Over the weekend I enjoyed fondue at The Melting Pot. I actually had never been before, my only experience with fondue being the Atlanta establishment, Dante’s Down the Hatch. Dante’s is great if you want to eat your meal on a pirate ship and peer into the dark moat to say hello to Dante’s pet alligator, Pinocchio (seriously). I’m not being snide–sometimes that is an awesome way to spend an evening, and I’ve enjoyed a few fun nights there. The fondue at Dante’s, though, is served over an oil lamp-type thing, with flames licking the sides of the fondue pot, and it detracts from my experience a bit. I tend to spend a good bit of the meal watching everyone’s elbows and hoping no one catches fire. The result is a case of mini-spasms as I try to hold myself back from diving across the table to smother the flame. It’s probably latent PTSD from these days. 

I will go ahead and say, I’ve never seen anything actually catch fire there, and in 43 years I believe there’s only been one incident that closed down any portion of the restaurant. …SO IT COULD HAPPEN AGAIN, obviously.  Also, fondue can be pricey. Basically, for a slightly anxiety-prone and usually financially compromised person like myself, in the past there were just too many stressful components associated with fondue to allow me to enjoy myself.

The Melting Pot, I was pleased to discover, just has a electric stove pad the waiter flips on with a switch. Also, I was being treated to my meal. It could have been the wine, but I felt absolutely zero cares the entire time I was sitting at the table. And once the food part started happening, I was truly in a happy place. It occurred to me while dipping bits of bread into a pot of melted cheese that, once the flame component is removed, fondue is the ideal meal for me. For one, the entire first portion of the meal is centered around a pot of cheese. Also known as 80% of my diet just melted down and placed in front of me. Being able to cook little bits of chicken and steak and smother them in sauces of my choice is delightful, too. But when the chocolate fondue came out for dessert, I reached heaven. Dante’s only does desert fondue for parties of 6, once a night, and only with two days notice. In short, I’ve never had dessert fondue. I can only say my world was changed this weekend. Brownies and rice krispies dipped in dark melty chocolate is amazing. I nearly melted under the table in sheer chocolate euphoria.

In related news, I found a scale yesterday and was horrified to discover that I’ve gained TWELVE pounds since moving to Atlanta one year ago. I was warned when I started working at Unboundary that there was an “Unboundary 30”, and the fact that I’m nearly halfway to that reality may have shocked some sense into me. I’ve resigned myself to scheduling workouts, and for dinner last night I ate… fruit (womp womp). It wasn’t too bad, but I couldn’t help thinking how much more delicious it all would be dipped in melted chocolate.

So I have my work cut out for me, clearly.