HELP! Alternative to Melting Pot needed
A dear, dear friend wants a fondue experience for her 40th (???) and is keen on Melting pot. Now, I dont want to burst her bubble, and I am flying blind here, not having actually been, but my assumptions are....that it is crap and expensive. If so, can anyone advise me on whether its worth staying quiet or if not, on other alternatives....family friendly would be good.
First of all, which city?
In Portland, at least, we don't have a great fondue place. Plus, it's out of season for that anyway. You should try toi convince her to try something else. Nevertheless, if fondue is what you need, just go to one of the three Gustav's.
It is 1000 times worse than you think it is. It is horrible in every possible way-cheap out-of-the-Costco bag ingredients, farmed salmon, "upselling" service, and shockingly high prices. But if that's what she wants for her birthday, what can you do? Or is she open to suggestions?
You could always host a fondue party for her at your house. You could probably do the whole thing for less than just your share at the MP.
I suppose it depends on what about fondue is calling to your friend. If it is the communal eating experience… Everyone sharing the same cooking implement and having a grand time cooking and eating the food I would suggest Hot Pot, I personally like the one at Schwannese(sp) Cuisine at the corner of 12th and Jackson. Also there is at least one Korean BBQ place in Lynnwood where you cook your meat at the table.
If on the other hand it is an orgy of melted cheese and hot oil your friend is craving, then Melting Pot is unfortunately the place you must go… You could of course host and orgy of melted cheese for your friend but you might get brie in all the wrong places. ;)
I'm all for adventurous dining, and supporting local one-off establishments rather than corporate chains. But ya know...it's *her* birthday. If she's saying that Melting Pot is the place that will make her feel special and celebrated and indulged, then I wouldn't be inclined to second-guess and make her feel like her choice is déclassé and substandard. At most, I'd offer a couple of close alternatives if I could (and I don't know of any other fondue places, good or otherwise, in Seattle), and if she doesn't jump at them, I'd stay quiet and give her the birthday dinner she wants.
Yes, it's horrible and yes it's expensive but it is fondue and it is family friendly.
There is fondue on the menu at the relatively new Entre Nous, but it's not geared towards family dining.
The Palace Kitchen has this delicious lavendar goat cheese fondue on their menu, that's served with apple slices and grilled bread. If that'll make your friend happy, you could do that and follow it with a nice, regular dinner.
Then again, I agree with MsMaryMc -- it's your friend's birthday, let her do whatever she wants!