Terry Chami has been a master in the kitchen for a long time, working in restaurants for over 40 years, but now it’s his name on the building, and it is all because of a sandwich, his sandwich, the Terry Melt.
“He’s worked in many restaurants,” explains his son, Hassan Chami. “In 1996 he took my mom out for a lunch on her birthday, she ordered a chicken melt. She didn’t like it at all. He took her back to the restaurant where he worked and said, ‘Let me make you my chicken melt,’ and that specific sandwich became known as "The Terry Melt.”
The Terry Melt is made with grilled Amish chicken, seasoned to perfection with grilled onions, mushrooms, and banana peppers, on crisp rye bread and smothered in swiss cheese and homemade ranch. People in the know started requesting it, so Hassan wanted to create a restaurant featuring it.
“I always wanted to open up a restaurant for my father,” said Hassan. So when his cousin, and business partner, found a location they jumped at the opportunity and started The Terry Melt. However, it wasn’t just his dad’s dream that came true. When Hassan was texting the family the good news, his sister, who loves bubble tea, asked if she could open her own bubble tea shop inside as well. Hassan excitedly said, “Yes!”
Z’s Bubble Tea & Bingsu opened up on the other side of the counter from The Terry Melt, serving the popular Asian drink. Bubble tea is made with tea, fruit juices or creamers, and classically contains tapioca bubbles along with other fun treats.
As for The Terry Melt, they serve burgers, salads, quesadillas and a variety of their signature Terry Melts. The most popular one is the Steak Melt, featuring cut-up sirloin, mushrooms, onions, banana peppers, ranch, and swiss cheese on rye bread. The spicy chicken melt is another favorite and features a spicy chicken breast, swiss cheese, onions, mushrooms, banana peppers, and jalapenos on rye bread. All of their menu items are halal.
The family connections don’t end there! On occasion, you may be able to spot Z’s 11-year-old son, Frankie, taking orders. He’s popular among guests for his quick, accurate service and smiling face. It truly is a family affair.
If you would like to try The Terry Melt or Z’s Bubble Tea & Bingsu, they are located at 22000 Ford Road in Dearborn Heights.