Melting Pot - Boise [moved from General Topics board]
We just decided to eat at the Melting Pot this evening in Boise. We had little knowledge of what we were to experience other than that we were going to a Fondue restaurant. The host/hostess seamed suprised that we didn't have a reservation, but seated us in the main dining room, where we expected the tables around us to fill in with those that did have reservations...never happened.
1. SUPER confusing menu...UGHHH!!! Not that we couldnt figure it out, we just found it to be troublesome.
2. The prices. There are MANY finer dining spots where comparable prices would have left us delighted after the meal.
3. The food. The cheese fondue was not hot enough. We had to adjust the heat of the burner on our own to get it to the temp that we found acceptable. The bread used was less than stellar, in fact was substandard. The apples were the only thing that we found pleased our pallets. OK, fondue might be a novelty, but the fun of cooking our own entrees wore off rather quickly. The Cajun entree alluded to cajun chicken with shrimp and tenderloin and sausage. Expecting the chicken to be the only thing smothered in cajun spices was a mistake...all meats came drowned in cajun spice. Overkill! We could go on about the lack of quality, but suffice it to say that we were disappointed.
4. Service. The waitress was friendly enough and tried to be helpful, but we found that over the course of the 2+ hours it took to finish our meal, we had trouble with such things as keeping our water glasses filled, even though it seemed as if there were one wait person assigned to every different table in the house.
5. Dessert. Skipped it. Too long to wait, too mush to pay for it, and we were already rather full. You do get full here, but it isn't a happy full.
Not recommended in our book. We won't be going back.
Another fondue option in Nampa, ID is:
Mona Lisa Fondue Restaurant
102 11TH Ave N
Nampa, ID 83687-3948
Tel: (208) 442-1400
The meal is started out with a salad, then a cheese fondue appetizer (amazingly delicious with fruits, breads, etc...), main "dish" comes with a selection of meat that you grill at the table on a small electric drill, potatoes, cheese, bread, and a vegetable.
Also, you get a wide variety of dessert fondues.
I agree - by skipping the dessert, you missed the highlight of any Melting Pot experience. I have many friends who go for the cheese and dessert courses and skip the main course. Keep that in mind next time. For dessert - my recommendation is white chocolate with a shot of Chambord.
Since you are on chowhound.com, I'd expected that you check out the Melting Pot web site before heading to something like that (and the prices are usually good indicator of whether reservations are recommended or not.)
And not sure when the Boise one opened, but in my experience with the recently opened Pasadena branch -- service improved DRAMATICALLY within the 6 months of opening after the staff worked out their kinks. True--they should get their act together from the get-go, but having a worked in new restaurants/food places before, I know that often management, in the midst of opening frenzy, forget some commonsense about service.
For the entree, since you could see that everything was covered in cajun spices--I think you could've told the waiter about the misunderstanding and have him swap it out (it's one plate for bite-sized raw meat for another... shouldn't be a big deal unless you want to substitute a lobster)
Agreed on confusing menu (esp. first-time), and it depends on how experienced/knowledgable your waitstaff is...
Too bad about missing out on dessert though, my favorite part of the meal. Then again I have a gigantic sweet tooth.
And yea, too bad about your overall experience. I can't advise you to go back to Melting Pot since the Boise one may just be really lousy--but just want to throw my two-cents there that the Melting Pot in my area's not half-bad.
The idea of cooking your food turned you off? Then what are you doing going to a fondue place???
The menu was confusing because you didn't know what you were looking at...I just went there for the first time in June and had no issues. It can be overwhelming, agreed, but I wouldn't say they have done a horrible job laying out their menu or making things easy to understand.