Grilled cheese with a twist


Owner Steve Tannous prepares orders at Twisted Meltz, a new grilled cheese eatery in Acorn Alley, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. The restaurant serves a spectrum of sandwiches named and themed after 17 Kent State-based celebrities.

Patrick Williams

The smell of toasted bread and cheese wafts into the spaces in Acorn Alley that used to be College Creamery and College Coneys. Kent State students will come in to eat where men at least 20 years older sat down two weeks prior, before current owner Steve Tannous took over and aimed to make the location a popular spot on the map. It’s now called Twisted Meltz, and Tannous said one of the best parts of owning his new business is serving all types of people.

At Twisted Meltz, Tannous is serving what he calls “grilled cheese with a twist.” Whether the twist is Korean barbecue, arugula pesto, caramelized onions or fried potato and cheddar pierogies, that is for the customer to decide.

Sandwich Prodigies

So what exactly is in a Drew Carey? We’ve picked out the top-three melts on the menu to give you a taste of what you can expect when you order from Twisted Meltz for the first time.

Have another favorite off the list of famous Kent alumni-inspired sandwiches? Tell us about it by tweeting @_ksubuzz!

James Harrison (customer favorite)


One-hundred percent angus beef, hickory bacon, beer-battered onion rings, caramelized onions, white American cheese, cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce and mayonnaise.

Steve Harvey (customer runner-up)

Panko chicken, hickory bacon, cheddar, white American cheese and spicy mayonnaise.

Drew Carey (Tannous’ favorite)


Buffalo chicken, blue jack cheese, white American cheese, caramelized onions and buffalo chicken soup

There are 17 melt options, and they’re all named after celebrities who attended Kent State.

“They all went to Kent State, even Don King,” Tannous said. “They didn’t all graduate from Kent State, but they all went to Kent State. Don King definitely didn’t graduate.”

The customer favorite so far is the James Harrison, followed by the Steve Harvey, Tannous said. His favorite is the Drew Carey.

The sandwich ingredients are based on celebrity characteristics, he said.

The Joe Walsh is a California Club inspired by The Eagles’ song “Hotel California.” The Chrissie Hynde has no meat because the Pretenders frontwoman is a vegetarian.

Tannous said the menu took him a long time to create.

“I wanted to find creative cheeses,” he said. Among them is a sliced bleu.

In the near future, Tannous hopes to serve vegan cheeses.

Tannous isn’t the only one behind the restaurant’s operations. He and his fiancé, Katie Douglas, bought out the space with his parents, Adib and Kelly Tannous. His brothers Mike and Pierre Tannous work there as well, and they were in on the decision to name the restaurant Twisted Meltz instead of their alternative name choice, The Big Cheese.

They continue to serve Ashby’s Ice Cream out of the space that was College Creamery, and will soon rename the space Ashby’s Parlor, Tannous said. The new business will be offering a delivery service for both melts and ice cream.

“What really sealed the deal with Acorn Alley was the ice cream parlor,” Tannous said.

But the decision to set up in Kent was a natural one. Tannous, who is originally from Lakewood, said he likes how the mom-and-pop shops in Kent thrive and create a strong sense of community.

Contact Patrick Williams at [email protected]