33 & Melt

The Melt

Exterior

Interior

***** (5 stars)

When you specialize in one type of sandwich you’d better be good at it, and indeed 33 & Melt is very good at grilled cheese sandwiches. Many varieties are available with various additions, but I went with The Melt. The combination of cheeses was perfect, and the bread was grilled to a lovely deep golden brown.

The sandwich came with a small cup of homemade tomato soup for dipping, but I just sipped that by itself. Delicious. There was also a mixed green dressed in a vinaigrette, but I thought it was a bit salty. Fries might have been a better option. It all came for one reasonable price.

There’s an inside counter and a few tables, plus several nicely shaded outside tables. I liked the classic rock soundtrack. Service was quick and friendly.

33 & Melt
13790 Bridgewater Crossings Blvd
Ste 1000
Windermere, FL 34786
(407) 614-3843
https://www.yelp.com/biz/33-and-melt-windermere

Philly’s Best Cheesesteaks

**** (4 stars)

This place surprised me in a number of ways. I’m not a huge cheesesteak fan, but I went with a group, and was pleasantly surprised to see a fair variety on the menu. I ended up ordering a cheesesteak that included bacon, and quite liked the flavor. A half sandwich came as a lunch special with fries and a drink for a very reasonable price.

I also liked the outside seating area, which is spacious and well-sheltered from the elements.

But the biggest surprise was the friendly enthusiasm of the staff, who delivered the sandwiches, refilled drinks and made us feel appreciated. I’ll definitely return to sample some of their other offerings.

Philly’s Best Cheesesteaks
2295 S Hiawassee Rd
Orlando, FL 32835
(407) 488-3960
http://www.yelp.com/biz/phillys-best-cheesesteaks-orlando

H-Dogs

***** (5 stars)

Chicago is looking for the successor to Hot Dougs, and not only is H-Dogs a candidate, I think it’s even better, because they make the single best salmon sandwich I have had anywhere! In fact, when I go back, I’ll just skip right past their excellent dogs, and get me another one. It was a perfectly grilled salmon filet with crisp greens, red onions, and a zesty horseradish infused dressing, all on a wheat bun.

I also sampled the Greek, vegetarian and French dogs. The Greek was essentially a gyro, with lamb, tomatoes, onions and a their version of “tzatzki” sauce. The Healthy Hound is a vegetarian dog that’s a bit more in the style of a Chicago dog, but without the pickle, and with roasted peppers. The French was the richest dog I tried, duck sausage smothered in caramelized onions.

All the dogs were good, but I kept going back to that salmon burger!

Everything comes with excellent French fries, served crisp and piping hot. The inclusion of fries makes the pricing of the dogs and burgers much more attractive.

There’s also a rich chili, available in both vegetarian and turkey versions. I got this to go, and it was great reheated later.

H-Dogs is definitely worth the trip south, and it’s pretty convenient to get there on Lake Shore, so I’ll certainly be back… for more salmon burgers!

H-Dogs
4655 S Martin Luther King Dr
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 633-2978
http://www.yelp.com/biz/h-dogs-chicago

Foodstuffs

**** (4 stars)

I’m not sure whether to call this a grocery story, a gourmet shop or a bakery, because it’s all three and more. The meats are particularly good here, with good steaks; fish is pretty good, too. Oh, and the hot dogs from the deli case are the best I’ve had anywhere, perfect for a 4th of July BBQ. I also always get some bread. They have a great variety, and the employees are a hundred times nicer than they are at the bakery down the street.

Foodstuffs
2106 Central St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 328-7704
http://www.yelp.com/biz/foodstuffs-evanston

The Spice House

***** (5 stars)

Even if I don’t need spices, I just visit The Spice House to inhale the wonderful aromas. I’m sure there is some spice in the world that they don’t have, but it would be an amazing challenge to find it.

Try working your way through the row of cinnamon, tasting each one from the sample shakers (provided for nearly every spice in the place). Who knew there could be so many different types?

There are dozens of pre-mixed seasoning combinations, including some that don’t contain salt that are my favorites. And speaking of salt, there are probably close to 100 types and blends including smoked, and sometimes even salt blocks for cooking.

All spices are offered in a variety of sizes and packages that can be measured out for you. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

The Spice House
1941 Central St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 328-3711
http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-spice-house-evanston-2