When you hear the name Melt Shop, cheese is automatically what comes to mind. Your initial thoughts are pointing you in the right direction. To be clear, this is a grilled cheese sandwich heaven. This fast casual eatery whips up quick, convenient grilled cheeses with a ton of different types of fillings. Considering how much I love cheese; I was shocked I didn’t hear about this fast casual eatery sooner. Obviously if I ate here it means they have gluten free options/bread. To answer your next question – is it safe? – keep reading.
Let’s start with food taste before I dive further. First off, does anyone not love grilled cheese? It is a staple in every child’s diet (it was for me) and every drunk college kid’s diet. It continues to be universally loved whether it is still a staple or not. So with all that said, yes this place offers some fantastic grilled cheeses. I decided to order the truffle melt with gluten free bread and added bacon. It was extraordinary, better then any grilled cheese concoction that I came up with in college or directed my mother to make as a child. I couldn’t believe this was gluten free bread either which was is always a big added bonus. Not sure what brand they use but I very much approve of their sourcing.
This isn’t a sit down restaurant. Usually I don’t give a rating for service to fast casual eateries but I have to in this instance. The counter clerks and food prep people clearly have no idea what gluten allergies mean. The reason this score isn’t lower is because the kitchen and food prep process makes up for their lack of knowledge. The gluten free bread is placed on a separate dedicated gf grill tray that runs through their conveyor belt oven and the workers are alerted to change their gloves before handling.
Ok, you are probably thinking that is a pretty solid setup so why did I give it a lower score of a 6.9? Reason is, based on my observations, all it will take for your grilled cheese to get contaminated is for one of those people in this multi person assembly line process to mess up. Nothing is clearly labeled or marked in the kitchen and there is no one person overseeing your order to ensure it is handled correctly. I heavily mitigated my risk by going right when Melt Shop opened at 11am. My grilled cheese was also the first sandwich that was made. I would be a very risky person if I chose to eat here at peak times.
There are many items on the menu that are naturally gluten free but you must do research before entering to find out what they are. Melt Shop menu doesn’t state anything about gluten free except for the fact that gluten free bread is offered. To help aid you in your research, the bacon, grilled chicken and cheeses are gluten free. That should at least start you off.
Did I Get Sick (NO)
If you have a Nima device then this is the kind of place you will want to bring 1 or 2 capsules with you. I brought mine and tested the bacon and the bread w some cheese and everything came back with a smile face. I had zero negative reactions after eating it either which meant it was fully safe for gluten free eating. Gluten Free bread is stored in bags that are in the same general area as the normal breads, which are also bagged, so that in itself could be a problem. If you skipped to this section, please go back and read the “service” section of this review and be familiar with their cooking procedures.
I think because I came here when the store opened and not at a peak time mitigated all of my risk. But I can see this being a very risky place for someone with a gluten intolerance or celiac disease. I’m just upholding my duty to be your guinea pig.
If I rated this on my anecdotal experience and food alone, this rating would be in the 8’s. But for the many reasons stated above, this score unfortunately had to take a dive. This score is reflective of the risk a gluten free eater will be taking if they eat here without a Nima device and/or at a busier time. I want to recommend this place but unless you are a risky gluten free eater; I would avoid.