Updated: May 21, 2015

Review of the Melting Pot - A Fondue Restaurant:

I recently took a trip into downtown Portland and had dinner at the Melting Pot restaurant - a quality fondue style dining experience. The Melting Pot is actually a chain of fondue restaurants but we are lucky enough to have one here in Portland, Oregon. If you have never experienced a fondue meal, you definitely need to do it once in your life. It's best with a group environment so we suggest getting another couple to go with and share the food with them. At the Melting Pot you actually cook your main meal by dipping the meats, fish, poultry, etc. into a cooking broth. The first course is a cheese fondue where you are able to dip bread and vegetables into the pot of melted cheese. We went with the "Big Night Out" which is the way to go if you can eat enough. We did the traditional swiss cheese fondue which was very tasty and a great start to the evening.


You also get a salad, so remember to save room for the dinner and the yummy dessert they have. The entree cooking styles included Coq au Vin, Court Bouillon, Bourguignonne, and their Mojo Style. Each person is given 2 skewers so they can dip in a few pieces of food at a time into the fondue pot. The cheese portion really only requires a single dip at a time, but when it comes to cooking your raw meats, it's good to have 2 things cooking at once to speed up the process. During the entree portion, you have multiple skewers in the boiling pot. The skewers all have a different color code to them so don't worry about accidentally taking back someone elses. It only takes a few minutes to cook items like filet mignon and chicken so it goes fast. When you have 2 skewers going at once then you can sit back and eat was has been cooked while the others are in the pot. The restaurant provides a variety of sauces to dip your meat into once it is cooked. Everything is very good and it's hard to make it through the entree without feeling a little full. I was fortunate enough to live in a small town called Saratoga, in California. Saratoga has one of the best fondue restaurants in the country at a place called La Fondue on Big Basin Way in downtown Saratoga. That was my only other fondue experience to compare the Melting Pot to. La Fondue is probably better in many ways (better variety of meats, etc.), but the ambiance is worth something and Melting Pot does an excellent job of making everyone feel welcome and they walk you through the unique dining style of fondue step by step. It can take a while for newbies to order since the menu choices can be a bit overwhelming and you may wonder "what should I get". Don't worry as the waiter will guide you to the best selections and help you understand the different cooking methods. Above all, save room for the dessert - the chocolate fondue. It's an incredible feast of strawberries, bananas, cheesecake, marshmallows, brownies, etc. all dipped in chocolate or eaten by themselves. You will leave the Melting Pot full and satisfied. It's a bit pricey, I think we paid about $140 per couple (that's including a cocktail and some wine). In terms of memories, it's one of those meals that's hard to forget since it was so much fun. I will definitely go back, but it's not the type of meal you can have every week. Their website is online at Meltingpot.com and on it they list locations, menus, you can book reservations online, get phone numbers, and more. Very thorough website and worth looking at before you go to get an idea on how the food is ordered.

Location:

Getting to the Melting Pot in Portland may be the hardest part about your evening. The restaurant is not in the easiest spot to access. The one in Portland is at the corner of SW Sixth Ave. and Main Street. Their phone # is 503-517-8960 and you may need to call them if you can't find it. You actually enter up on the street level and go down a staircase that takes you down 1 level. The restaurant sits below the street but once inside you would never know it. You can get directions on their website HERE. They have some pointers on where to park, driving directions, and a nice Google map to show you the exact location. Be sure to look online before venturing into the city.

Menu:

The menu at the Melting Pot is a bit confusing if you are with a group or have never been there before. Ordering takes a few minutes as you have to decide if you will go with the "Big Night Out" or get individual entrees and desserts, etc. If you are with your spouse or a group, definitely do the Big Night Out. This gives you the biggest variety of food and saves the hassle of breaking up the ordering process where everyone is getting their own meal. It's not worth it in the long run. The only thing you need to agree upon are the cheese fondue, cooking style, and chocolate fondue at your table. When we went, there were 8 of us, so each table of 4 agreed on the cooking styles and off we went. You can view a PDF file of the main dinner menu and wine list online HERE. You'll see things like Fondue Feast, Fondue Fusion, and Lobster Indulgence. Check out all the meat selections on those entrees like lobster tail, filet mignon, cedar plank salmon, key west shrimp, honey dijon chicken, BBQ pork tenderloin, and fresh vegetables. Each choice is just slighly different in what it contains. The food was great, the atmosphere was perfect, and you'll remember the meal for a long time.