Small Cafe, Big Menu, Great Food

Small Cafe, Big Menu, Great Food

BY MARIALICE QUINN

Great cooking, great food – a philosophy that stands the test of time – is what Melonie’s Cafe specializes in. Melonie Smith has been serving diners tasty and satisfying meals at Melonie’s Cafe in Dundee since 1980, when she opened Melonie’s Café on a shoestring budget. “Seven restaurants had opened and closed in this spot, so locals gave us three months,” Melonie said with a smile. “Thirty-two years later, we’re still here.”

From Bodacious Burgers to hearty salads, and specials such as Ratatouille and Chipped Beef, Melonie serves healthy, preservativefree meals that you won’t find anywhere else. That’s because the recipes are Melonie’s, and everything is homemade with the freshest ingredients. All of the dressings are homemade, and many recipes begin with Melonie’s secret roux. “We don’t use chili powder in our Chili,” explained Melonie. “We grind and make our own from a variety of chilis.”

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Bodacious Burgers are six ounces of ground beef, served with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle spear and chips for $5.95. Add Swiss cheese and bacon, Canadian Bacon and Swiss or American cheese, mushrooms, grilled onions, Blue cheese, blackened; or add the messiest, best Mel’s sauce. Half-pound burgers are $6.95 and for the truly hungry, dare to try the one-pound Bodacious Burger for $11.95. For the smaller appetite, Wimpy Burgers are just $2.75- $2.95.

Melonie tempts your palate and imagination with salads like the Reuben Salad, Ambergosa Flat (smoked turkey with bacon), Extravaganza (everything but the kitchen sink), Big Five (meat, bacon, cheese, tomato, greens) and Little Pig and his Friend Charlie (tuna, bacon and cheese).

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The Muffalata Salad features sliced chicken tenderloin, mixed in with the greens, hard-boiled egg, muffie olive relish, Monterey Jack cheese and red onion. All of this is topped by your choice of fresh, homemade Bleu Cheese, Peppercream, Russian, Honey Mustard House (Italian) dressing.

What’s a Chattooga? At Melonie’s Cafe, it’s something delicious… a sandwich loaded with thinly sliced turkey, bacon and melted Swiss cheese and dressed with a dollop of Chattooga sauce. It’s one of many specialty sandwiches, priced at $5.59. Soup and sandwich of the day is $5.25.

Melonie’s wraps are healthy and filling. Choose from the Mesquite Turkey Wrap, the Chipotle Chicken Wrap, the Reuben Wrap and the Steak & Cheese – all for $6.95.

Sandwiches, $4.50-$4.95, include BLT, Tuna Salad, Egg Salad, Grilled Ham & Cheese, Cheese & Bacon or Cheese and Tomato.

Heading up the new breakfast menu at Melonie’s Café is Melonie’s Stir-fry. “Starting with potatoes and onions, we add the freshest ingredients and two eggs, and then stir things up to get you going,” said Melonie.

The Heart Smart menu includes a Atkin’s Annihilator lo-carb/almost no-carb, Boar’s Head bacon, cheese garden salad. It’s Different, Boy is it Good is chicken tenderloin with cheese sauce, sour cream, tomato, jalapenos – makes for a very different salad; but boy, is it good.

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Save room for homemade desserts you can afford to enjoy at $2.95- $3.95. Try Melonie’s fresh-baked Key Berry Pie – a blend of Key Lime and Blackberry with dollops of cream or her famous Nantahala Crunch – vanilla ice cream topped with granola, hot fudge and whipped cream.

Stop in and check out Melonie’s full menu for more delicious surprises. Melonie’s Cafe is located at 209 E. Main St. in Dundee, and open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone 863-439- 5416. www.melonies-cafe.com.

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