Monday, August 11, 2014

Desserts from The Melt

I've been to the Melt a number of times.  I've gone for breakfast for the egg and cheese melts and the oatmeal, and of course for lunch/dinner for the classic melts and soups.  The regular melts haven't ever really done it for me, but their breakfast melts are pretty tasty.  You can read about all my earlier adventures in my previous review.

I hadn't been to the Melt for months, and admittedly, most of my visits were very early on, so I was curious how they were doing.  They are clearly successful, as they have a slew of locations now, and a fleet of busses too!  They've also really refined the menu, giving far more customizations and ingredients to add-in.  If ever I feel like trying another melt, there are a few new ones I have my eyes on, including the breakfast ridiculousness of an Egg-In-A-Hole, in a waffle.

Anyway, the one part of the menu that I had somehow not yet explored was the desserts!  The original dessert menu had a few different dessert melts, I remember one was a pound cake with raspberry filling, another was a biscoff and fig jelly melt.  Those have both disappeared.  The only dessert melt remaining is the chocolate marshmallow s'more melt, which I keep meaning to try.

This time however, I was drawn in by their newest offerings: ice cream and milkshakes!  I grew up in the land of soft serve ice cream, and have been pretty saddened by San Francisco's general preference for soft serve froyo instead.  So I was eager to try out the soft serve.  And of course, I went on a milkshake crusade last summer, so I needed to see how The Melt's measured up.  And, I always like to bring things home for Ojan, so he got to try out the cookies.  Unfortunately, the ice cream products weren't hits, but the cookie was decent.
Vanilla Bean Milkshake. $3.95.
I started with a milkshake.  They offer only two flavors of milkshake, classic vanilla or chocolate.  Both are made with soft serve ice cream and milk.  In fact, that is all the vanilla milkshake seemed to be: just a bunch of the soft serve, sorta mixed up with milk.  It was way too thick to drink through the straw originally, so it really was just slightly milky soft serve.  Super strange.  As it warmed up, it didn't do so in a very nice way either, turning into a pool of milk on top.  It also didn't have much flavor.  Not that vanilla milkshakes are usually that interesting, but I was expecting more vanilla flavor, or something to make it enjoyable.

It reminded me in a lot of ways of the fairly crappy one I had from Del Taco last summer, but at least that one had whipped cream on top.  I desperately wanted to enjoy my milkshake, so when I got home, I decided to spruce it up.  Inspired by the absolutely delicious strawberry shake I had from Holy Grill, I grabbed a bunch of frozen strawberries from the freezer, threw them in, and got to work with my handy immersion blender.  It was better once it tasted like berries, but it was admittedly a bit melted at this point.

The price was about in range for all other milkshakes I've had in San Francisco, but it was not worth repeating.
Vanilla Bean Soft Serve Cone. $2.95.
Next I moved on to the soft serve ice cream.  Now, soft serve ice cream is an important thing to me.  I grew up in the land of soft serve.  I've had a lot of it over the years.  Moving to the West Coast, where people eat froyo instead, has been hard for me.  I'm always overjoyed when I see places that offer real soft serve ice cream!

They had only one flavor: vanilla.  Which makes me think that the chocolate milkshake is the same as the vanilla, just with syrup added.  They also offer once size.  And only in a cake cone (I imagine you could ask for a bowl?).

The cone was a decent size, not overwhelmingly big, not too small.  The ice cream was a nice creamy consistency.  But it was a bit sour.  And really didn't have any vanilla flavor.  It needed toppings, sprinkles at least!

For a place that is all about customizations, I'm surprised they haven't added toppings, or at least a few additional flavors.  This was an incredibly unremarkable cone.
Chocolate Chip Cookie.  $1.25.
Besides ice cream, I also seem to eat a lot of cookies.  I don't actually even like cookies that much, but Ojan does, and I'm always trying to find ones he likes.  I read good reviews of The Melt's cookies, and they were displayed prominently in front of me in the shop, so I figured we needed to try them.

They offer only one variety, chocolate chip.  Baked fresh in house daily.  Not bad for a grilled cheese shop!

I tried a few bites of it at room temperature first.  It was fairly soft, not cakey-soft, but not crispy either.  A good consistency.  It was loaded up with seemingly high quality chocolate chips.  Nice buttery taste.  Average thickness.  Not mind blowing, but not bad.  Just a good standard chocolate chip cookie, and it tasted very homemade.  I ate the second half after warming it up in the toaster oven, since a warm cookie, particularly one oozing with melty chocolate, is always better than a cold one.  And I may or may not have topped it with some whipped cream, just because.  I liked it much more warm.  I of course brought one home for Ojan as well, and he really enjoyed it, exclaiming that it was rather amazing how something so simple could make him so happy sometimes.

The cookies were a large size, and cheaper than what you find at most bakeries.  Ojan loved these, and although I wouldn't necessarily want another, he'd happily eat more.
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