365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
We were at Grace’s parents visiting with family when we decided we would make another attempt at eating fondue which I suggested the other day. It was already 6:00 PM so we got moving lest we get home at midnight. We opted to go the The Melting Pot in Addison. We’d been here once before in Dallas and a couple times in Nashville. Once when Mina was much younger. Benji passed out about 5 minutes into the car ride. He hadn’t napped and he’d woken up very early this morning. This might not go well.
Mina and Grace joked about where he got his snore from on the ride over. Mina wanted to play more games in the car. We just wanted to relax so we had to refuse her request this time. Grace pulled Benji out of the car and he woke up a bit. She managed to get him back to sleep but he woke up for good once we sat down. Grace had to take him down the hall and calm him down. Once we put him in his seat to play with the colored pencils and activity book they provided the kids he was fine.
He immediately went for the cooktop surface. Grace had to knock his hand away a couple times before he got the point. Luckily, the surface isn’t really hot. The bowl gets extremely hot though but is a bit further away so his hands never quite made it into the danger zone. Not long after our cheese arrived. Benji started screaming “wow” and “rye” (rice). He was apparently ready to eat and he thought the shredded cheese looked like rice. We all dug in. Mina enjoyed the novelty of dipping her bread in the cheese but the novelty wore off when she ate it. Benji also pushed his plate away after trying it. The kids don’t like the swiss cheese apparently.
Benji found his fondue forks right after that and kept himself busy skewering chunks of bread while we finished off our salads that came right after the cheese. Mina asked for a carrot and said she liked it better without the cheese and even asked for more! I told her only once to eat the carrots because she wouldn’t want to miss dessert. When the time came I let her choose it. She went for the one with marshmallows and milk chocolate.
The kids where wide eyed when the dessert arrived. They brought out a bowl of awesome looking chocolate and a tray of marshmallows, fruit, cheesecake, and bananas. Benji finished off the bananas and Mina did a number on the first slice of cheesecake. We even had to get more dippers. And those are free of charge! Its basically all you can eat. And at this point in the meal its not all that much. We were all stuffed. Mina said she was in heaven and she wished dessert was like this every night.
Two hours and too much food later, we were headed home.
The have 6 to 7 choices of cheese to start with. We went for the Classic Swiss with the Gruyere. The kids weren’t a huge fan. In hindsight, the cheddar would have been a better choice for the kids. The bite of the swiss was just too much for the kids. The parents loved it. It went best with the tart green apples. The also served a selection of bread cubes and vegetables (cauliflower, carrots and celery). Mina actually liked the carrots. She even asked for more and didn’t need prodding to finish them. Benji stuck with the bread cubes.
I went for the California Salad with walnuts and gorgonzola. It was really fresh but the dressing was a little sweet for my taste. Grace got the Spinach Mushroom Salad. I think she had the same opinion of her dressing. Her salad was not as good as mine. The dressing needed to be warm to slightly wilt the spinach. Would have been much better that way.
The main course was the Signature Selection. It comes with filet mignon, teriyaki sirloin, shrimp, chicken and salmon (we nixed the salmon for more filet, no charge). Grace said it was just OK because you are basically just boiling your food. She thought the filet was the best meat. The meat was very fresh and tender. If its overcooked it mostly your fault. It takes a time or two to get the doneness just right. They provide a ton of sauces to choose from. The best parts are definitely the cheese and the dessert.
Dessert was the Chocolate S’mores. It was a mix of milk chocolate and marshmallow topped of with some graham cracker crumbs. It was served with cheesecake, rice crispy treats, marshmallows covered with graham crackers, marshmallows covered with Oreo cookie crumbs, bananas, pound cake, and strawberries! And you can get more of everything at no extra charge! We got the small size. It would take quite a few adults to finish off the larger size. Very tasty.
The service was above average. The waiter was clearly busy but sent for help whenever he needed to ensure no one was overlooked. Her cleared the table frequently which was a big hit with Grace.
Besides the inherent dangers of a very hot pot in the middle of your table filled with sometimes flaming food and the long pointy sticks you eat with, it was surprisingly kid friendly. The did give out activity books of appropriate length to keep the kids entertained during the long meal. The food was a show in and of itself which helped as well. In the end, this could be a fun outing if your kids can be still for a longer meal and you can keep the hands and pointy sticks under control. There is a good chance of dessert bribery here as well. Especially if they already know how good it is.
Total cost: $122.06 ($36 in drinks…ouch)
We forgot the camera and had to take pictures on Grace’s phone. She’s asleep already so the photos will be up tomorrow. Sorry.
Childsplate.com chronicles our journey to find the perfect family restaurant. We are looking for restaurants with excellent food and a great attitude towards kids, even the whiny, cranky ones! We will be headed out to a different restaurant every single day to provide ourselves (and you) with some entertainment and good information about DFW area restaurants. We hope you will visit frequently and use our experiences to create some fun dining experiences of your own! Watch out, DFW, the Phipps family is going out to eat!