Cheese dreams

Get Melted knows what you're smoking


GET MELTED (600 Church, at Gloucester, 647-350-6358, getmelted.ca, @getmelted1) Complete meals for $15 per person, including tax, tip and a soda. Average main $7. Open daily 11 am to 9 pm. Closed some holidays. No reservations. Unlicensed. Access: six steps at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNN


Neev Tapiero’s no stranger to weed.

As the owner of CALM – Cannabis as Living Medicine – he’s been legally selling pot to registered medicinal marijuana users since 1996. Opening a no-frills café specializing in gourmet grilled cheese with a separate vaporizer lounge upstairs for his clientele seemed the likely next step. Accordingly, he’s called it Get Melted.

“We’re a little more ‘chill’ than what you find on Yonge Street,” says Tapiero. “And our food’s way more upscale.”

To accomplish this, the first-time restaurateur brought in Chippy’s John S.J. Lee to create the mostly fried lineup. The first thing Lee did was throw out the panini press. Instead, he starts off all Melted’s sandwiches on a griddle, then finishes them in a convection oven so they’re almost stratospherically tall, unlike the squished ‘wiches you encounter most everywhere else.

We like to upgrade his appropriately priced Classic Melt ($4.20) of cheddar and mozzarella on supermarket white with ferociously hot roasted jalapeños (75 cents), while the Club Melt (the most expensive thing here at $7.75) with additional bacon and deli-style turkey is just fine the way it is.

Lee layers thin, crisp slices of Dimpflmeier marbled rye with retro tuna salad and sharp havarti (the tuna melt) or creamy chèvre, smoked ham and arugula (the Meaty Goat) and gets all fancy with brie, mozzarella and pear (La Poire, all $6.90).

Veg-heads will appreciate the innovative combo of Gruyère and roasted red pepper, cremini ‘shrooms and whole cloves of garlic (the Antipasti, $7.50). All come with handfuls of quite okay barbecue kettle chips and spears of dill pickle.

Desserts also get the Melted treatment. Described on the menu as a “glazed apple fritter with cheddar,” the Grilled ‘n’ Glazed ($3) isn’t the donut we expect, but rather an apple brioche of sorts dusted with confectioner’s sugar and stuffed with cheese. Oddly, the Smitten – fried banana slices with a whole lotta Nutella on eggy French toast ($4.50) – is completely fromage-free.

And if the Elvis ($5.75) with cheddar, peanut butter, strawberry jam and bacon on grilled trailer-park white doesn’t harden your arteries, the basket of bacon ($3) certainly will.

“Make sure to ask for it well-done,” suggests the regular at the next table. “There’s nothing worse than raw bacon.”

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