Melting Pot Cooks Up Date Night And Childcare Combo!REVIEWS | Nirasha Jaganath | August 9, 2011 at 8:53 am
All of us who pass up on date night because we cringe on childcare, raise your hands? Cost is one factor, but timing and quality is another. Add to the fact that I have a child on the Autism spectrum makes me super paranoid. I knew of the Melting Pot for a long time and had even attended an event there but admittedly had this notion of it being an appetizer kind place. I mean I think “fondue” (which is what the restaurant is a speciality of and think of how on earth can that keep me full. Then I was invited to take a test drive of the parent night out. At first I thought well any night can be parent night out right? I mean I put the kids with a sitter and that is parent night out, no matter which restaurant I went to. I then found out why The Melting Pot’s Ultimate Parent Night Out was different.
The declared a few nights as Parent’s Night Out and arranged to have children be at the Echo Enrichment center. Now what I love better than my kids just watched is them actually active in group play. I know my kids all too well and when there is organized play they just perform better. Truth is kids are so exhausted at the end of the day I am loathe to foist them on any unsuspecting soul. So I agreed after checking out that there will be other kids (somehow my kids put on their best behavior for others saving the worst for me) and that an actua center which has real classes and preschool would have my kids. Plus, I so needed a date night, my “regular” babysitter has been studying more and I have been too nervous to find someone new. Sure my husband and I work from home but we actually “work” believe it or not which means our conversations happen in mono syllables.
So off we went with 2 whining kids in the car and me thinking “what the heck was I thinking doing this?” but we got there and the kids loved the place. The warm demeanor of the staff relaxed me and then I spied something on the wall – she had meetups for teens and adults with special needs. I was sold. She took in the news of my 6 year old’s autism calmly and assured me she was used to having kids in her class with it. Anyway it was just for a few hours and she had our number so it was all good.
I began to worry that this night would be wasted on my husband who does not like cheese (or chocolate) – I know, I know – but there are some redeeming qualities about him – though I fail to recall any just this minute. In fact I was looking forward to enjoying his share of the cheese but those hopes were squashed as I saw him savoring fruit, bread etc all dipped in the cheese fondue – who was this and where was my husband?? It took some getting used to the fact that the Melting Pot had a cold kitchen so nothing was cooked there, which became clearer as we ate salad (the only thing not cooked at our table) had cold shrimp in it.
Next was the best part. Chunks of fish, chicken, potstickers, vegetables etc all to cook in a broth. Hubby was suspicious about whether it could actually get cooked so fast on those skewers but I had faith it could. I loved the scooper spoon in case bits fell off the skewers. If you are wondering about flavor, I have to admit I was too, then I am glad to say that without loads of stuff doused on the pieces it was refreshing to actually taste the natural flavor of the food. Of course you would know that I still love an additional zing to the zang and Melting Pot came through in the was of sauces (which you get unlimited supply of just like the veggies). The curry and teriyaki were my favorite ones.
Although we skipped the dessert (there was no way I could fit another morsel in my mouth) I had tried it before and know that, that alone is worth a trip to Melting Pot. The only thing sweeter than what dessert would have been was the laughter from my kids as we picked them up. The whines to stay there longer was refreshing and left us totally guilt-free. Date night indeed!
Disclosure: The Melting Pot invited us over as their special guests and boy am I glad they did!