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The Melting Pot?

Has anybody ever been to the Melting Pot? It's a new chain of fondue restaurants I've noticed cropping up. There are a few in NJ, haven't been yet and thinking of going. NOT cheap either.

Opinions?

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  1. The Melting Pot is a fun/event kind of place to go. I have been to them in several states. It will take a few hours to cook/eat your food. Burners are a little dangerous for small kids. We often think we could survive on just getting the cheese fondue. If you want to try, it is a good way to keep cost down. The typical salad, cheese fondue, meat fondue, and then chocolate fondue to top-it-off - - for two - - is not cheap - - but not outrageous either. One of my daughter's favorite places (18).

    1. I went once, years ago. I thought the concept was fun, although I don't recall being terribly impressed with the food. The reviews here seem to concur: http://www.chowhound.com/search?item_...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chris VR

        Thanks for the link. I read these boards religously, and don't remember seeing that many posts for this chain. Probably because it never passed into my radar before.

      2. I've been to the one in Somerville and also to one in Newport News, VA. We had the "Big Night Out" in Somerville...salad, cheese fondue, entree (lots of meat with a broth fondue) and chocolate fondue for dessert. It was way too much food. In VA, we had two different cheese fondues and a chocolate fondue. That was still a lot, but more along the lines of the fondue experience we were looking for.

        All in all, I really like the Melting Pot because, really, where else can you get fondue (although there's a place in Mountainside that apparently has fondue on Thursday nights). It's a fun experience, if a bit expensive.

        3 Replies
        1. re: maryelizabeth

          Hi Maryelizabeth. I know about that place in Mountainside. Nobody here on the board has been there yet, nor anyone else I know. It always looks dead when we pass by.

          That's why I was thinking about the Melting Pot, because like you said, where else can you get fondue these days? Glad to hear someone who's opinion I trust has been thee, so maybe we'll give it a try.

          1. re: sivyaleah

            There's another thread right now. It's entitled "Melting Pot: bad exxpensive food." You might want to check it out before spending your money there.

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/352842

            1. re: mojoeater

              I know I'm in the minority, but, I like The Melting Pot. It isn't cutting edge, but it can be a fun experiance with friends. I have never experianced the bad vegetables other mentioned in the ealier thread, but I wonder.... why didn't they complain about it at the time? mho

        2. I went once. I thought it was decent, but not worth nearly what they charged for it. You'll be better off buying a fondue set and having fondue dinner at home. Or go to a local beautiful place and do Moonlight Fondue. Fondue is ridiculously easy to make, and if you're trying to make a romantic impression you'll do soooooooo much better with Moonlight Fondue than you will with the Melting Pot.

          1. i strongly recommend looking at the other thread that mojoeater mentions. aside from the terrible food, the prices are out of hand. we could have had a meal at babbo for what we spent there.

            1. It is a good place for a nice dessert. My husband I go every once in a while around 9pm when it is not crowded and just get dessert. The turtle is my favorite.

              1. We just went to the semi-new one in Whippany this week. The Melting Pot is definitely something you go to more for the experience, as opposed to getting the biggest bang for your book. That said, one of the owners happened to be our waiter, and said that the one in Somerville is consider the "diner" amoung the Melting Pots, so I don't think I'd use that as a good barometer.

                We had excellent service, and the food was good. We stuck to just appetizers and desserts. The main entree selections just don't do anything for me. I'd definitely go back, it's just a place that you don't frequent too often given the pricetag.

                Cate
                www.sweetnicks.com

                1 Reply
                1. re: cateomalley

                  "one of the owners happened to be our waiter, and said that the one in Somerville is consider the "diner" amoung the Melting Pots"

                  Well, they sure aren't charging "diner" prices at the Somerville location. And, yes, I am going to use the Somerville location as a barometer, and it's not good food and terribly overpriced.

                2. On my last visit to the Melting Pot I got attitude from a hostess about not making a reservation. A reservation at a chain restaurant? Anyway, it was midweek and there were two of us and after she sighed and rolled her eyes, she said it was possible to seat us but that "next time you really should make a reservation." I'd probably have walked out or told her there wasn't going to be a next time if it hadn't been my friend's birthday and the restaurant his pick.

                  The waiter and the meal were fine--yes, too expensive for what comes to the table--but I still won't be back. I suggest you try it once to get it out of your system, and then cross it off your list.

                  1. man, i really should be working.. i get so distracted on this website...

                    ANYWAY... i read the thread that was mentioned above... and i was actually thinking kind of along the same lines.. it is pretty expensive... depending on what's in your area, you can go to a hotpot style restaurant and have the cook your own food experience with other people in a more affordable location...

                    i grow up in a culture where fondue was not part of our menu, so i'm sure that it's easy to make yourself as people attest to... but i'm not one of those people... so i do go to melting pot, although where i am there are plenty of other fondue places (but reservations are always difficult to get).

                    i'm such a chocaholic... so... i did the entire melting pot experience once but i continue to do the dessert fondue. since the ones in my areas are open really late, we'll have dinner elsewhere (more affordable) and then go there just for dessert and a nightcap...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kinipela

                      I went once to the one in Irvine, CA and I will never go again. I thought it was too expensive and the service was terrible!

                    2. I think the food and sauces aren't all that good, but the chocolate fondue with Bailey's was excellent. Go there just for dessert.

                      1. This is one restaurant I don't get really because a simple fondue is really pretty easy to make especially with modern, non stick, electric fondue pots. You really pretty much can't go wrong as long as you melt the cheese(s) slowly. Ditto with a chocolate fondue. I've been to one once and felt like the fondues were fairly bland, the service was fine but the whole thing was, in my mind and as has been reported, expensive.

                        1. I have gone twice the second time with our table for two we only ordered one cheese fondue and one vegetarian meal (which comes with a salad) and shared it and were very full at the end, this kept the cost down. Both times I have been too full to try dessert. I have only been twice and there was about five years in between they have really gone cheap on some of their sauces (e.g. two sauces we didn't use at all because they didn't taste good, BBQ :(). We liked the stuffed mushrooms. Honestly to make all the different sauces, buy, cut, wash, dry veggies, and all cheese fondue ingredients etc... it would get time consuming to replicate. It takes a long time to eat there and is a dinner/entertainment type place. I would try it once if you have never had the fondue experience and there are no local places near you.

                          1. I've enjoyed it when we've been there. The prices are a bit high, but the portions are definitely sizeable if you do the cheese/entree/dessert combo. I don't have any major complaints about the food, and it's sort of fun to do it yourself (but not have to cut everything up, as you would at home).

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: shellyesq

                              based on my experience there, the kitchen staff didn't have to cut anything up, either. all of the veggies served to us were obviously precut. i don't care how big the portions are - bagged baby carrots, zucchini rounds, and broccoli florets aren't good value at the prices they're charging.

                              (sorry if i sound cranky - i actually get mad when i think about how bad our meal was!)

                            2. Here in Columbia, SC, Melting Pot never left us - they've been around since the 70's. It used to be the go-to place for a nice dinner date, but fortunately there are better options now. It is outrageously expensive and the food is mediocre - of course, my two fondue experiences in Switzerland spoiled me a bit. However, I would still recommend it as a first date kind of place, since the cooking part helps add a little fun to the date interaction...

                              1. I might getting some heat for this one, however, this is one of my favorite restaurants. $100 for a nice meal for 2 in the NY/NJ area actually isn't bad maybe if I was in small state I would feel differently, however, I don't think the value is that bad.

                                I do think the individual locations make a huge difference. The one we go to in Westwood, NJ is very good much better than the one I went to in Florida a few years back. I'm sure the veggies, bread, etc are pre-cut and franchise wide, however, the meat is much..... better in the NJ location.

                                I do consider myself a foodie and eat at the best restaurants in NYC, the finest dining MP is not, but it is very good, fun and a nice long relaxing night for wife and I. We go at least 3-4 times a year and it can't be that bad, it nows take 3-4 weeks notice to get a reservation on a Fri/Sat night in our location.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jeffaggy

                                  We've had The Melting Pot in the area for a few decades. I always thought you should get a discount for cooking your own food

                                2. We've taken our teen to TMP two years in a row for his birthday, his choice. He loves the whole "cook at your table" thing and we had salads, a cheese course, en trees and a fondue dessert but my personal complaint wasn't with the meal - we expected the price and the menu in advance-my issue was the wine.

                                  MP offers an enormous wine list, prides themselves in fact. To order a 10.00 GLASS of wine and have it arrive with a bit more than 2 gulps in my glass was shocking. I did complain to our waiter and was given a second glass on the house. But, it was a big oversight in my book at those prices, given the nature of MP's menu and wine pairing menu.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    I agree, my SO and I enjoy going every once in awhile, we enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. We also do the cheese, salad, entree and dessert courses and to have a small taste of everything is right up our alley - BUT the wine is exactly as you say - 2 gulps and done - the mixed drinks are not much better - it seems as if they just do a walk by of the liquor bottle! ( We go to the one in Red Bank, NJ )

                                    1. re: tuxedo

                                      tuxedo, same location for us!

                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        We are planning another adventure ( close to my birthday! ) there very soon - we get the big nite out and mix and match the entrees that go along with it, so we have a taste or so of everything - I think the staff is wonderful there - very accomodating to my slightly disabled SO!

                                    2. re: HillJ

                                      at the location i visited, it was clear that despite the huge list no one on staff actually had a clue about wine.

                                      1. re: wleatherette

                                        wl, now that's just sad...lol.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          agreed - yet another thing that stung about the whole experience. when the bill comes to over $50/pp, you expect a level of professionalism in the service (or at least i do).

                                          1. re: wleatherette

                                            perfectly reasonable wl! MP would be the first to publicize its quality; food and service--so why not expect it!

                                    3. Had my first MP experience last night - way overpriced, veggies less than fresh, service subpar (had to resort to seeking our fondue forks from the kitchen!), and they couldn't even manage to devein the lobster tail or drain the water out of the bottom of our salad plates. Desert was a tasty treat but overall, we felt extremely ripped off.

                                      1. Well we've established that it isn't cheap - that's for sure. BUT at least for me, it's one of the only good fondue restaurant choices around. I love their cheese fondue appetizer...and just the whole meal all around! I'll go there for my birthday sometimes.