Monday, July 20, 2009

Advice to The Melting Pot

For those of you who don't know, as i am sure there are many, The Melting Pot is a chain restaurant that combines fondu and socializing for dinner. Despite the frightening website where punchy music overlays a moving picture of guests socializing and eating over massive portions of food and fondu pots. In New Orleans, the practically devoid of anything vegetarian city, we chose to go here one night. They had tofu on the menu!

http://www.meltingpot.com/ - check out the website, click on the fondu pots to see the creepy trendy people look at you!

We were greeted by our friendly waitress, Jasmine, who claimed to be Jewish, yet did not know that Ariel was a Jewish name; however, we found her to be quite sociable, yet perhaps misinformed when she claimed she had heard we would be a fun group. We assured her we would not be fun. 

First up, sharing fondu is cool unless you are vegetarian sharing fondu with meat eaters. Since we were a group of four, we only had one fondu pot to share, so we immediately asked for a larger table with two fondu pots. Jasmine obediently obliged our request. 

So far so good, until we get to the menu, which is needlessly complicated even for people with Master's degrees. However, your waitress will explain it in rabid detail and yet still it will go over your head. Besides that the food was delicious. Perhaps it was the one too many margaritas, but we came up with some lovely suggestions for the establishment.

We called poor Jasmine over and explained since it was advised upon ordering that if you are cooking meat in the pot you should leave it in at least two minutes, it would be helpful to have a clock. She thought this was a great idea, as she had heard it before, and offered to bring the owner over, as he was unfortunately working that night. 

As we waited, the drinks going to our heads, we came up with even more spectacular suggestions. The owner emerged reluctantly, and said "Jasmine tells me you all have some suggestions, I would love to hear them." Our poor Jasmine stood by supportively. 

Neil, our awesome friend (see pic below), kicked off the speech, while the rest of us looked on thoughtfully and seriously during the tirade. 

Neil begins, and I try, likely unsuccessfully, not too laugh too much.

First off, we thought you should re-name the cheese pots of fondu, as they have a kind of golden hue and resemble a pot o' gold. Re-name to pot o' gold. 

Second, you must fire all the staff and hire just little people (Jasmine's face was priceless & I'm pretty sure her manager was thinking of firing her at this point for having to hear these awesome suggestions to improve business). Trust me, Neil continues, people like themes, little people serving pots o' gold. 

And lastly, all the little people must wear shirts that say, "ye after me lucky charms!" 

We all look at the manager seriously. Despite Jasmine standing with her mouth wide open in shock, the manager surprisingly didn't flinch at the suggestions. 

Those are some interesting ideas, we will consider them. He leaves quickly, only to return moments later and says: I spoke with the district manager and he thinks there may be a trademark infringement on the "ye after me lucky charms", I believe someone like General Mills may own the rights to that. 

We all have a good laugh. Turns out the crusty manager did have a sense of humour, who would have thought. And poor Jasmine who at one time thought we would be fun guests, was just 

thankful to have a job at the end of the night.

We tipped well, as it was the least we could do for the havoc we may have caused that night and ran off to catch the St. Charles Street car home. No doubt New Orleans will remember the Canadians fondly, for being spirited fun guests!

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