Vegetarians and vegans live some hard truths in this town: There are only a handful of restaurants that they can truly count on, unless they want to subsist on side dishes. And Melt is one of them. The Northside cafe’s menu isn’t just veggie-friendly; it’s veggie-intensive. The chili is vegan. The cheese steak is made with seitan. Every single item has a vegetarian or vegan option.
But Melt doesn’t leave carnivores out in the cold, either. Which brings us to the braised beef sandwich. “The Hoffner,” as it is known on the menu, features savory beef, Swiss cheese, and creamy horseradish sauce between two slices of Sixteen Bricks rye. It’s pot roast on toast, made mildly elegant with the addition of marinated mushrooms, red onion, and spinach. Order it with a side of the zesty kale slaw with lemon pepper vinaigrette, which is a punchy complement to the rich sandwich.
Finish up with a vegan cupcake—vegan because Melt uses dark chocolate instead of milk for the ganache and soy milk in the cake. It doesn’t suffer for those substitutions and is, in fact, as good as it looks.
Melt Eclectic Cafe, 4165 Hamilton Ave., Northside, (513) 681-6358, meltcincy.com