The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

The Melting Pot – A Christmas Eve Tradition

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on December 27, 2009

Two years ago, during our first Christmas in Charlotte we began a tradition of celebrating together at The Melting Pot.  We had family coming in the next day and decided to enjoy a nice meal out at one of our favorite splurge restaurants.  We’ve since expanded it to other holidays when possible (such as Easter) and after spending last Christmas in Europe, we looked forward to spending another Christmas Eve at the Melting Pot in Charlotte.  We made reservations for 6:30 and after work we headed over to the main Charlotte location (there’s also one in the University area).

We love fondue!  My love began my first year out of college while living with one of my best friends, Jaclyn.  We each owned a fondue pot (she got hers first!) and we used to have fondue parties where we would be able to have both cheese and chocolate.  Yum!!

When going to the Melting Pot, be prepared for lots of food! You have the option of The Big Night Out which includes a cheese fondue, a salad, an entree fondue, and a dessert fondue or to order the different courses separately.  If ordered separately, you can order as many or as few of the courses as you like.  Depending on our moods (and appetites, and how long it’s been since our last visit) we’ll either go with a cheese and a chocolate (no entree) or the Big Night Out.  The Big Night Out has a signature cheese, entree, and dessert fondues and salad but you can switch out any of them for the traditional items on the menu.  We tend to choose those on the Big Night Out menu as they’re only available for the four to six months or so on the menu.  This time was no different. 🙂

The Big Night Out menu this visit was the Alpine Big Night Out.

IMG_1543 While waiting for our cheese course to be set up, we started with drinks.  They had a fun Christmas drink menu…

IMG_1541 And also drinks that matched the Alpine menu.  I went with one of those – the Triple Berry Martini – while the Husband had a Sierra Nevada.

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My martini was DELISH! Very fruity and berry filled (as the name suggests) 🙂

IMG_1546 So, as mentioned before, the first course was one of our favorites – cheese!  This version was called the Alp and Dell Cheese Fondue. It included white wine, garlic, mustard and nutmeg, with Gruyere, Raclette, and Fontina.  A great combination! It came with the usual green apples and bread.  Instead of the usual carrots, cauliflower, and celery it had a Swiss mixture of sausages, pickles, and cauliflower.  Yum!  (The dipping items are unlimited.)

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Our next course up were the salads.  The Big Night Out salad was the Alpine Ridge Salad.  It was a bed of mixed greens topped with oven roasted tomatoes, Gruyère, Raclette and Fontina cheeses (the same as the cheese fondue!), hard-boiled eggs and honey roasted almonds, topped with a shallot vinaigrette.  This salad was Amazing! I don’t remember ever disliking any of their salads but this one was particularly good.

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After the salads, came the entree course.  This is usually the first course to go when we’re looking to eat less (or spend less money!).  Another option we learned about from a previous waiter is the idea of ordering the entree course for one (it comes with a salad) and then ordering an additional salad.  We haven’t done this yet but think this is a good idea.

The entree course in the Big Night Out has three options.   The Fondue Feast, the most basic option, included Filet Mignon, Sauerbraten NY Strip, Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bratwurst, Hefeweizen Marinated Shrimp, Roasted Garlic Crusted Chicken, Sun Dried Tomato Ravioli and Fresh Vegetables.  You’re welcome to substitute items in this selection if you don’t eat (or don’t prefer) a particular meat or item.  They all come with the same vegetables – potatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms.  The other two entree options include Lobster Tail (the next step up), or Lobster Tails (multiple – most expensive option).  They included all of the items in the Fondue Feast.

After selecting the type of entree, you also get to choose what it’s cooked in (oh, and as I’ve forgotten to mention – and if you’re not familiar with fondue – you cook everything yourself at the table, after the waiter preps it for you tableside).  The options include Court Bouillon or Bourguigonne (which are both complimentary) or Coq au Vin or Mojo Style (which have an additional cost).  We prefer Coq au Vin and went with that.

The entree comes with a number of sauces which we love as well.  Green Goddess is apparently the customer favorite (it’s ours as well!).  (The veggies and sauces are unlimited so feel free to ask for more!)

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At this point, we were pretty full but couldn’t turn down our dessert course!  The Big Night Out’s option was White Chocolate Apple Cobbler Fondue.  Not being a fan of white chocolate, we looked through the traditional dessert menu and realized we’d never had The Original which was milk chocolate with crunchy peanut butter.

Prior to receiving the dessert entree, I ordered another drink which I eyed early on but thought it be best with dessert: the Raspberry Chocolate Truffle martini.  Yum!

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On to the dessert…

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At the end, we. were. stuffed.  We loved it though and are glad we made this a tradition.  I look forward to our next holiday Melting Pot outing!

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2 Responses to “The Melting Pot – A Christmas Eve Tradition”

  1. Jaclyn said

    aww, i miss our fondue nights! i had fondue on my birthday this year-it’s still one of my faves.

    also, i love that going to the melting pot is your holiday tradition! that’s an awesome idea.

  2. Whit said

    I adore The Melting Pot. What a great tradition!

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