Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Melting Pot

Scott and I were in San Jose for a night of improv at ComedySportz (good, stupid fun-comedy in the same vein as "Whose Line is it Anyway?"). When the show let out at 10, we set out to find a good place to eat. We were thinking divey, unique, charming, cheap, a hideaway. But when most of a city's restaurants close before 10 (who knew!!), one's list of qualifiers begins to shrink fast. After wandering the streets of downtown for a bit, we happened upon The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant that has the big service feel of the Olive Garden or Cheesecake Factory. We didn't know it at the time, but our big find happens to be part of a chain that started in Florida 30 years ago. Oh well.

It was late, so we decided to share the Traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue ($12.00)--a combination of Swiss cheeses, white wine, Kirshwasser, lemon, garlic, and nutmeg served with a variety of breads, apples, and raw veggies. Our server--an affable, if not overly-talkative guy--prepared the fondue tableside and let us know he was happy to refill our bowls of dipping stuffs when we finished them. How wonderfully American! The service was painfully slow, but we were tucked in the back of the restaurant in a cozy booth designed for two, where-as I'm sure you've guessed- we were engaged in deep, meaningful conversation. This place must clean house on Valentine's Day!

Cheese Fondue originated in Switzerland many moons ago, when folks there would run out of fresh foods to eat during the cold, long winters. By winter, the cheeses created during the summer became hard and stale. The smart, resourceful peasants melted the cheese down in a communal pot, added liquor and spices to make it more palatable, and invented fondue (French for "to melt").

If you're in San Jose late at night and can see the fun in cookie-cutter fondue, give this place a try. Just be warned: word has it that drinking water with melted cheese can turn the cheese into a big congealed ball in your belly, leaving you feeling mighty sick and weary of fondue for a good, long time.


Blogger realestatebroker said...

Me thinks me son-in-law has lost a few brain cells getting his Stanford Education. I distinctly remember a stricter low-cholesterol diet was well in place last time we were together. Can you tell I love you??

January 16, 2006  

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