Feeling like doughnuts have been done before, and cupcakes are getting old? Fear not, foodies! St. Louis is spearheading a new edible fad, and it’s one that might surprise you: waffles!Hungover-breakfasting or road-tripping in the South are no longer the only roles of the beloved waffle house. To the visionaries behind MELT, a waffle house is a place for nostalgia, live music, cocktails and eccentricities. From the comfort food to the decor reminiscent of a blanket fort, it’s no trouble feeling right at home in the cozy atmosphere they’ve created.
Cozy indeed, but “blanket fort” may not be a fair description of the interior design; it’s obvious that much more work went into it than that. Vintage pinball machines, old Jetsons cartoons and mismatched coffee mugs hanging on an old doorframe are just the beginning of the assortment of memorabilia and ”upcycled” decorations that fill this museum of oddities. MELT’s quirky chic ambiance was achieved with the help of Art Director, Jenny Baca of Jipsi Boho and artist/entrepreneur Krystal O’Mara of ReMain Design.
MELT is the brainchild of owners Kelly Pickett and Ben Simms, and was born after a trip to Austin stirred Pickett’s interest in opening a chicken and waffles food truck. Unsure of the feasibility of a food truck in St. Louis at the time, the two kept thinking. The pair had also been searching in vain for a good waffle place. At the time Simms’ previous businesses, a coffee shop and an ice cream parlor, were struggling. “We decided to “MELT” them together and add some food,” said Pickett.
The menu has classics, like blueberry waffles, but even the familiar is given an interesting twist with a name like “Violet Beauregard,” or “Granny Franny,” for the apple cinnamon pie flavor. If you’re feeling more adventurous, savory selections, new to the world of waffles, are also available. There aren’t too many places you could order a waffle topped with chili, hash browns, sriracha and a fried egg. Not without using pregnancy cravings as an excuse, that is.
The food menu may seem simple; it’s anything but. Culinary ambition at MELT is no small potatoes. The chef’s creations are easy on the eyes, as well as the taste buds, neglecting neither flavor nor presentation. Accommodating all food restrictions, MELT offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free varieties.
Beyond the main fare, you can also find ice cream, coffee, beer and cocktails at MELT. Those extras aren’t just a side note. Staying open until 3 a.m. on weekends (1:30 a.m. on Wed. and Thurs.), makes this pseudo-breakfast joint a hot spot for a night on the town. They even feature midnight movies on their 14 foot projector screen on Fridays. Holding true to the traditional waffle, MELT is also the perfect spot for Saturday brunch, complete with pomegranate mimosas. Settled in the heart of St. Louis’ spot for quirkiness, Cherokee Street, MELT is quickly becoming a local favorite.