Slated to open March 2014 and taking on a refreshed, more gourmet café facade, Daily Melt restaurant, the gooey haunt for affordable warm and crusty comfort food created by South Florida’s own Chef Allen Susser, will debut its new digs in the heart of downtown Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, at 350 SE 2nd Street. Riding on the successful heels of Midtown Miami’s Daily Melt, the larger, 1,669 square-foot location is set to expand upon the delicious selection of cheesy melts, savory soups, crisp salads and popular Chef’s Blackboard Specials that put the brand on the map, with a snazzy gourmet pickle bar, comfy lounge area with free WiFi, full breakfast menu including gourmet, freshly ground and brewed coffee and pastries, made-to-order milkshakes, a craft wine and beer selection, and grab-and-go food and juice options.
New for the Fort Lauderdale store, Daily Melt is introducing a bit of a warmer look and feel – complete with a comfy lounge area and free WiFi for customers who want to take meetings, study or get some work done. Guests can sip from a selection of six hand-crafted milkshakes including Chocolate-Oreo, Peanut Butter-Banana and Fresh Mango, or from their rotating list of craft beers and wine. Also new is Chef Allen’s Gourmet Pickle Bar. Displayed in large glass jars for the picking, Chef Allen’s homemade urban pickles begin their journey as sliced cucumbers shown a great deal of love, herbs, spices and juices that brine for days before being served alongside pickles’ perfect mate – the grilled cheese. Varieties include Sea Salt Dill, Mojo, Lemon Ginger, Hot & Sassy, Kickin’ Asian and Bread & Butter. Susser not only pairs his pickle varieties with specified regular menu sandwiches, but he also uses them as ingredients on certain special melts.
Using fresh, American-made, high quality cheeses, meats, veggies and custom baked breads, sandwiches are simple, assembled with love as if mom made them, and hot pressed to order. Chef/partner Allen Susser – a huge cheese aficionado – and his well-trained team, deliver high quality at an incredible value. Geared to be an everyday neighborhood restaurant that can please the picky toddler, hungry student, on-the-go professional and everyone in between, the menu accommodates a wide range of tastes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Breakfast Melts ($5.95) offer hearty options such as the Maple Bacon Melt – crispy bacon, maple syrup, egg and cheddar on sourdough bread; Canadian Brie – Canadian bacon, egg, and soft brie on rye; or sweet beginnings including Nutella French Toast – Fontina cheese, cinnamon sugar and maple syrup on sourdough French toast. Coffee lovers rejoice, as the restaurant will be the only South Florida purveyor of Chicago’s small batch, high-quality artisan coffee, Metropolis, ground in-house and freshly brewed. Breakfast pastries such as muffins, croissants and bear claws will be available.
Throughout the rest of the day, Daily Melt serves-up Classics ($3.95 - $6.95) that run the gamut from the Original with melted American cheese to the Bacon Melt with cheddar, crispy bacon, baby spinach and Roma tomatoes; or the Roasted Turkey Melt with Provolone, baby spinach and chipotle mayo. Signatures ($5.95 - $7.95) delight with options such as White Truffle Bacon Cheddar with crispy bacon, cheddar, provolone and Roma tomatoes; and BBQ Pulled Pork with sweet and tangy pulled pork, melty Swiss cheese, caramelized onions and jalapeño potato chips.
Homemade-style Soups ($1.45 - $4.95) come as a cup or convenient shot and change daily. All new Salads ($7.95) offer lighter options with the Quinoa and Kale – cold quinoa, julienned kale leaf, chopped tomatoes, cucumber and creamy goat cheese; Caprese with beefsteak tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and kalamata olives over mixed greens; and the Daily Melt classic, the Farmers salad with mixed greens, Roma tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, roasted red peppers, garbanzo beans and warm grilled cheese croutons. Not to miss desserts ($2.95 - $4.95) are in sandwich form with the Crispy Banana Nutella Melt – Fontina and Cinnamon on Sourdough French Toast; or the S’more with charred marshmallow, melted chocolate bar and graham crackers. Baked goods, including fresh pies, cakes, and cookies, are also available.
While Daily Melt features a slew of inexpensive over-stuffed and uber cheesy grilled melts on its regular menu, for the foodie set, Susser offers a revolving list of weekly Chef’s Blackboard Specials ($7.95). Slightly higher in price, but still extremely affordable, examples include Boston Beach – Jerk Chicken, Slaw, Spinach and Smoked Gouda; Mac & Cheese Melt - Applewood Smoked Bacon, macaroni, Muenster and American Cheeses; Roasted Turkey, Brie Cheese, Rosemary and Fig; Crab Louis - Spinach, Tomato, Secret Sauce and Muenster Cheese; and Smoked Bacon, Grilled Eggplant, Rosemary, Truffle and Provolone and Swiss Cheese
Winner of the prestigious James Beard Award, Susser has been a nationally recognized South Florida namesake since opening his groundbreaking Miami restaurant Chef Allen’s in 1986. Called the “Ponce De Leon of New Florida cooking” by The New York Times and "One of the Best 10 Chefs in America" by Food & Wine magazine, Susser successfully ran his Aventura eatery for an unprecedented 25 years, and helped to put Miami on the national culinary map as one of the famed “mango gang”. Susser is currently the spokesman for the National Mango Board and is a Culinary Ambassador for the Monterey Bay Aquarium for its sustainable seafood watch. He received an honorary Doctorate of Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University and was awarded the President's Award for community service from his Alma Mata, Florida International University. Susser was also recognized as Chef of the Year for Share Our Strength and was later honored nationally as Humanitarian of the Year by the same organization. He is currently active on the Board of Feeding South Florida, and is an advisory member of the James Beard Foundation, The Florida Commissioner's Seafood and Aquaculture Committee, served on the National Board of Directors for the American Institute of Wine and Food and served as president of the Miami chapter of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. He is the original author of New World Cuisine and Cookery (Doubleday, 1995), The Great Citrus Book (Ten Speed Press, 1997) and The Great Mango Book, (Ten Speed Press, 2001).
Daily Melt – Fort Lauderdale, located in downtown Las Olas at 350 SE 2nd St, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is open 6am - 8pm, Monday – Friday and 8am - 7pm Saturday and Sunday. Telephone: 954-713-MELT (6358) Website: www.dailymeltgrill.com