The beloved sandwich and burger joint, Melt, first began as a food truck in 2011, and the owners, Harriet Despinakis Heffner and Paget Pizitz Taylor, opened their first brick and mortar restaurant in Avondale in June 2014. On Thursday, Jan. 12, Harriet and Paget relocated their Avondale location to Lane Parke. Today, Melt has two franchises: Hoover and Huntsville with one on the horizon in Auburn scheduled for an early 2024 opening. Here, Harriet offers her thoughts on relocating to Mountain Brook and the support from the community.
What is your favorite menu item?
I have several favorites! Some of these include the honey baked goat cheese appetizer. It’s a unique treat that is sweet and savory, served with locally baked sourdough. Another favorite are our hand-breaded fried pickles with our house made jalapeno ranch. These are unique because the cut of pickle is a whole sliced pickle, not a wedge or pickle chip. Finally, my favorite sandwich is The Ole Smokey. This has been on the menu since the food truck days. It encompasses all the great things of Melt’s signature sandwiches. It has high quality smoked turkey and bacon, melted cheddar, fresh lettuce and tomato, house-made smoked mayo all on locally-baked bread. It is named after Paget’s Dad!
What do you recommend newcomers try?
That is a tough question to answer as we have something for everyone including vegan cheese, gluten-free bread, salads and sandwiches. However, I typically recommend our classic grilled cheese and our tomato basil soup to someone who has not eaten at Melt.
Tell us about the camaraderie between the customers and staff.
Our Lane Parke customers enjoy the interaction with our wonderful service staff. We have board games that customers take to their tables, and the atmosphere is whimsical and fun. We have repeat guests that ask for their favorite server or sit at the bar with their favorite bartender.
What beverages does Melt serve, and which do you recommend?
The Matilda loaded is our signature cocktail named after our beloved first food truck. It has Absolut citron vodka and blackberry basil lemonade. At Lane Parke, we also have adult “capri” suns. We custom-make them, and some options are pina colada or bushwhacker. They are very fun and delicious! We have a fabulous happy hour Tuesday-Friday from 2-6 p.m.
Out of all the spots to go into business, why Lane Parke? Tell us about the community’s support.
Lane Parke was on our radar pre-Covid. We did not make the move then due to Covid, but the opportunity came back to us in early 2021. We loved the location and neighborhood. The community has been fantastic! The Mountain Brook Chamber, the residents and other businesses have been extremely supportive. I was born and raised in Mountain Brook and still reside here, too. For us, seeing our neighbors as well as new and repeat guests is one of the most rewarding parts of running this business. We appreciate everyone who visits Melt Lane Parke, so come see us!
Melt Lane Parke is located at 1011 Jemison Lane and is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Visit ilovemelt.com for a full menu.