Next came the salads. The kids’ Ceasar salads were fresh but not remarkable. Mom and Dad had the Spinach Mushroom salads - also fresh, but overpowered by overly tangy Burgundy Shallot vinaigrette.
We were looking forward to our main course, mostly because we would be one course closer to chocolate, but we had some waiting to do. A marketing point of the Melting Pot is that the dining experience is not rushed. This works well for a couple on a Saturday night, less so for a family on a school night. We had picked the Mojo and Court Bouillon “cooking styles” in which to cook our selection of tuna, shrimp, beef and chicken. Matt filled the pots with broth and spices and explained the dipping sauces and as soon as the broth was up to temperature, we got cooking.
Despite Dad using his phone as our timer, it was a bit stressful remembering which fork was in the broth for how long so that no one ended up consuming undercooked chicken. After a few rounds, however, we relaxed about the timing and enjoyed trying different combinations of protein and sauce. It was difficult to discern a difference between the cooking styles and Dad thought the spices on the sliced sirloin were overpowering.
Busting at the seams, we were glad to have the extra time to digest before dessert. All of the choices sounded amazing; we narrowed ours down to The Original – milk chocolate with peanut butter and Cookies ‘n Cream – chocolate with marshmallow cream and bits of Oreo cookies. They arrived with plenty of yummy “dippers”. The kids’ favorites were the marshmallows and Rice Krispie treats. Mom liked the cheesecake and brownie bits. As a finale, Matt brought Daughter a plate with extra dippers and a birthday message in chocolate sauce.
Overall, we thought the cheese and chocolate courses were the big hits of the evening. Eliminating the entree and salad courses might have brought the bill to a more reasonable price point for a regular evening out. But for an occasional celebration, the Melting Pot fulfills its’ mission well with a mix of fresh ingredients and pleasant service. We give the Melting Pot 4.5 C’s for service, 3.5 C’s for family friendliness and 3.5 C’s for food.