through window opens at 5 a.m. Monday through Saturday and at 7 a.m. on Sundays. The restaurant is open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Reach the restaurant at (509) 891-7662.
Latah Bistro to welcome new chef
Chef David Blaine is winding down his days at Latah Bistro.
When he takes his exit at the end of the month to work on plans for his own restaurant in the new Kendall Yards development, chef Brian Hutchins will step into the job.
Hutchins has worked in some of the finest local kitchens, including Mizuna and Luna (twice), and recently worked at Savory on the South Hill. He was the executive chef at Stix in north Spokane earlier this year. He also helped open the gastropub at Full Sail Brewing in Hood River, Ore.
“It is more along the lines of what I like doing,” Hutchins said. “I’ll be able to spend a lot more time at the farmers market and that sort of thing.”
Hutchins takes over as executive chef on Aug. 1 and said he looks forward to settling in to the new role. He’s planning menu changes to follow the season, although he said he’ll work with owners Dave and Heather Dupree to preserve some of the restaurant favorites.
Latah Bistro is at 4241 S. Cheney-Spokane Road. Reach the restaurant at (509) 838-8338.
Blaine was the executive chef at Latah Bistro for the past seven years. His new project is called Central Food, and he’s projecting a December opening date for the restaurant. It will be in a building under construction along Summit Parkway in the Kendall Yards development with views of the river and Monroe Street Bridge. Follow the Central Food Facebook page for updates on the project.
Boots Bakery & Lounge opens
Alison Collins and her crew have taken over the space that was formerly the Rocket Bakery at 24 W. Main Ave.
Collins is the former bartender at the Mizuna wine bar. Her new vegan/vegetarian café and lounge is taking shape with the help of friends and supporters.
It is open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. They are making plans for an early August grand opening.
For a look, check out my Too Many Cooks blog at www.spokesman.com/ blogs/too-many-cooks/.