This summer the grilled cheese food truck mavens behind Melt Mobile announced that they are launching franchising opportunities. To celebrate the big news, we were invited to feast on all the ooey-gooey-cheesy goodness.
The Melt Mobile vision was born when longtime friends Darlene Anderson and Diana Hall purchased a paddy wagon. Aware of the then impending food truck phenomenon, and foreseeing a business model that had legs to it, this sandwich shop on wheels hit the ground running in their hometown of Stamford, adding a second truck in 2014 and a robust catering component to their expanding concept.
|Darlene Anderson (left) and Diana Hall (right)|
Darlene Andersen is the business side. She's an experienced entrepreneur with a degree in business and a minor in hotel restaurant management. Having worked front of the house operations within the hospitality industry, she parlayed her talents into creating her own company, Andersen Advantage, an employment placement firm that specialized in placing executive level administrative assistants and sales professionals throughout the Fairfield and Lower Westchester County markets.
Diana Hall is the culinary side. She's a graduate of NYU and the French Culinary Institute and honed her restaurant skills both as a chef and operations manager in prestigious restaurants throughout New York and Connecticut. She and Darlene hatched a plan to combine her creative talents with Darlene’s business savvy, ultimately building a business of their very own. And, now they are taking things to the next level with the introduction of Melt Mobile as a franchise opportunity for budding entrepreneurs looking to break into the food truck business. Franchisee operators will be able to license Melt Mobile’s name and business model, and under the guidance and expertise from Darlene and Diana, carry on this scrumptious dairy filled infatuation.
Grilled cheese ranks up there among our favorite comfort foods. It's one of those foods where the first bite transports me back to childhood, crunchy away on a grilled cheese sandwich on a rainy afternoon. And let me tell you, Melt Mobile crafts a darn fine sandwich ... make that sandwiches, plural. We noshed on nearly the entire menu and I have to tell you it's nearly impossible, really impossible for me to pick a favorite.
There's the Original Melt made with Vermont cheddar, Monterrey jack, mozzarella and gruyere on country white bread. This time, they added bacon and tomato. It's classic and simple, but the amazing quality cheese makes it anything but basic.
The Caprese features fresh mozzarella, Prosciutto di Parma, fire roasted peppers, tomato, arugula and pesto aioli on kalamata olive bread.
Jalapeño Popper Melt drips with Vermont cheddar and cream cheese on cheddar crusted country white. It's a jalapeno popper put between two pieces of buttered, crunchy bread. What is not to love here? Great heat from the peppers, but not overwhelming.
But, if you want some more serious heat, there's the Hot Chick Melt with ghost pepper jack, grilled chicken, poblano avocado ranch on sourdough. The spiciness is kicked up a level, but not overwhelming. It's the kind of heat that sneaks up on you and then lingers for a bit.
The White Truffle Melt has mascarpone cheese, fontina, truffles and mushrooms on Tuscan bread. Ok, this one, well, I didn't try it. Yes, me and my mushroom hate again. You can feel free to join Renato in shaking his head and telling me I don't know what I'm missing. Renato reports this one is "earthy but not over the top," and "works real nice!"
Meatball 3 Cheese Squeeze is made with Diana’s famous meatballs in marinara, fresh mozzarella, pecorino romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, basil on Tuscan bread. This is sandwich is not for the meek. It's a meal with some serious weight to it.
The Short Rib Melt sandwiches shredded 9-hour braised short rib and caramelized onions into the Original Melt. It's one of the most coveted menu items. No surprise at all! It's so tender, so juicy, and so cheesy.
And, as if you had to ask: Yes, there's dessert melts too! They are worth the indulgence!
The Fluffernutter is all the tastes of childhood too but with way better ingredients. It's got caramelized bananas, marshmallow fluff, Belgian chocolate and peanut butter on crunchy Tuscan bread dusted with powdered sugar.
Cheesecake Melt. Yes, cheesecake! This one is made with creamy NY cheesecake, sandwiched between grilled marble pound cake dusted with powdered sugar. It's just warm enough to melt in your mouth but not make a mess in your hands. Don't think about the calories, just enjoy every single bite.
Beyond all the amazing cheesy deliciousness, Melt Mobile’s business model includes the support of community families. Two percent of Melt Mobile’s proceeds go to The Umbrella Club, a local charitable organization devoted to helping families in need.
If you want to stuff your face with amazing grilled cheese delights, to be sure to give Melt Mobile a Like on Facebook to find out their schedule. They're on Instagram and Twitter too. And, if you want to dip your foot into the food-truck-owning-world, check out their website for franchise information. And, no matter what, just follow their motto and "Take It Cheesy!"
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. The meal was free of charge. The opinions contained herein are my own and reflect my experience. Your own may differ.
Photos by Renato Ghio