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What is the Melting Pot all about?

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i have never been, and i wanted to know about the restaurant before i went. what kind of cuisine is served? how is the atmosphere? and what about those private rooms?

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  1. Fondue- overpriced fondue in my opinion.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ktmoomau

      To add to the "it's fondue" theme, my impression (not based on personal experience, but on many reports from various friends and coworkers), it seems like the Melting Pot is aiming at being an "experience" type restaurant, much like what Benihana does for Japanese grill-top cooking. In this case, instead of a Benihana chef wowing you with knife skills and schtick as he prepares your meal before your eyes, the Melting Pot "experience" is the fun of communal dining and fondue.

      In other words, even if the food itelf is not the best value for the buck in the world, the novelty and conviviality of the "experience" is presumed to make the price worthwhile. I think this class of restaurants targets being picked more as a "special fun occasion" kind of thing, than as a regular rotation of favorite restaurants kind of place. I can't see going to this sort of place once a week or even once a month without it getting old, no matter how much one likes the gimmick.

      Whether one considers it to be "worth it" or not depends a lot on one's personality, and how much one enjoys the showmanship aspect of the Benihana-type thing or the "do it yourself gooey fun" of fondue cookery, I suppose.

      1. re: Warthog

        I couldn't have said it better. However, my favorite time to go is happy hour. I believe I've shared two drinks, two salads, and a cheese fondue for about $32. It was just right. Bar scene is chill and our bartenders are great.

        1. re: brekkie_fan

          I also agree that Warthog nailed it. I usually wind up going every two years or so for someone's birthday. It's a little better than okay. One word of caution, plan on going for dinner when you are heading right home afterwards because you will STINK from the hot oil.

    2. Yes, it's overpriced and yes, the food is only mediocre. And yes, it's all about the fondue experience. Fondue is something that typical Americans don't make for themselves at home. I've been to The Melting Pot a couple of times and have enjoyed the experience because a) I didn't have to do the prep, b) we introduced the kids to something new and c) it can be somewhat romantic.

      I have made fondue before at home but usually make my own sauces for the meat course as well as the cheese and chocolate fondue courses. Then there's the prep time involved in cutting up all of the items to be dipped. It always tastes better at home but it's nice to be able to enjoy fondue once in a while without all the work.

      1. Honestly, for what you would pay to have someone there melt cheese for you, you could enjoy a nice dinner at a good quality (and even trendy/pricy) restaurant. I really hate Melting Pot (I also had one of the worst dates of my life there... but I'm pretty sure I'd hate it regardless).

        1 Reply
        1. re: LAcupcake

          I got stuck eating at one in Seattle after a cross country flight. My friend picked me up from the airport, had a coupon, and wanted to go there. When I travel, I usually get a little queasy, so I just had a cheese fondue that was mediocre with equally mediocre bread and fruit and a glass of wine. I can make a much better simple fondue at home with swiss and emmenthaler. My friend was five months pregnant, so I gave in to her cravings on restaurant selection throughout the visit. I also sampled some of what my SO and she ordered--a seafood plate and a meat plate, both with vegetables like brocolli and new potatoes. You cook your own food in your choice of hot liquid (if you're seated at a table with only one burner everyone has to agree on the cooking liquid.) These dishes were not good. My friend also ordered a chocolate fondue dessert which was too sweet--I'd never make chocolate fondue with milk chocolate--and it came with a variety of what seemed like your average grocery store quality things to dip into it: marshmallows, brownies, pound cake, and so on. I just tried the chocolate with a couple pieces of fruit that came with the plate. All said, we paid way too much for mediocre food.

          If you're dying for cheese fondue and can't make it at home, then you might like it, but only for that to split with a friend.

        2. Overpriced Fondue first that came t my mind. I was also given this warning before going and went anyway. Cheese fondue was the best if I ever go again I will pass on the main course fondue and just have the first course cheese fondue.

          3 Replies
          1. re: sweetnspicy

            I agree with sweetnspicy - if you're going to go have the cheese fondue. Don't expect great cheese, but the end result is MUCH better than the vegetable/meat course.

            After we went once my husband was hooked. He drug me back a second time, before the third attempt I found a fondue pot, decent bread options, several cheese fondue recipes, and had a list of vegetables to dip. Poor man hasn't been back since, and if he were to go back I think he'd be disappointed. Their cheese fondues don't even compare to mine.

            1. re: sweetnspicy

              I six/seven/eightth the comment on OVERPRICED fondue. Skip the meat course, skip the dessert course - just get the cheese. However, has anyone else found that the veggies they give you for the cheese are DRY??? It's dried out celery, dried out carrots and dried out cauliflower... come on people - can we get any more boring?

              1. re: wino22

                They're definitely serving some tired vegetables.

            2. and the bread they use for the fondue isn't good either.

              Not even a coupon would lure me in.

              Home made fondue is so good and so easy.

              1. A discussion about Fondue recipes has been split to the Home Cooking board. You can follow that discussion here:

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/444359

                1. wow.. thanks for the warnings. i have had my eye on the place for a while. I make fondue at home but thought that not having to prep would be nice. I use great cheeses though. oh well... better dust off the fondue pot!

                  1. I love the Melting Pot! It's a bit on the expensive side, but I don't know of any other fondue restaurants. I hear they have a $15 special on Thursday nights now though. Yum! I should go tonight.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Chew on That

                      what specifically do you like? I have heard mostly negative or "okay" comments... do you have menu suggestions?

                      1. re: coconutgoddess

                        I don't go often - once every 5 years? I used to really enjoy it but now I've noticed that the experience seems to cheapen a bit (in the aesthetics and quality senses) every time I go.

                        I love the cheese fondue (there are several to choose from) and I love the dipping sauces that come with the entree course. I also love the plain chocolate fondue for dessert. (They have several options that they mix with peanut butter or caramel or whatever....but I prefer the plain dark chocolate fondue.)

                        I don't care for the staleness of the dipping items (everything looks like it was cut up at least 5 days prior) nor the stinginess of the number of items they provide....especially lobster.

                    2. I love the Melting Pot. I agree that it's overpriced, but I leave there having what I consider to be a good meal, good wine, and a very fun evening. It's as much about the experience as the food. The combo of both makes it something that I would suggest everyone try, at least once.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Ditdah

                        Also, I will say, I have never gotten the oil fondue for the main course. I guess it's served with batter and hot oil - you basically do table-top tempura. I always have done the broths cooking for the meats. Less oil and less mess!

                      2. years ago I took my wife to a nice little dinner for her birthday at a local favoritite (Cafe Red Onion in Houston) and then we went to Melting Pot for dessert and we had fun. (I didn't want to put my body through all the oil and cheese). It is certainly a place to have an "experience", but foodwise it is nothing overly special about it.