Meltkraft, the highly anticipated grilled cheese shop by Valley Shepherd Creamery, opened this morning at 442 9th Street. The shop is still coming together, and will continue to test out different products and hours within the first few weeks. They’re currently serving– in addition to a remarkable selection of grilled sandwiches– Valley Shepherd Creamery cheeses, local milks and charcuterie, pastries, La Colombe coffee, beer, wine, chocolates, and more. They even have a refillable olive oil and balsamic station, where you can purchase a reusable bottle and fill it in-store for $9.
But back to those sandwiches.
There are nine sandwiches on the menu– seven grilled, two not. I asked head chef Rebecca Foxman for some recommendations and she happily obliged. She named the Melter Skelter as a personal favorite, with Raclette-style cheese, pickled green tomatoes, jalapeño, BBQ potato chips, and watercress ($8.50). She described both the Brielle (Brie, cranberry chutney, caramelized onions, and pine nuts on brioche, $8.25) and the Valley Thunder (12-month cheddar, brisket, and baked macaroni and cheese, $8.75) as fan favorites, though she noted that the Valley Thunder is one of the heavier choices. The Goat Crème is a brand new option, made just for the Park Slope location, and made up of Goat Crème, smoked salmon, balsamic pickled red onion, and watercress ($8.25). Rebecca described it as “delicate.”
I went with the Brielle, which was served with sweet potato kettle chips from Covered Bridge (though you have the option of a side salad instead).
The sandwich was decadent and heavenly, as expected, with the perfect balance of flavors and textures. A lot of food is packed between that bread, so either go hungry or be prepared to share. The shop offers sandwich upgrades like a garlic rub ($.85), truffle oil ($1.50), the option of grilling in duck fat ($1) or bacon fat ($.75), and more. I decided to try this one as is and get creative later, and was more than happy with the result.
Rebecca, who also heads the wildly successful Philadelphia location, is excited to bring the sandwiches to Park Slope.
“We’ve done so well in Philadelphia [Editor's note: They were just named Best Grilled Cheese in Philadelphia Magazine's Best of Philly 2013 series] and we’re hoping to do the same here,” she says. “We’re bringing a different kind of grilled cheese than you usually find in New York, and we’re the only one making our own cheese. We’ll also be selling a lot of the products that are sold in the Valley Shepherd Creamery shop.”
They offer beautiful outdoor seating in the front courtyard, with sunflower-adorned tables, and in a cozy back patio. They will be testing out a happy hour, offering craft beer and natural wines, though they haven’t solidified the hours or specials just yet. And they definitely want to promote the space as a cafè and hangout spot, helped by early hours (opening at 7am), an excellent coffee and pastry selection, and free wifi.
Stop by to check it out, and enjoy their opening promotion: during this first week, all coffee is 15% off.
Meltkraft is located at 442 9th Street at 7th Avenue, open 7 am – 9 pm seven days a week.