Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fondue for the Rich


For The Boy's birthday we gave him coupons for things like "One Month's Free Rent" (he used that one immediately), "One $50 Gift Card of Your Choice", and "One Dinner (with one guest and parents) at the Restaurant of Your Choice". So tonight we have reservations at a restaurant called The Melting Pot.

Originally we thought it was a restaurant in San Francisco (it's actually in Larkspur down in Marin County) and my heart fell. The idea of driving into the City for dinner makes my heart grow cold. Just the idea of parking is enough to make you lose your appetite.

Plus we are in the middle of a series of huge storms, dumping inches of rain in the North Bay causing flooding everywhere. Usually our rain is a series of showers, sometimes not much more than a light mist. But these storms have been hours-long downpours so the ground is saturated, hence the major flooding.

Yeah, driving into San Francisco? NOT my idea of fun. Driving down to Larkspur won't be huge fun either in the pouring rain but CPA Boy's office is just down the street from this restaurant so finding it and parking won't be the nightmare it could be.

Anyway, this restaurant was something selected by The Boy's girlfriend. (My son wouldn't know a fondue pot if it hit him upside the head.) And it's basically a fondue restaurant. So far so good.

BUT! It's hugely expensive! I like eating at restaurants that specialize in something I can't do well at home (I'm too nervous to spend big money on fancy cuts of beef that I can easily turn into hockey pucks when I can have them cook it perfectly at Outback or Cattleman's. (And if it's not perfect enough you can send it back for something else. Can't do that at home with broiled hockey puck.)

And I was reading more about this fondue place on-line and here's what I learned:

There are four courses available: an appetizer fondue (your choice of fondue and bread, apples and veggies), a salad, a main course fondue (your choice of fondue, cooking style and a tray of assorted meats) and a dessert fondue.

All well and good.

BUT! Focus on the main course fondue for a moment. "Cooking style." One might think that that's how the meats get cooked and you have the fun of dipping the tasty morsels into the cheese. BUT no, the meat comes to the table UNCOOKED. So you get to cook your meat in a pot of oil, THEN you get to dip into the cheese.

As a review on Yelp put it, "when I eat filet mignon, I like it right off the grill, NOT boiled in oil."

So CPA Boy and I will stick to a la carte appetizer and dessert fondues. Maybe a salad. If we are going to splurge and eat out a an expensive restaurant, the least we expect is that our food gets cooked FOR us, not BY us.

Note to self: make sure to put reasonable limits on any future birthday coupons!

And since fondue is so ridiculously simple to make, CPA Boy and I decided to make fondue for our New Year's Eve meal instead of our usual selection of appetizers. (These things might get moved to Christmas Eve or CPA Boy's birthday in January.) We have two crock pots so one for cheese and one for chocolate. Join us and we promise you won't need to cook your own food!

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