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Shopping for him…

Williamson & Company at 1144 Main St., makes this one easy. They carry a great inventory of Kuhl clothing, including fleece and jackets, and also a line of five-pocket style pants in non-denim – perfect for the Napa Valley.

And if you’ve done the big shopping and are looking for stocking stuffers, Williamson & Company carries a great selection of socks, including lots of whimsical styles. Open every day.

Melts in your mouth…

Paul Slack quietly opened Melted, at 966 Pearl St. (next door to Napa Bookmine) in late 2013.

Melted offers something that’s hard to find these days – a good lunch sandwich that’s only ten bucks. Even better, it’s good. Zagat, the restaurant rating service, found him early on, and here’s what they said in an on-line post:

“Napa’s got a new-ish, and dare we say, hip, all day sandwich shop, Melted. But these are no ordinary sandwiches. Think waffle Panini’s pressed in a minimalist, glowing white shop with a few stools lining the walls and a couple sidewalk tables. It’s hard to steer wrong on many of the filling waffle sandwiches, alternately crispy and oozing goodness inside — many under $10.”

Melted is the brainchild of Renaissance man Paul Slack. An artist, musician and entrepreneur, Slack was with his band in New York City 15 years ago and stumbled upon a restaurant that served nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches.

He knew the idea would be well received in Napa, and let it marinade in the back of his mind until the time was right. When he took the idea off of his brain’s back burner and began sampling recipes, some small voice told him to use thin, crisp waffles in place of bread.

He slightly manipulated a white bread recipe, which is now a Melted-guarded secret recipe, and tried it out. Turns out to be a crazy idea, as in crazy-good.

He also decided to use more or less equal portions of ingredients in each sandwich, so that all the flavors could stand out. “Delivering The Groceries At 138 B.P.M.” (that’s “beats per minute”) includes BBQ tuna, smoked gouda, bacon, micro greens, carrots and dill. The result is that, with each bite, all of the flavors come through.

A small side of tomato basil soup, for dipping, comes with each sandwich. Smoothies include the popular “Dan Rather,” with chocolate, peanut butter and banana. All menu items, the interior design of the space – everything, in fact – is part of Slack’s vision. The restaurant is small and informal. The staff is attentive, friendly and fun.

Catering is a big part of the business, and understandably so. Melted can pack up the waffle irons and ingredients, and come to your house or business, either indoors or outside.

Melted is open Wednesdays through Sunday, from 11 to 4 p.m. Visit meltednapavalley.com and check out the menu.

See you downtown!

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Craig Smith is the executive director of the Downtown Napa Association. Reach him at 257-0322 or craig@donapa.com.

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