Is Fondue back? - The Melting Pot opinions.
- rworange Oct 18, 2005 03:57 AM
The Melting Pot just opened its first two restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area and seems to be agressivly invading with four more to follow soon.
I just stopped by for a drink today and to scope the place out. The wine selection was very nice, if a bit pricy. The location in Larkspur California has a wine list of about 250 wines with probably about 20 available by the glass. There's some good ones in there too.
How's the food? For some reason I find this funny, but they actually pair the wines with the fondues. So there are fondue / wine flights.
I asked the terrific bartender (what a surprise for the suburbs) if all franchices had the same selection of wines. He said they pretty much did, but being a franchise the owner had some discretion.
So what is your experience here? What to order, if anything. What to avoid?
Anyone been to more than one and found differences?
I guess the first one opened in Florida in the 1970's when fondue was the trend of the moment and every house had a fondue pot. Recently from their website it seems they are expanding and currently have 100 locations across the country.
re: Das Ubergeek
If all you've had is melted cheese and bread you didn't have the full experience. Went to a Melting Pot once, but it's been many years.
There's a similar restaurant in San Juan Capistrano (Calif), called La Fondue, that has several game meats on the menu as well as seafood, and you can cook in oil or on a hot griddle - your choice. I think Melting Pot is pretty much the same (with a less adventuresome menu lineup).
We ate ourselves almost into a stupor, I'm afraid, and could still taste the oil and garlic days later. It was good (we did the griddle method) but was more of an 'experience' than a great meal. Have to admit we had a $100 coupon from a local car dealer or we probably wouldn't have gone the whole nine yards.
worked at one during my college years, and have been to a couple of others since. food's pretty much what you make of it; it's very easy to overcook it, especially more tender things like lobster. it is rather expensive, given that portions are not large and you're doing a part of the work yourself. that said, it's a fun meal with a nice communal aspect. good place for a date as you can linger over dinner, feed each other (especially one of the chocolate fondues), and enjoy some drinks.
I went to the one in DC a couple of years ago. I believe my S.O. and I shared the surf 'n' turf fondue for two. It was fun, service was friendly, and did not taste bad, but I remember wishing for more seasoning. I think the reason we never went back was because it was such a big time commitment for just OK food.
I agree with the others. I spent $100 on dinner for two, with wine. It is easy to overcook, it is bland, and I don't think that the seafood items themselves are of very high quality. I was extremely disappointed. The only thing that might be worth going for is for a nightcap and chocolate fondue for dessert, although I'm a chocolate snob....I expected it to be sublime, and it wasn't.
My son and his wife cherish the Nashville restaurant as their Special Place. So far I have avoided being dragged there on my visits, and intend to continue to do so. Korean barbecue is the only kind of participatory dining experience I've had that I think is worth the trouble. If I'm going to cook, it'll be my food in my kitchen, thank you.
Fondue is fun at the (very) occasional party; I think once every two or three years is about right.