Address: 565 Howe Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95825
Phone: (916) 641-7500
Known For: Diner Fare
What I had: Pastrami Reuben on Rye with Fries
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
There seem to be a about a dozen of these around, either in Sacramento, Los Angeles or San Francisco and they’re all named slightly differently, Original Mel’s, Mel’s Original, Original Mel’s Drive-in, Mel’s Original Drive-thru, etc. Some are related and some are not. Apparently they all sprouted from the Wiess family (with the original Original opening in 1947) but some were bought out by Larry Spergal in 1994. The Mel’s in San Francisco was the diner featured in American Graffiti. They’re all pretty much the same and offer the same diner fare. This one was no exception. Of course you’re going to find your typical burgers, fries, shakes and Cobb salads.
I called in my order and they were very polite with my requests. I couldn’t decide between the Reuben or the Hot Pastrami, she talked me into the Reuben and I’m glad she did. It was really good, all the components were what you’d expect, the pastrami was good, it had a nice pepper bite. I would have enjoyed a bit more meat but at least it wasn’t too skimpy (one of my largest pet peeves). The Swiss was good, the sauerkraut was good and the rye was good, there’s not too much to say about it. I believe they play to the masses here and where some places will spice up these aspects, they were pretty neutral. Some would say bland but I’m not going to go that far. It was tasty and acceptable and certainly worth the price but I’m always game for a more adventurous Swiss, Sauerkraut or Rye. Secretly I order a Reuben hoping to be blown away…sadly this rarely occurs though. The fries were actually better than I would’ve have expected, cooked and seasoned perfectly…I’d have eaten an entire other portion had I ordered them.
You’ll definitely get what you’d expect here. Nothing outlandish, but also nothing sub-par. If you’re in the mood for a classic diner meal and want something you can rely on then I would say stop into Original Mel’s…if you’re looking to have your socks knocked off then keep searching.
Aug 24, 2009 @ 18:16