Melting Pot  

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A sequence of images of a fondue bourguignonne.Image via Wikipedia

Melting Pot

1219 Filbert Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

You should know

So for my bachelorette party, the guys took me out. Yes, the guys: Dan and Brian, plus Dave and Michelle. They said we could go anywhere I wanted, it being my party and all. I figured this would be sufficiently fancy and different, plus it was a good excuse to finally check the place out.

Brian, being Brian, tipped them off that it was an event, so they hooked me up with a little logo'ed teddy bear and a framed group picture. Very cool.


So we had five people, including one with lactose sensitivity (me), one with assorted allergies, and one vegetarian.

We started with drinks; I lost track of what others ordered, but I got a glass of Riesling.

Melting pot meals come in four courses: salad, cheese, entree, and dessert.  Our salads were tasty but not memorable; I don't actually recall what we got.

For our cheese course (and yes, I took a Lactaid before I started), we got two pots of Wisconsin Trio Cheese Fondue ("fontina, butterkäse, and buttermilk bleu cheese with white wine, scallions, and a hint of sherry," $16 for 1-2 people). They came with apples, bread, veggies. Almost everything was excellent, but it seems I will never like cauliflower. Oh well.

Oddly, even though both pots were supposed to be the same, one tasted far more of the sherry base, while the other one tasted very strongly of blue cheese. That was kind of nice -- it gave us a little variety.

For the entree course, we again got two pots of the same flavored oil, and kept one for meat and the other for veggies. We ordered The Vegetarian ("fresh vegetables, tofu, artichoke hearts, portobello mushrooms and spinach and Gorgonzola ravioli," $17), Land & Sea ("a collection of new york strip, marinated breast of chicken and white shrimp," $23), and The French Quarter ("Cajun seasoned shrimp, filet mignon, breast of chicken and andouille sausage," $22).

With the meals came several types of sauce, some to go on the food before dipping, and some to season the food after dipping. The posed some interesting challenges (such as, "How many layers of tempura can you put on a potato, anyway?").

My only complaint was that in the French Quarter meal, everything was so heavily (and deliciously) seasoned that you couldn't quite tell the chicken form the beef until you cut them open -- whcih is really a concern when you consider that the two meats have different cooking times.

For dessert, we got The Original ("this original recipe features our signature milk chocolate complimented with a swirl of crunchy peanut butter") (amazing on bananas!) and one Pure Chocolate ("dark chocolate, melted for the most pure of all chocolate fondues." Both $16)

The chocolate fondues came with Dippers ("fresh strawberries, bananas, cheesecake, tasty marshmallows, pound cake and brownies for you to dip into any of our decadent chocolate fondue creations"). There  was easily something for everyone.


Tasty but a bit pricey
We technically didn't order enough food for five people, and we still had leftovers -- if you're going with a group, that's a decent option. Either way, definitely save it for a special occasion, but give it a try.

The rest of the Internet

Sabah Karimi at Associated Content explains what to expect at the restaurant.
The Wikipedia page.
Patricia Schaefer at FranchiseTrade discusses the restaurant from a business perspective.
Jenna Brucoli at Jenna Sais Quois posts some great pictures of Melting Pot food.
Online and logged in reviews the restaurant.
The Beeze at The Beeze's Tales from the Fish House enjoyed good food but suffered bad service.

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