The Great Tuna Melt Investigation

You love tuna melts (everyone) or you hate them (Dan Savage). We ate every single one in Seattle (almost). Here is what happened.

Comments

1
Yep. Dan Savage was the only one to come out ahead. Tuna melts are fucking gross.
2
Grim's tuna melt is is reason I love tuna melts. It's the smoked mozzarella.
3
Lindy's disparagement of the open-faced tuna melt is completely off. It's actually the only way to make a tuna melt, because it enables you to melt the cheese on top (under a broiler) while still allowing the tuna mixture to remain cool and congealed.

To "barely break the emulsion of the mayo," as Dominic puts it, COMPLETELY RUINS the dish. Are you people actually fans of tuna melts in which the tuna salad has been warmed to the point where mayo runs out of it? Digusting!
4
Thank you for trying Lecosho - I can't second your tuna melt praise enough. Last time I had it there I had to stop myself from shouting. Not shouting anything in particular, it just made me wanna shout is all.
5
Sorry, 3. I think most tuna melt fans are OK with the emulsion breaking a bit. Comes with the territory if you want a sandwich that is warm all the way through. Or maybe this is one of those dividing lines where people on one side have no idea about the existence of the other?
6
The biggest tuna melt/tuna salad foible goes unaddressed: There can't be anything sweet in there or it's disgusting. I can't tell you how many beautiful tuna melts have gone miserably uneaten because of the misguided addition of sweet relish. Yuck.
7
Best and cheapest tuna sandwich in the city is at Mint Cafe on 2nd & Cherry. Amazing!
8
A. Birch Steen, Dan Savage and InfinitePest all agree on this topic.
9
The illustration is amazing.
10
Feierabend located in South Lake Union will put a Tuna Melt every once in a while as a special item and it is amazing.
12
Best tuna melt? The one i make in my own kitchen, damn right! And it doesn't cost me 12 bucks!
13
and since i'm a baptist, i'll put bacon on it. yes.. tuna melt with bacon.
twisted.
14
schmacky, may I point out that you are insane. A tuna melt is a sandwich, not a pizza. Sandwiches have bread on both sides. You might as well say that open-faced is the only way to make a grilled cheese. That wouldn't be a grilled cheese! That would be cheesy toast! A completely different thing! Same with tuna melts! A CHEESY TUNA TOAST IS NOT THE SAME AS A TUNA MELT!
15
I love a good tuna melt, but isn't tuna totally toxic these days? I mean if the FDA is telling you to limit your intake, what with all the pressure them must be getting from the fishing lobby, makes me wonder how bad it really is...
16
The best tuna melt is at Cafe Racer. Mmm....

As far as the tuna being toxic? Well, they did a study during the Bush administration and determined that YES! it has too much mercury in it! When asked what should be done about it? Bush said, "eat less tuna".
I'm not making that up.
17
Canned tuna is so crazy cheap, there's no excuse for charging $12.10 for a tuna sandwich, I don't care how fancy pants it is. That said, I would never trust a bookstore cafe to have good, reasonably priced food.
18
As a lover of all things tuna, I must rule in favor of #14. Cheesy tuna toast is also really delicious, but the broiler method is not a proper tuna melt.

As a side note, Schmacky is not technically insane. What we're actually seeing in comment #3 is just a case of somebody being completely wrong about tuna melts. I used to think the same way, back in what I refer to as my "completely wrong about tuna melts" days.
19
After reading the story, and the comments, I have to say that I do like me a tuna melt. Mercury, radio-iodine, and all.

However, I do limit myself to ONCE A MONTH at most! (Talking to you ladies)

I've had T-melts both good and bad... but if I have to have one (away from home), you know where I go? SUBWAY. Never pay more than $5 for your monthly dose of mercury.

Toast your Subway with cheddar and get tomatoes lettuce and cucumbers (or pickles, or both). Jalapenos work, too. I like the Honey Oat bread which is basically white bread pressed on instant oat meal.

Bottom line: This story wastes space. That, and you should save your monthly tuna (mercury exposure) for good tuna (sushi), and eat it raw.
20
Loved Dom's.
21
Tuna melts are good unless they contain either mayonnaise or sweet relish. Because any foods containing either of those two noxious substances are disgusting.
22
St. Jude's tuna (@Elliott Bay) runs $5-6 a can. It's harvested by one boat, the F/V St. Jude. They test their catch for mercury. So far, none detected. Would I pay $12 for a sandwich made with a can of St. Jude's? Probably not.

@Schmacky: Of course open-face is the best way to make a tuna melt.
23
@15 Eliza, local albacore doesn’t seem to have mercury issues that other tuna has ..it’s what is in the St Jude’s canned tuna at Elliot Bay and I’m guessing the fresh tuna at Lecosho is most likely local too

@17 keshmeshi .. tuna that is cheap is fished by slaves on big ships and is mercury laden .. the tuna at Locosho & Elliott Bay is neither ...

I say run to Locosho and treat yourself! Lovely people, nice food, support local as best you can
24
Try the tuna melt at Lottie's in Columbia City.

I'm telling you this as a favor. It's gorgeous.
25
A friend of mine in his poor days referred to tuna as "the holy food", ...hmmm...
For vegetarians, Cyberdogs, east of the convention center has a tasty version, a bit gloppy, but relatively true to the fishy/cheesy experience.
26
Just had the Tuna Melt at Columbia City Ale House, and it was fantastic. I disagree with Schmader about the bread, though. The sourdough added some very pleasant tangyness to the sandwich.
27
Open faced sandwiches are not sandwiches.

Tuna melts minus the mayo -- it exists, I swear!! -- are the most delicious thing ever.
28
@23 thanks for the info--I'll have to try it. Will be my first tuna in months...
29
Epic fail: Missing out on Fare Start's Cafe @2100 where you can get a kick @ss tuna melt for $5.75 served on Macrina bread....mmmm! and you get served by some nice kids trying to better themselves!
30
What about the tuna melts at Noah's Bagel's? I lived on these during college!