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Cheese fondue--anyone tried Beer Bistro's or Carin's recently?

Ediblethoughts Jul 11, 2009 08:26 AM

I'd like to have a cheese fondue dinner next weekend and these are the only two places that I've heard of that seem to have anything reasonable. The BB's sounds very odd--cheddar as the first cheese listed? But I love cheddar so I'd be game if it's good...

  1. Ediblethoughts Jul 19, 2009 08:45 AM

    Finally tried out Carin's yesterday and overall I'd say a good experience. We had the cheese fondue (the emmental one rather than the blue cheese one) and the mac and cheese. The fondue was good though not great---but the best we've tried in ages. My friend and I lamented (again) the death of Le Rendezvous (the BEST cheese fondues) that we frequented in the 90s. The mac and cheese was very tasty! Nice spice hit balanced out with the cheese mix. I don't really like cream sauces but I found myself spooning up (it's very liquidy gooey) this one. We also had a spinach with roquefort salad which was fine. The non-smoking patio was also very nice, with a pretty, leafy tree well overhead to protect us from the few drops of rain that came down. All in all, a very nice experience.

    1. e
      ekammin Jul 11, 2009 11:12 AM

      Ihave yet to have a really authentic-tasting Fondue neuchateloise in a restaurant, simply because theproprietors cheap outt on one or more off the main ingredients, which hould be Swiss, and thus, expensive. These are -

      Te cheese - should be Swiss gruyere (althouigh French is also good0 NOT Emmenthaler r so-called "Swiss" cheese.

      The wine - should be a Swiss white, Neuchatel or Fendant, not the leftover Chardonnay from someone's poached salmon, amd

      The brnady, Kirschwasser from Switzerland, orr thereabout, Austria or France, for example.

      Note that I am less fussy about the origin of some ofthe lessser ingredients - the nutmeg or pepper can be from anywhere.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ekammin
        phoenikia Jul 11, 2009 11:41 AM

        Not wanting to split hairs, but many authentic fondue recipes call for a combination of Gruyere and Emmenthaler. Appenzeller is also used, as well as Comte. Fontina is used in the Italian Alps. Different regions in the Alps used different cheeses.


        1. re: phoenikia
          Snarf Jul 11, 2009 05:32 PM

          The good folks at Alex Farm generally carry many of the various cheeses that can be used, and will grate it down at no extra charge. The extra aged Appenzeller adds a nice zing. It's nice to use Bufalo Chipotle sauce as a condiment with that.

      2. pinkprimp Jul 11, 2009 09:28 AM

        I like the BB version, but it can be a little "gritty." I don't really think it tastes like a pot of melted cheddar though.

        I think Barberian's also serves it, but past 10pm so it might be too late for dinner.

        1. p
          phoenikia Jul 11, 2009 08:33 AM

          The BB version doesn't taste like a traditional fondue- more like a small pot of melted cheddar. It was served over a tea light, and the texture/warmth of the cheese wasn't quite right. If you want fondue, I wouldn't suggest the Beer Bistro, but if you want melted cheddar,give it a try.

          Fondue tends to be a winter dish, so you might want to call Caren's (or anywhere else) to make sure they're still serving it.

          Here is another thread on the topic of fondue in TO: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/555459

          3 Replies
          1. re: phoenikia
            lynng Jul 11, 2009 08:41 AM

            We were at Caren's last night. We didn't have the fondue but saw that others had ordered it. Looked good!

            1. re: phoenikia
              Ediblethoughts Jul 11, 2009 08:42 AM

              Thank-you! That's just what I needed to know. (And thanks for the link on the other thread; I'd read part of it before but I'd missed the last several entries.). Looks like it's Carin's or no fondue (and I'll definitely call next week to see what they are planning on doing re cheese fondues--if anything).

              1. re: Ediblethoughts
                theresah Jul 11, 2009 09:28 AM

                I would skip the fondue at the Bier Market. I had it a couple of months ago and it tasted like Cambell's tomato soup. Big layer of ick on top. I returned it and was not charged, but would not go back for that. The other places are OK but nothing beats homemade.

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