Birthday Lunch at Melt

My regular readers know I tend to write about classic old restaurants that don’t come close to passing for fine dining. Melt, which sits in the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley, just south of the Lehigh Valley, is a break from that norm. It isn’t a chain, but it’s the sort of large, corporately-owned restaurant that is prevalent at such modern, somewhat upscale shopping complexes. Nonetheless, I’ve eaten there before with my wife’s family and enjoyed both the atmosphere and food, so I was excited about returning to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday.

Center Valley, PA

We celebrated my in-laws’ 50th anniversary at Melt a few years ago with a large dinner and had a private upstairs room for the occasion. But we were only the immediate family this time around and sat at a corner table on the restaurant’s main level.

Their lunch menu has more sandwiches and fewer entrees than they offer for dinner. As usual, I had checked it out online in advance and knew that I’d be foregoing both and trying one of their house-made pastas.

We made life for our server difficult when about half of our party requested that their two dishes be brought out together, while the rest of us asked for them to be served as separate courses.  

I was in the latter group and received my mussels with corn, calabrian chilis and tomato broth along with with one or two others who ordered it, while my wife and brother-in-law dug into their cauliflower soup – one of the day’s specials – and pasta e fagioli. 

The mussels were excellent. In recent years, when I’ve ordered them, mussels have often been disappointingly small or, on a couple occasions, absurdly large. They were just the right size in this case and steamed to perfection. The broth was delicious and the corn added a nice textural touch to the dish. 

Cauliflower Soup
Pasta e Fagioli

While I obviously didn’t partake, my wife and most of her family ordered an assortment of salads, one of which was topped off with a crab cake. My sister-in-law went with the fish of the day – salmon. 

Arugula Salad
Caesar Salad
Broccolini and tomatoes side

Their pastas were all available in small and larger sizes, something I always appreciate on an Italian menu. Two of us tried the smaller portion of bucatini carbonara. Carbonara is a dish that is frequently served with cream, but not when it’s made authentically. Its creaminess should come from a combination of egg and grated cheese. And that was the case with this version. It was excellent, and had an abundance of smoked bacon.

Bucatini Carbonara

Melt has a birthday deal. Just let them know any member of your party is celebrating one, and they will lay a healthy piece of their cheesecake of the day on you free of charge. We passed around this slice of pumpkin cheesecake on a soft carrot-cake crust, each taking a bite, until it was gone.

Pumpkin Cheesecake on Carrot-Cake Crust

It was an extremely enjoyable afternoon which we topped off by returning to my in-laws’ house for more dessert. 

Published by BZ Maestro

I live outside of Philadelphia and have been food-obsessed for as long as I can remember. After toying with the idea of starting a blog for a fairly long time, the extinction of a food-themed message board that I frequented for years prompted me to finally take action. Thank you for taking the time to check out what I've been up to - and eating. If you've enjoyed what you have read and seen, please consider clicking the "like" button and signing up as a follower.

2 thoughts on “Birthday Lunch at Melt

  1. After reading the menu I was hoping someone would order the Mussels Fra Diavolo – excellent choice! And that cauliflower soup looks really enticing.

    Generally speaking, I’m usually slightly suspicious of restaurants with one-word names (especially when there’s no capitalization); somehow, that practice seems just a bit pretentious to me. But in this case it looks like melt can walk the walk, and if they’ll let the likes of you in they can’t be all bad. ;^)

    Liked by 1 person

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