Thursday, July 19, 2012

The One With the Melting Pot

The title of this one sort of sounds like I went on some kind of psychadelic drug trip.  But I did not.  Just went to dinner.

The Melting Pot, if you don't know, is a fondue restaurant.  I've heard about people going, and there's another blogger that I read that loves it and goes as often as she possibly can (mostly for the chocolate), but it's. . .ridiculously expensive, so I've never been.  However, last week or the week before, Groupon had this deal where you could pay $20 for $40 worth of food.  Obviously, I bought one.

 My friend, Faith, is getting married in a couple of weeks, and my friend/her roommate, Andrea, suggested we go out next week for a bachelorette-party-dinner.  (Meaning, you know, just going to dinner.)  We're going to the Melting Pot (with Groupons!), so I decided to take D out on a rarely-utilized Date Night as to go with him for the first time before I go with Faith and Andrea.  (What an awkward sentence.)

We got all gussied up and headed over to The Melting Pot. . .except there was an accident on the highway involving a car being stuck under a tractor trailer, so we had to re-route, thus making us late for our 6:30 reservations.  (I called to make sure we'd still have a table.)  So that was the first thing.

When we arrived, we were seated by the manager.  We were seated in this area with tiny booths for two, which had a curtain that you could close to. . .assure you had privacy, I guess.  (The couple in the booth adjacent to ours was making good use of the closed curtain, if you know what I'm sayin'.  And I think you do.)

I felt sort of awkward, going into a nice place and whipping out a Groupon page, but then I figured, if they were going to judge me for cheap(er) food, they shouldn't have put up a Groupon.  It said on the print-out to give the Groupon to the waiter upon arrival, so we did.

The waiter explained how the whole process worked, but he spoke fast and had an accent and didn't enunciate, so I had a hard time understanding exactly what was happening.

We ordered the spinach and artichoke cheese fondue which took. . .a long time to get there.  I'd drained my Diet Coke (as I do), and kept burning my mouth with nothing to drink except pilfered water from D.  (I realize that there is that expression about even dogs waiting for their food to cool, but we'd been waiting a long time, and I was hungry.)  We finished that up and sat, patiently waiting, for our Caesar salads to get there.

And we waited.

And we waited.

And then our waiter came by and told us they'd forgotten about our salads.  Which is awesome.  Especially the part where he told us they'd forgotten about us.  (This happens. . .constantly with both D and myself.  We both have a tendency to slip through the cracks, so when you put us together, we're basically invisible to the naked eye.)

Then the salads came.  Caesar salads, which were actually very good, if not a little small for $7.

Then we waited.

And waited.

You might think that, at this point, we were mad and yelling and all that, but. . .we were actually having a lot of fun.  We go out. . .never, and while everything was happening against us, we were having a really good time being a couple, if that makes sense.  The waiter came by, and D mentioned that we'd been there for an hour and a half and were still waiting for a meal, and we'd like to speak to the manager later.

So our 'entree' got there.  We decided to split one, because, you know, $23 dollars.  There was a little bowl of vegetables, 4 pieces of chicken, 4 shrimps, 4 pieces of steak, 4 pieces of sausage, and several sauces.  I have to admit, I was a little bummed out that the food was so. . .sparse.  But then, we were splitting one, so maybe it's different if you eat the whole thing yourself.

There was also a pot of hot broth, where you. . .cook your own meat.  We were puzzling over this when the manager came over, but we sent him away so we could eat.

We sat there, trying to figure out if the two-and-a-half minutes the waiter indicated would actually cook this meat.  We were going to put it in a little at a time, but ended up just dumping everything in the broth, like a soup.

Two-and-a-half minutes passed quickly, and the meat didn't. . .look done.  So we discussed paying this much money to cook your own meal, and then pulled some of the meat out again.  It still didn't look done, but it was dark, and it was hard to tell.  D ended up pulling out the flashlight on his phone, and we were dying laughing about how ghetto the whole thing was.  But the meat was done, so we ate.  It was really good, but there wasn't much there.

Ultimately, the manager came back and comped our entree and one of the salads, so we had money for dessert, which was a pot of melted milk chocolate that came with marshmallows, bananas, strawberries, Rice Krispie Treats, a piece of cheesecake that. . .wasn't very good, and pound cake.

The chocolate was amazing.

(I realize as I'm telling this story that I'm not conveying how hilarious that whole situation really was.  I don't really know how.)

Then the waiter came by and asked if we wanted coffee.  I didn't.  D did.

A few minutes after that, the waiter came back by to let us know the coffee machine was broken.

All you could really do at that point was laugh.

The waiter brought us our bill, and it came out to $36 something. . .except he hadn't factored in the Groupon I'd handed him at the beginning of our 2-and-a-half hour ordeal.  Instead of laughing, all we could do then was shake our heads.  He came back a while later and was like, "Oh, yeah, you had a Groupon."

So he brought the bill back, and it was the lovely number of $0.00.  So we left a tip (really, we did) and left.

All things being said, I'd go back, but not if I was paying pull price for anything.  The food was good, but there wasn't nearly enough of it and it was WAY overpriced.  But we had a great evening, and I'm looking forward to going with Andrea and Faith next week.

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