In your mouth
Tucked inside a frozen yogurt joint, Texas Meltz is a sandwich shop with quite a lot to offer. My pals and I skipped the cold sub menu in favor of the Texas-themed “meltz.”
The hot sandwiches are available with a choice of cheeses on either grilled Texas toast or an eight-inch roll. We started with a Lubbock meltz ($8.25) with Swiss cheese layered between two slices of thick, crispy toast. Pieces of grilled chicken breast were topped with ham and grilled onion and housemade chipotle mayonnaise. The chicken was tender and went well with the ham.
The next three sandwiches were ordered on grilled sub rolls, beginning with the Dallas meltz ($8.75), featuring thin sliced brisket, mild barbecue sauce, grilled onion and American cheese. The sauce was on the sweet side, and though I didn’t detect much smoke on the meat, it was tender and fairly lean. The Austin meltz’s ($8.75) mix of pastrami, roast beef, grilled onion and provolone made for a decent sandwich, and that zippy mayo brought it all together. Perhaps my favorite of the trio was the San Antonio ($8.75), essentially a hot club sandwich of turkey, ham, bacon, grilled onion and pepper jack cheese working in concert with the chipotle mayonnaise.
Cheesesteak sandwiches are a common source of argument, but I’ll go out on a limb and say the Texas steak meltz ($8.75) was an acceptable example. Thin sliced beef was chopped and grilled with bell pepper, mushroom and onion—glued together with plenty of melted provolone. And we chose to add the chipotle mayo, because why not? The soft, crusty roll may not be the “one true bread” that purists insist on, but then this sandwich doesn’t have Philadelphia in the name. The bread-to-filling ratio leaned heavily toward meaty, cheesy goodness.
Completing the menu is a selection of burgers, each featuring a half-pound beef patty cooked to order, served on Texas toast. I was initially confused by the name of the Hawaiian Falls burger ($8.50) but was told its namesake is a Texas chain of island-themed water parks. Regardless, if the idea of a decent burger topped with ham, melted Swiss and a thick slice of fresh pineapple appeals to you, you’ll love this combination.
Last but so incredibly not least, was the Texas Meltz burger ($8.50)—one of the best I’ve enjoyed in a while. Cooked as ordered—medium rare—the half-pound burger was topped with pulled pork, cole slaw, grilled onion, pepper jack, spicy barbecue sauce and chipotle mayo. Texas toast provided outstanding support while adding flavor and crunch. The slaw was tangy with good flavor—not too sweet—and the pork was moist and chunky enough to add some bite to the burger.
Speaking of smoke, the best kept secret in this hidden gem of a sandwich shop is the potato salad ($2). There have been very few examples of this Euro-American side I’ve enjoyed, and most commercial preparations are either way too sweet or just plain bland and boring. This housemade bit of creamy heaven included what appeared to be bell pepper, perhaps scallion, definitely lots of bacon and smoke. It was unexpected and delicious, and I wanted to lick the cup when it was gone.