Award Winning Idaho Extreme Grilled Cheese Restaurant Finally Opens in Boise
Just in time for comfort food season, Boise has a new destination for gooey grilled cheese sandwiches, steamy hot soup and more!
We don’t know about you, but ever since we caught wind that an award-winning restaurant specializing in “extreme” grilled cheese planning a location where Los Mariachi’s Mexican Restaurant on Fairview burnt down in 2019, we’ve stared at that site every time we’ve driven past it.
The new restaurant isn’t a national chain. It’s an Idaho born and bred (or should we say bread) concept out of Coeur d’Alene. In April, Meltz Extreme officially announced that after 10 years in Northern Idaho they were ready to expand to the Treasure Valley. The Boise location is the second brick-and-mortar location for the cheesy restaurant.
Originally slated to open during the summer of 2022, the new Boise location was finally able to hold a preview event in early November. The preview night was slammed and gave their new staff a chance to see what it was like to work under fire. After taking a look at how the evening went and adjusting a few things, the restaurant is now welcoming guests. You’ll find them at 6565 W Fairview Avenue.
Meltz Extreme’s Delicious Origin Story
The original Meltz location opened in 2012 after two friends sat down to discuss becoming business partners over lunch. According to Meltz's website, they loved comfort food but didn't want it to get boring. They didn't want to call their food "gourmet" because it seemed a little too high-brow for their neck of the woods.
Co-owner Matt blurted out the word "extreme" during a brainstorming session and the pair ran with it. With his background in the industry, Chef Joe McCarthy knew that cheese was the perfect canvas to work with and that grilled cheese sandwiches provided endless opportunities for unique combinations and flavors. Just like that, Meltz was born!
The Coeur d'Alene location has racked up numerous honors including the title of Best Grilled Cheese in Idaho, Best Mac & Cheese in Idaho, Best Sandwich Shop in Idaho and one of the 33 Best Sandwich Shops in America. Two of their sandwiches even took the top spot at the 2013 and 2014 National Grilled Cheese Invitationals.
Chef Joe has collaborated with the Kenley family, who is responsible for bringing Meltz to Boise.
Our First Taste of Meltz
We were lucky enough to score an invite and can report back that it was absolutely everything we dreamed it would be.
Personally, this author has been curious about the Cheezy Caprese sandwich since writing her first article about Meltz a few months ago. During preview night, it was one of the sandwiches under the “Uncommon” section on the menu. It melts together mozzarella, fontina, shaved asiago, grilled tomato, pesto and a balsamic reduction.
Is it a messy sandwich? Yes. I wish I would’ve had a wet nap in my purse because it was so sticky. Will it make your soul happy from the inside out? Also yes. It paired nicely with a cup of their creamy tomato basil bisque. I loved that the soup had some shaved parmesan in it. The more cheese the better!
My only regret? The fact that we selected the last seating for the evening, so I was starving when we got there. When they called our number, I scarfed down my half-sandwich without thinking to grab a photo of it. Luckily, our friends, the Crossley family, had a little more self-control. James and Dacia sent us some photos of the Cubano, Cheezy Caprese, tomato soup dipper and mac and cheese their family sampled.
James said the half-sandwich Cubano was larger than he expected. He also loved the breadcrumbs and hint of spice in the mac and cheese. (It looks like the couple's daughter did too!)
So What’s on the Meltz Extreme Menu?
The Boise location is still working on finishing its website where it’ll publish its current menu, but many of the sandwiches people got to know and love in Coeur d’Alene were on the one served during preview night. The Pepperosa, Simpleton, Cheezy Caprese, Cubano and Oinker are a couple we remember.
The original location has a reputation for having rotating featured sandwiches as well, so we pulled some of the sandwiches from their Facebook page to give you an idea of what you’re in for.
12 Sandwiches We Can't Wait to Try at Boise's New Extreme Grilled Cheese Restaurant
In addition to the sandwiches, soups and mac and cheese, Meltz also makes their own potato chips, dips and salads. The Boise location had a selection of local canned beers from Mother Earth and Sockeye.