Sourdough Bacon Cheese Melt @ Carnation Cafe

Price: $16.00

When: December 17, 2016, 7:15 PM

Reservations: Recommended

Verdict? Recommended

The Carnation Cafe dinner menu is all about comfort food: burgers, pastas, meatloaf, hearty soups. I’m tempted by the burger – it’s been a long day of walking the parks – but become intrigued by the Sourdough Bacon Cheese Melt. It’s basically a patty melt (a burger with bread instead of a bun), and the description makes it sound a little spicy, like it’s got some kick.

Our waiter assures me it’s excellent. Fantastic. Let’s give it a shot.

The Melt comes as two slices of toasted sourdough, cut in half, with a thick layer of Angus beef, cheese, bacon, and grilled onions sitting between them. You get a side of fries (swappable for fruit), and a small container of ketchup.

This is thoroughly good. It’s a messy, juicy, high-quality burger. The meat is great, and has spiced with something to give it kick. The pepper jack cheese is all ooey-gooey melted happiness. The grilled onions add a bit of texture; the little bits of bacon add delightful, unexpected pops of flavor. Everything’s wonderful, everything works. Each bite made me happy.

Eating it is a little tricky. Each bite drops a little juice, a little cheese, some meat and some onion on the plate. The sourdough gets soggy over time, absorbing the juice of the patty. It’s the best kind of messy.

One more note: the fries are first-rate. I don’t know why Disney’s fries are generally so lackluster, but these are terrific: crispy, salty deep-fried goodness.