THE PLACE: GourMelt began in 2011 as a food truck, a pioneer of Reno’s mobile food scene. Three years later, owners Jessie Watnes and Haley Wood opened Two Chicks, a breakfast spot in Midtown.
Now, GourMelt has become what it had been planned to be before the recession occurred: a storefront restaurant. GourMelt Grilled Cheese Shop opened on Aug. 22 on University Terrace, at the western edge of the University of Nevada campus.
GOURMELT GRILLED CHEESE SHOP
Address: 101 University Terrace
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday
On the web:www.gourmeltnv.com
What’s $10 or less: Everything
THE LOOK: GourMelt occupies what was once the garage of the house next door. The facade and interior sport the familiar GourMelt colors: yellow, red, turquoise.
The space is cozy, the shop mainly for takeout, so you order right in the door, with the kitchen behind and two shallow counters with stools just beyond.
THE MEAL: Two friends and I plan on an early lunch at GourMelt, but early turns into a little later when we initially get lost.
For the record: GourMelt lies at 101 University Terrace, just west of North Sierra Street. A block-long planted triangle splits University Terrace in two at that location — GourMelt fronts the upper length of the split.
I scoot into GourMelt just ahead of a horde of hungry guys. A croque madame — ham, fontina, chèvre, Dijon, a fried egg —offers an easy choice. (A croquet monsieur omits the egg.)
I swap out the sourdough in favor of Icky beer bread from Great Basin Brewing. My side? Sweet potato fries with a small plastic ramekin of spicy rémoulade.
Friend No. 1 opts for the garlic Parmesan fries with basil aïoli to accompany her very veggie: jack, cheddar, swipes of cream cheeses, roasted red peppers and other vegetables between sliced wheat bread.
Friend No. 2 (aka Blonde No. 1), who hasn’t been on a 2 for $20 lunch in a while, chooses a chicken, jack and blue cheese melt tingling with the heat of Buffalo sauce. She’s also wild about garlic Parmesan fries.
KUDOS: We love the hot, oozy signature pleasures of our grilled cheeses and GourMelt’s other sandwiches. We also like the build-your-own melts from cheeses, meats, breads and add-ons. And online ordering is scheduled to launch Sept. 1.
QUIBBLES: Not a quibble but an FYI: Now that students have returned to UNR from summer break, expect GourMelt to be busy during peak hours.
ALTERNATIVES: A grade schooler (classic grilled cheese on white bread), a Caprese melt and the UltiMelt, a favorite from GourMelt’s food truck days featuring cheddar, fontina and cream cheese on garlic Parmesan sourdough.
RETURN TRIP?: Of course. Unlike a food truck, you always know where bricks-and-mortar will be.