When lunch time rolls around for residents and others who either live or work close to 277 Mamaroneck Avenue, the Melt Sandwich Shop is the place to be. Not to be confused with a delicatessen, the shop, owned by husband and wife team Bill and Kristen Hall, offers a delectable assortment of sandwiches, salads, grilled pizzas, and soups, as well as a catering menu.
What goes into the sandwiches and how Bill Hall prepares them is what sets Melt apart from its competitors. Before opening the business in White Plains, Hall, an Ohio native, previously owned two restaurants in Mystic, Conn., including Bravo Bravo, specializing in Italian seafood, and Azu, an American-style eatery.
The couple met in Mystic while Kristen, a Fairfield County native, was a graduate student at a nearby college. Even though she studied neuroscience and had every intention of going into that industry, she said the restaurant business has proved to be more enjoyable. While she’s kept busy assisting her husband behind the counter, serving customers and attending to front-of-the-house duties, it’s Bill who gets the ovens fired up every day.
At the crack of dawn – 5 a.m. to be exact – Hall starts his days by cooking every piece of meat that’s intended for either a sandwich or a pizza. That includes beef, pork loin, pastrami, ham, slow roasted turkey breast, pulled BBQ pork, brisket, and corned beef. The pulled pork takes an especially long time to cook, explained his wife, and to achieve that perfect taste and tenderness, Hall, who trained at the Florida Culinary Institute and later worked in Switzerland and spent four years on a cruise ship, begins cooking it the night before. Fish is also available at Melt.
Customers can choose from a five-inch round roll, a grilled flatbread or an 11-inch wedge or sub roll. At Melt, you can order a grilled sandwich, or choose a specific meat and then pick from a delicious combination of toppings to complete a “sandwich combo.” There are 12 different types of combos to choose from, each given a name to reflect the variety of ingredients being used.
For instance, the “bacon cheddar” combo consists of tomatoes, chipotle remoulade, smoked bacon, and cheddar cheese; the “melt mac” includes the chef’s special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions; the “bbq” consists of gorgonzola cheese, tomatoes, bacon, and Kansas city barbecue; and for those who like a spicier sandwich, there’s the “mango,” which includes mango salsa, jalapeños, red onions, and cilantro.
For pizza lovers, especially those who crave crispy crusts, you can’t beat Melt’s selection of grilled flatbread pizzas. Kristen Hall explained the secret to creating the tasty, crispy flatbread is to put plenty of olive oil on the dough. The Halls add a variety of great toppings to their varied selection of pizzas, which include the pomodoro, grilled chicken, grilled asparagus, pulled pork, pizza salad, portobello mushroom, Italian, and pepperoni pizzas.
Since opening to the public two years ago, the Halls have acquired a loyal group of customers. The lunch period, between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., is their busiest time, and between taking orders for in-house customers and preparing food for delivery, there’s not much time to relax.
In addition to the freshly cooked meats you’ll find at Melt, Kristen Hall said it’s the originality of the sandwiches that has kept customers coming back time after time. Much of that, she said, comes from her husband’s passion for cooking and his attention to detail. But in the end, she said, it’s all about one’s commitment and drive. “You have to really love it.”
Melt Sandwich Shop is located at 277 Mamaroneck Avenue. It is open Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Delivery is available anywhere in White Plains, Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, go to www.meltsandwich.com, call (914) 358-1364 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about Melt’s catering menu.