Michael Klein: The big cheese at Melt Down is . . . cheese

Owners of the grilled cheesery (from left) Tom Stuart, Pete Howey, and Aaron Nocks, with Brie Melt Sliders and the Baja Melt.
Owners of the grilled cheesery (from left) Tom Stuart, Pete Howey, and Aaron Nocks, with Brie Melt Sliders and the Baja Melt. (ED HILLE / Staff Photographer)
Posted: October 20, 2011

Melt Down, a new grilled-cheese restaurant in North Wales (111 Garden Golf Blvd., 215-368-1113, meltdowngc.com), has recently opened. The concept came from Aaron Nocks and Pete Howey (who also own Peace a Pizza), along with friend and grilled-cheese aficionado Tom Stuart.

The menu features a few set combos, such as the Baja Melt with Monterey Jack, avocado, and chicken, and one with jumbo lump crab. There are also soups (including tomato, naturally), gluten-free bread, milk shakes, and an ice cream sandwich made with toasty pound cake. If you like the all-natural, small-batch fountain sodas (from their other company, New Hope Premium Fountain), you can take them home by the growler. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

More mobile

Jonathan Adams, the chef at Pub & Kitchen, has teamed up with childhood friend and former La Colombe employee Damien Pileggi to launch Rival Bros, a boutique coffee roaster and espresso-slinging truck. Order the custom blends online (rivalbros.com), and look for the truck in LOVE Park later this month.

Also in LOVE Park is the Lucky Old Souls truck, which is serving grass-fed burgers, veggie burgers, hand-cut fries, and milk shakes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Follow it on Twitter @LuckyOldSouls.

Also opened

After a few setbacks, entrepreneurs Josette Bonafino and Ian Cross have reopened the Trestle Inn, as a '60s- and '70s-themed bar and entertainment venue. Brown booze is the drink of choice, and there are 14 beers (including two hand pumps) on tap.

Go-go boxes will accommodate dancers clad a la Barbarella, grooving to all kinds of tunes, and a stage will be constructed for regular DJs, bands, burlesque, and performance art. Chef Travis Messner, last at Arrow Swim Club, will oversee a menu of from-scratch bar snacks, including pickled pigs' feet, salads, sandwiches, and assorted casseroles. It's at 339 N. 11th St., 267-239-0290, thetrestleinn.com.

After quietly serving for a few weeks, Blue Bear Tavern (216 S. 11th St., 215-922-3427, bluebeartavern.com) has officially opened in the old Doc Watson's space. Chef Billy Gilbo, previously at Union Trust, has a menu of bar snacks, as well as entrees such as the Tavern Steak and Potatoes, and a Philly Pudding, with caramel, chocolate, and pretzel crumbs.

Changing hands

Chef Mike Stollenwerk is selling his share of Fathom Seafood House to partner Rob Holloway. Stollenwerk is building a larger Fish restaurant at 13th and Locust Streets. (He also recently sold his interest in Little Fish to sous chef Chadd Jenkins.)

The Bar Previously Known as Fathom is remaining open, but expect a new name, and a more gastropub-style menu.

Chef Ed Battaglia, a veteran of Fox's Hell's Kitchen, who was opening chef at Ralic's Steakhouse in Haddonfield, is leaving, turning over the kitchen to sous chef Keith Laskowski, a former sous chef at Cork in Westmont. Laskowski is promising a more diverse menu. Battaglia is focusing on his day job - directing the culinary arts program at Garfield Park Academy in Willingboro.


Michael Klein is on vacation. Contact him at mklein@philly.com or @phillyinsider on Twitter. Follow him at www.philly.com/food and catch his blog at www.philly.com/insider.

Contact staff writer Ashley Primis at 215-854-2244 or at aprimis@phillynews.com.

 

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