Melting Pot for Comfort Food (and Drinks)

I have had my share of five star restaurants from Paris to Portland, but ask me where I want to go for a celebration or I quiet evening with friends and I don’t think twice – Melting Pot. There’s something about bonding over a pot of fondue that makes dinner more of an adventure than the finest steak. 

Some people think of fried chicken and pasta as comfort food, for me it is fondue.  I remember my mom putting together the Swiss cheese or chocolate fondue as a treat when we had company.  Through the years there have been restaurants with fondue that have come and gone out of my life.  It was five years ago that I discovered Melting Pot in Tucson, Arizona.  My   longtime friend Jaimee was visiting me while I stayed at the Hilton El Conquistador on business.  It was a two week trip and, though I enjoyed their restaurants, I was ready for something new when I spotted a brochure for the Tucson Melting Pot.  We were on our way.

Though Melting Pot offers entrees from chicken to shrimp, fondue to me involves cheese or chocolate and being satisfyingly stuffed.  It also involves people gravitating over the same pot in conversation, helped along by a very large wine and martini selection!  When my daughter arrived in Tucson a few days later, we were back to Melting Pot.  It became "our place"  when a location opened in Farmingdale, New York, near our home.  I have since moved away from that area, but it is still a tradition when I come back to visit – Melting Pot’s Happy Hour for the Wisconsin Trio Cheese Fondue (unless there’s a feature cheese that we want to try), that location's special Dark Chocolate, Chambord and Marshmallow Fondue, and two glasses of Beringer Pinot Grigio (all included in the $5 per person, per item special).

While there are no Melting Pot locations near my Champaign, Illinois home, I have managed to squeeze in the experience whenever possible.  When I was on a Girls Getaway at the Lynfred Winery, we continued the theme at the Schaumberg location, where Thursday is Girls Night Out for fondue and martini specials (I would recommend Ying Yang, a delicious vanilla-chocolate combination; the Big Apple; or the Peppermint).  It was my friend Liza’s first experience, and though we had shared an entire two days of “girl” time, we suddenly found new topics as we dipped and ate.  I also can’t think of anything more romantic for a date night than one of their special full meals (like the Alpine Big Night Out), with drinks from their extensively creative menu.  It’s no wonder that the Twitter account of the Melting Pot is “SocialDipper.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to turn down trying any recommended restaurant, but when I want to celebrate, console or bond, you will probably find me in front of the fondue at Melting Pot.


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