Tuesday, October 1, 2013

James Beard Award Winning Chef Allen Susser Brings New Cheesy Creations To The Daily Melt

Chef Allen Susser
Daily Melt
I don't know about you, but I associate the smell of toasted, buttery bread and warm, melted cheese with the carefree summers I spent at my grandmother's house growing up. If I fast forward a few years from those days, it also brings me back to my late night partying spells when hunger pangs would hit at about 4 o'clock in the morning and the quickest, most comforting dish I could put together in the kitchen was a grilled cheese sandwich. While these were simple days where two slices of bread and a slab of cheese would suffice, in today's gastronomically complex era and Instagram picture-taking euphoria (guilty), this simplicity just won't do. Over in Midtown, James Beard Award Winning Chef Allen Susser is creating some mouthwatering gourmet versions of the traditional favorites that would put my measly sammys to shame.

Cheese Please

Never seen one of
these before!
The cheese is selected by Chef Allen
The Daily Melt, located on Buena Vista Avenue  in The Shops at Midtown Miami, is a small place with big flavor. Having opened in March of this year, it's primary focus has been to showcase a selection of gourmet cheese sandwiches, coupled with shots of creamy soups, at very affordable prices. The open kitchen is the focal point of the room, with a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine off to the side that offers patrons over 100 soda flavor options. You probably know Chef/Partner Allen Susser from his famous Aventura restaurant, Chef Allens, which he opened in 1986 and ran successfully for 25 years. Since then, he has received numerous awards and recognition not only for his culinary talents, but also his humanitarian efforts through organizations such as Share Our Strength and Feeding South Florida.

James Beard Award Winning Chef
With Chef Allen Susser

I Melt For You Too Daily Melt
Starting to drool a bit...
Chef Allen, as he is affectionately known, has recently taken cheese to new levels by adding a variety of Chef's Blackboard Specials to the menu that include everything from Prosciutto and Mozarella with slow roasted tomato to Roast Beef with Boursin Cheese and balsamic onion marmalade. The funnest part? He pairs each sandwich with gourmet housemade pickles that tickle your taste buds. I had the opportunity to sample these lip-smacking new specials and watch Chef Allen in action as he put together his favorite ingredients, fig and rosemary, into a creation of aromatic proportions. "There's a method to layering the ingredients in a sandwich to bring out the 'yum' factor," explained the Chef.  He also let us in on how he uses two different cheeses to add an extra gooeyness to his tasty treats.

Daily Melt
True passion in the kitchen

Coming Soon: Pickling Bar
Gravity Brewlab
While we munched away on the new warm, crusty creations, Chef Allen taught us a bit of his pickling secrets. From the brine made with salt, water and vinegar, all the way up to the unique ingredients he uses to come up with the distinct flavors in his different pickles, he took our palates on a wild ride that gave us an Asian kickin' and helped us find our "mojo", sort of speak. What did we sip between gooey bites of cheese and creamy shots of soup? None other than wheat based local craft beers from Gravity Brewlab.

Difficult Decisions
I've been to Daily Melt a couple of times for lunch, and I'm happy to know I will also be able to start my mornings just a little bit cheesier now. They've recently launched breakfast service seven days a week that will include six new breakfast melts. I guess it all boils down to Chef Allen's take on good eating, "If I can bring in what my mother and my grandmother did, and serve some comfort with my food, then it will all be good." For more information on Daily Melt, call them at 305-573-0101.

Daily Melt on Urbanspoon

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