“A Special Occasion Destination” as the lovely manager put it. Boy, was she right! The experience we had at The Melting Pot, was one of pure joy and relaxation. Never once did we feel rushed. In fact, they encourage the guests to sit back, relax and let yourself be swept away by the delicious food and fondue experience.
I must begin with the wonderful ambiance that you are immediately enveloped in when you walk through the doors of The Melting Pot. It’s as if you are being whisked away into a land of romance. From the curtain drawn table booths, to the low lighting they got all things right in making this one of the most romantic places to eat. If you are dining with friends or colleagues, you can have a less intimate setting out in the dining area that is open and filled with multiple tables. There is also a nice bar that features Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 4-6 pm with $5.00 chocolate fondue…amazing! So no matter the occasion, you will be very comfortable while dining at The Melting Pot. That includes gluten free diners. With a GIG stamp of approval, The Melting Pot has worked very hard in creating the perfect menu as well as implement a very sound program for delivery of gluten free items. Each and every employee is very educated in the needs of gluten free diners. In the kitchen, there is a color coded list of foods that employees need to be aware of when serving gluten free diners. Red indicates a food is a danger and off limits to gluten free diners (there are very few which is so wonderful), Yellow means to take extra precautions when dealing with (for example a salad with croutons, the croutons need to be omitted) and green (most of the menu, which is so nice) means that this items is safe for gluten free diners. I just love how educated the staff is in dealing with food allergies and especially gluten. The kitchen is very aware and therefore extra careful when preparing foods to avoid cross contamination. Again, with the GIG stamp of approval there is a great sense of security in dining gluten free there that I appreciate.
Our experience was so great. We were immediately welcomed by the managers and shown to our private table. Our waiter, Rob, was quickly table side getting our drink requests. We chose the fresh made lemonade, which ended up being a very sweet treat. From the moment we met our server, we knew we were in for a very fun evening and we were right. Rob was a wonderful addition to the delicious food with his excellent service and witty personality. He had us laughing much of the evening. When I mentioned this to the manager, she let us know how important mature, but fun staff was to her. They are very selection in hiring only individuals who are mature enough to make the 2 1/2 hour experience fun while not compromising exceptional service. I feel that they are very wise in doing this as this restaurant is so heavily focused on the service for the evening along with wonderful food. I couldn’t imagine spending 2 1/2 hours with a server that wasn’t fun. We really appreciated our waiter Rob. He was so great to answer any and all questions we had about the gluten free menu and practices. He gave great recommendations as well. We followed them and were very please we did.
We enjoyed the “Big Night Out-Latin America” menu. The Big Night Out is a special 4-course menu that is put together and rotated about every 4 months. In fact, the new menu, “The Big Night Out America!” just began October 10th. Join The Melting Pot and experience coming together of TWO greats: Fondue and America! Let us take you on tour of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave with great tastes like Boston Lager Cheddar Cheese Fondue, Wisconsin Wedge Salad, an entree boasting the flavors our Memphis BBQ Pork Tenderloin, Old Bay Shrimp, and Buffalo Chicken! For dessert? Our take on the PB&J sandwich! -From The Melting Pot Ahwatukee website. Be sure to check it out for yourself!
Our first course was the Queso Fundito cheese fondue. It was an excellent blend of spicy jalapeno, which added an great kick, meaty chorizo sausage, smooth and rich Fontina, Gruyére and Gran Queso cheeses and just a squeeze of fresh lime juice, which provided wonderful acidity. It arrived with an array of fresh, raw veggies for dipping. Cauliflower and mushrooms were my favorite, providing a crisp texture from the cauliflower and a meaty texture from the mushroom. Carrots, green apples and broccoli were the other dippers provided. This was a wonderful start to our meal.
Next, a very visually appealing shrimp ceviche salad arrived. The avocado gave a cool, refreshing taste while the dressing was light and summery. I especially loved sprinkling the garlic and wine seasoning on the salad. I love that the seasonings available for purchase from The Melting Pot, are gluten free.
Our Fondue Fusion main course arrived and immediately I got excited about what was in store. On the plate was a stunning Cold-Water Lobster Tail, Filet Mignon, Chimichurri Sirloin, Garlic Piri Piri Shrimp, Mole-Marinated Chicken Breast (double serving as we did not get the ravioli), and Citrus-Marinated Pork Tenderloin. Can you see why were so excited?! Also, arriving with the meat was a delicious pot Mojo Caribbean-seasoned bouillon with a distinctive fresh-garlic flavor and a citrus flair. It was the mode of cooking that our great server recommended. I am so glad he did, it was full of flavor and amazing, not to mention much less fattening than the Bourguignonne, a canola oil fondue. Six sauces were also introduced to us for our dipping pleasure. Vegetables were again brought to the table for us to enjoy with our entree. We really enjoyed the experience of picking an item, putting it on the skewer and into the fondue pot and taking advantage of the few minutes of cooking to visit and reconnect. It was so wonderful for us, as the parents of two little ones, to have a few hours to spend one-on-one time together.
Back to the food. The lobster melted like butter in my mouth. It was sweet and filling. If any sauce was wanted for this delectable treat, I only recommend the melted butter as not to take away anything from the lobster itself. I enjoyed it with and without the butter with complete satisfaction. Both the filet and the sirloin was flavorful and delicious. Very tender and seasoned so well with the flavors of Latin America. They paired very well with the salsa Verde. The shrimp was juicy and delicious, again seasoned so well, it was not on the same level as just any other shrimp. It was much better. Mole-marinated chicken…a very moist and flavorful piece of meat. It was excellent with the cool, creamy curry sauce. The citrus marinated pork tenderloin was my absolute favorite which I was very surprised by as pork usually isn’t one I enjoy too much. However, The Melting Pot’s pork was so incredibly tender and full of flavor. Never once, did I get anything less than a perfect bite from it.
Finally, for dessert we enjoyed the Dark and Dulce Chocolate Fondue. The combination of bittersweet dark chocolate, thick, creamy dulce de leche and coarse sea salt was perfection. I loved that the course salt crystals were served in a shaker and left on the table for our enjoyment. We loved the sweet and salty flavor so much that we continued adding a touch more salt here and there as needed throughout our dessert experience. We were served the softest, most tasty marshmallows, cool banana slices, pineapple chunks and sliced strawberries all dusted with flavorful cocoa powder. It was the perfect accompaniment to the chocolate. I especially loved the bananas. We finished every bite and left feeling so completely satisfied. One thing that we especially enjoyed about both the dessert fondue and the cheese fondue were that they vegetables and dippers were never ending. You could continue to order more of what you loved time and time again until your fondue bowl was empty. What a great touch to the already amazing meal. Our evening at The Melting Pot was pure bliss. Every question was answered thoroughly, the service was excellent and the food was delicious. Not to mention the wonderful company I was in for the evening. The Melting Pot really is an excellent place to enjoy a gluten free night out. Upcoming events for October and November for this location only include Pink Heels Party! and Bottomless Fondue.
The Melting Pot-Ahwatukee, AZ (There are locations nationwide who all have the gluten free menu available.)
Just 2 Miles West off I-10 – East on Ray Road
Ahwatukee, AZ 85044
- Phone:(480) 704-9206
Find The Melting Pot on Facebook as well!
*This is our opinion and our opinion alone. We do not take any responsibility for the gluten free dining experience of others. As always, eat at your own risk as this is not a dedicated gluten free facility. However, it is GIG approved.