Digital Grilled Cheese D9 Poll Results Are In: “The Kara” Edges Out “The Walt”

Published on June 8, 2011
by Kara Swisher

Personally, I preferred “The Walt” over “The Kara.”

But the attendees of the ninth D: All Things Digital conference seemed to like the grilled cheese sandwich made of “sharp” cheddar more than “experienced” gruyere.

In sampling by hungry D9 folks, 53 percent selected “The Kara” (sharp cheddar on potato bread with tomato basil soup) and 47 percent chose “The Walt” (experienced gruyere on white wheat with wild mushroom soup).

That’s according to founder Jonathan Kaplan, who demoed his new company called Melt.

With Melt, the focus is on grilled cheese, in an unusual mashup of smartphones, automation and comfort food.

You can order with Melt’s mobile app or from the Web and have your grilled cheese choice ready for you when you want it in a minute in his casual, fast-food restaurants.

The first stores open in San Francisco in August, but there are many more to come via many millions of dollars in funding from Sequoia Capital.

Obviously, grilled cheese is a very orthogonal move for Kaplan, who brought the world the ground-breaking Flip video camera.

Bought by Cisco for $590 million in 2009, the networking giant closed the unit down in April and killed the Flip. Kaplan still does not know why, he said onstage.

While I still mourn the Flip, I can say that the grilled cheese is pretty tasty.

Here’s a video of the Melt in action at D9 in a demo by Kaplan, as well as a video interview he did with Katie Boehret at the Science Fair booth at the conference:

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