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Fondue in Philadelphia

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samsmom1127 Jan 6, 2008 04:12 PM

My daughter and I would like to find a restaurant that serves fondue. The only one I know of is The Melting Pot, which I have always assumed, perhaps unfairly, is a tourist trap for Convention Center visitors. Any suggestions?

  1. s
    scottelliot Jan 6, 2008 05:36 PM

    My fiance and I have been to The Melting Pot several times. Last year it was our gift card spot for my sisters. They all loved it. If you don't want to go to the center city one, next to Maggiano's [which is pretty nice, too], there is a Melting Pot in Chestnut Hill. If you're going for the full course: cheese, entree, and dessert your bill will be about $80.
    It is definately not something you would do more than a couple times a year...but yu can go in just for the cheese or dessert if you wish.

    There is a new fondue place in south Jersey, I just can't remember the name. If anyone else knows what I am talking about, plese list the name...we'd like to try it.
    P.S. If you want, The Melting Pot has a ncie birthday paskage where they have a balloon, pint glass w/ logo, and t-shirt also w/ logo waiting at the table before you get there...for a nominal fee, of course.

    1. j
      jessicheese Jan 7, 2008 04:40 AM

      If you're looking to have fondue at a restaurant, then Melting Pot is a great option. A lot of people feel that it is too much money for food that you cook yourself and it's a chain (heaven forbid), but I've always enjoyed myself when I've gone. They do a great job on all types of fondue, will bring extra dippers if you desire one thing more than another, and it's a really nice meal experience.
      They have a 4 course meal available over Restaurant Week, which is about a $10 per person savings from the regular full course. Might be a nice time for you to try it out.
      The only other option that I know of is Swanky Bubbles has a chocolate fondue. I've never tried it, but can you really go wrong with melted chocolate?

      1 Reply
      1. re: jessicheese
        bluehensfan Jan 7, 2008 05:04 AM

        I think they have a fondue available at the Naked Chocolate Cafe. But it's just dessert! I never liked the Melting Pot near us (in DE). Very overpriced, stale food for the most part but the desserts were passable.

      2. b
        bnemes3343 Jan 7, 2008 05:09 AM

        Agree with others here. Don't consider MP a tourist trap. It's not an everyday go-to restaurant and, yes, it's a bit pricey, but it's well done, the food is pretty nice and the atmosphere is pleasant. I think you will enjoy the experience.

        1. saturninus Jan 7, 2008 05:17 AM

          Whenever I went there, I left stinking of hot oil. I found the food sub par and incredibly overpriced.

          1 Reply
          1. re: saturninus
            rabidog Jan 10, 2008 06:17 PM

            ah, any place you fondue, you will reek of whatever you're simmering with. i make a nice and easy cheddar + heineken + other stuffs fondue whenever i run out of food for a full meal here at home... dip green apples, onions and bread pieces in... i always smell like a brewery once i'm through. same with small restaurants. at a place in queens, 3 tables, i smelled like middle eastern spices for the rest of the weekend.

            i can't really comment on the melting pot. last time i went there, i think it was for my 15th birthday, i enjoyed it plenty, but then again at that point in my life i really dug buca di beppo too... so my opinion wouldn't be entirely fair. for what it's worth, they are the ones who turned me on to the whole apples + cheese thing. i've been eating the two together, in varying forms, ever since. i recently discovered you can make a fabulous green-apple-based mexican burrito. who knew?

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            18465 Jan 7, 2008 05:22 AM

            My companion and I did find the Melting Pot to be a tourist trap. The service was bad, items were highly overpriced for the value, and the quality of the food was poor. With so many better options,in gerneral, for good food in the area, we both decided to not go there again. In fact it has become a running joke "let's go the m.p. tonight becasue everything is so good there".... not. Perhaps the center city location is better than the Chestnut hill pne that we experienced. That is how it appears in online ratings that I just viewed.

            2 Replies
            1. re: 18465
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              Buckethead Jan 7, 2008 07:39 AM

              I've always heard that the Chestnut Hill location is not very good, I used to go to the Wilmington location once in a long while but haven't been in years. If you do go to the Melting Pot, I'd recommend just getting a cheese fondue and a chocolate one, skip the 'entree' fondues, they're way overpriced.

              1. re: 18465
                j
                JanR Jan 7, 2008 07:46 AM

                Had a similarly bad experience at the CH MP several years ago and never wanted to go back.

              2. b
                bumble Jan 7, 2008 06:36 AM

                there's a place on Washington Ave, btween 5th & 6th, maybe, that does an asian hot-pot, which is basically a fondue. You cook meats, seafood & vegetables in boiling broth. It's about $15/person and is all you can eat. I forget the name. Maybe International BBQ ( you can also do tabletop bbq-ing there also). I haven't been in over a year.

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                  nevets Jan 7, 2008 07:57 AM

                  We've eaten at the Melting Pot in Chestnut Hill twice (several years ago). The only reason we ate there the 2nd time was because they gave us a $50 gift card for the bad experience we had the first time (5 of us squeezed in to a table for 4 with only one pot to cook from). We won't be going back. Even the almost free meal was mediocre. No compelling reason to go back though the dessert part of the meal isn't bad.

                  1. s
                    samsmom1127 Jan 8, 2008 11:17 AM

                    Thanks, everyone, for your comments. I am intriuged by the idea of an asian hot-pot. I've heard of it, of course, but have never tried it. I'll probably give the MP a try sometime, and simply keep my expectations moderate and my wallet open.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: samsmom1127
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                      Ali Jan 8, 2008 11:56 AM

                      Asian hot pots are great - I am Asian, so I'm totally biased, but it's good, warming winter stuff, which is not so great for this week but keep it in mind for the oncoming cold weeks. Some of the Vietnamese restaurants on Wash. Ave serves the tangy, spicy version. I've seen Chinese, slightly heartier version in Chinatown, though don't know if they're the Sichuan, melt your face off kind.

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                      Adenn1 Jan 10, 2008 03:33 AM

                      Stay away from the Melting Pot...only went there once in Chestnut Hill...someone gave us a gift card. Still had to shell out money and the food and atmosphere was terrible. Could not believe the prices they charged for the food...little crappy shrimp and meat that should have been used for stews. Did not like the cheeses either...might as well had a jar of Velveeta.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Adenn1
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                        dkbk Jan 10, 2008 05:41 AM

                        Went to K of P last week and it was good. Got the Big Night Out, and with drinks and tip tab was $160.00. Service was very good, but Melting Pot is a once a year or so kind of thing. Good spouse date or occasion place, but the main thing about it is the novelty.

                      2. jerseytomato Jan 10, 2008 12:01 PM

                        I was just looking at the menu for the Beneluxx Tasting Room at 3rd St and Sansom and it has cheese fondue. They offer Swiss, Cheddar and then a Special of the Day. It comes with bread, and you pay extra for other dippers. It's offered in 4 oz portions for $9 (+ $3.50-$7 for extras). I have not tried it and I have no concept of the pricing for fondue, so I leave it to you to decide if it's worth it or not.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: jerseytomato
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                          samsmom1127 Jan 10, 2008 04:21 PM

                          Thanks for the tip, jerseytomato. Beneluxx is in my neck of the woods...for that price we could check out a $9 portion, and then decide whether to spring for extras.

                          1. re: samsmom1127
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                            Buckethead Jan 11, 2008 06:16 AM

                            Get a taste of the 5-year aged gouda (Roomano) while you're there.

                            1. re: Buckethead
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                              Alissavlad Jan 11, 2008 12:50 PM

                              I just went to Beneluxx for the first time last weekend. I did not have the fondue but the beers I sampled were great and everyone I was with had a lot of fun washing the glasses and trying new beers and wines. I did have a venison sausage wrapped in a crepe, covered in some weird chocolate like sauce which was awful.

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