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Is Fondue back? - The Melting Pot opinions.

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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.

Link: http://www.meltingpot.com

Image: http://www.meltingpot.com/SanJoseca/i...

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  1. There's been a Melting Pot in Irvine for a very long time (for Irvine, anyway), and it always seems to be reasonably busy. The food's just OK and it's quite expensive for what it is (a bunch of cheese and some bread).

    4 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Try Geja's in Chicago. Good food. Not cheap. Yes, you will smell like oil when you leave but the food is tasty. Can be romantic or just a fun place to go with friends. Nice wine list too. Check it out below.

      Link: http://www.gejascafe.com/wine_list.htm

      1. re: twodales

        I'm originally from the Chicagoland area, and Geja's is one of my all time favs. I was taken there a few times as a child, and I was hooked. I've had a love affair with fondue ever since.

        1. re: keeter2121

          Chicago Fondue - It's all about the Fondue Stube!!!! on Peterson (just West of Andersonville). Sooooo..1970's - but, not meaning to,ya know? Innocent kitsch.

      2. 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.

      3. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

            1. 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.