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Morning Meltdown

Posted on May 01, 2014 in Meltdown on 30A , Airstream Row , May-June 2014

Good eats await from one of Seaside’s Airstream trailers By Susan Benton

Strolling through the town of Seaside come spring and summer, you can’t help but see the lines forming throughout the day in front of the food trucks located on “Airstream row.” The food truck trend has certainly caught on, and Seaside is no exception.

Interestingly enough, “land-yachts” in general hold a special significance to Seaside, as in the early innovative days and modern urban planning phases, the architects and builders used them as their residences. Today, Airstreams are independent culinary cutting-edge machines, and The Meltdown has quickly become a favorite among young and old alike in search of the oozing scrumptious creations, pressed and grilled between two thick slices of artisan bread.

The Meltdown opened in January 2011 and is the brainchild of chef and owner Jim Shirley, who came up with the idea after the birth of his youngest daughter. The menu features Classic American grilled cheese, pimento & bacon, ham & smoked gouda, as well as the Meatloaf Melt with salted mozzarella, marinara, thin slice of ham, and Swiss cheese grilled on sourdough. Another popular offering is the B-A-C that stands for the house crafted bacon jam, avocado and cheddar, along with Little Meltdowns made with American cheese (crust cut off of course).

With more than 14 combinations to choose from, the menu that is displayed on the side of the truck, along with sides like roasted tomato soup and a chef-inspired soup of the day, there is something for everyone. It is all about exploring the possibilities of this classic American comfort food without stretching the envelope too far, but then again, that is just what The Meltdown did.

Drawing on inspiration from early risers about town, The Meltdown created the Rise + Shine menu and has opened its order window two hours earlier beginning at 8 a.m. The Meltdown breakfast is served until 11 a.m., and is perfect for kids to pick-up on the way to school, folks headed to the beach, or for hungry locals and visitors in need of a Southern biscuit fix. One of the most popular biscuit choices is the Sweety, made with mascarpone cheese, blueberry preserves and almond butter. Or try spicing up day break by sinking your teeth into a Smokin’ Turkey with pepper jack cheese, bacon and egg. There’s always the option to keep it traditional by ordering the Old Faithful, a big golden biscuit stacked high with scrambled eggs, aged cheddar and sausage. The Meltdown would not be the sister restaurant to Great Southern Café if gouda cheese grits were not offered on the menu, along with daily fresh squeezed orange juice and in-house-made fresh fruit cups.

You won’t have to worry about breaking the bank at The Meltdown for breakfast, as all items are fewer than $5. If you’ve “Gotta Get Grilled Cheese” as their motto states, just place your order, take a seat out front, then enjoy the sights and sounds of Seaside until your name is called for pick-up.

The Meltdown is located at 2235 E. County Hwy. 30A trailer C, and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, and until 10 p.m. on the weekends. Follow The Meltdown on Facebook for postings of daily chef specials. Credit cards are accepted.

Susan Benton is the owner of and partner of where she shares her passion for food and travel, and her commitment to promoting local farmers, fisherman, chefs, artisans and restaurants along the Gulf Coast.


Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich with Bacon Courtesy of Chef Jim Shirley


1 pound good cheddar cheese, cubed

4 ounces mayonnaise

4 ounces softened cream cheese

6 roasted poblano peppers, peeled and seeded

1 large red bell pepper, peeled and seeded

8 slices applewood smoked bacon, fried and chopped


• Toss everything into a food processor and run until smooth

• Slather on buttered bread

• Grill until cheese starts to ooze out


The Pimento Cheese is also perfect to slather on a fluffy, flaky biscuit!