Trying Something New - Musings of a Kenai Peninsula Foodie Blog at - 316498

Musings of a Kenai Peninsula Foodie

Trying Something New 
Dec. 1, 2013 7:01 am 
Remember when a fondue set was an oft-given wedding gift? Or remember when fondue went belly-up as a fad foodie thing? I guess "The Melting Pot" never really was affected by the fondue pot's own melt-down. I think that might had been due to some serious business smarts by not enlarging its franchise too much when the craze slowed down.

Now that I am back in SoCal, I have been amazed on all the new restaurants that popped up and are still in business. In Brea, CA, the downtown has taken on a very cute retro look with Farrell's on the corner of Brea Blvd and Birch Street and all the really neat storefronts, theaters, and restaurants there. I've always wanted to do a foodie cruise through there. So when I was blundering through some internet surfing, I discovered that The Melting Pot was going to be open for lunch on Black Friday. Well, I never go shopping on Black Friday since I was trampled into a concussion years ago, but that doesn't mean I won't go exploring for the sake of cuisine rather than for Christmas.

The ambience was something. Between elegant leather chairs and some serious woodwork, the overall darkness wasn't detracting from my view of the place. Plenty of lighting for me to get some work done as I was by myself. Yeah, I know that fondue is more fun with more rather than just one, but that day, I realized that if I wanted a quiet place where I can get some serious editing or formatting work done on my computer, this was the place to go. Amazing how you can eat and keep your keyboard clean of crumbs.

Some rules about fondue etiquette. If you are by yourself,  you can certain dip and eat your food right off the fork. However, if you're with others, you just dip and put the food item on your plate from whence you eat it with a fork. Personally, I find being by myself was a lot more convenient, and I did get plenty of work done. (They have electrical outlets for my laptop everywhere!)

I ordered the Wisconsin triple cheese fondue, the one with the aged fontina, the butterkase, and bleu cheese.  Yum!!! Extraordinary! The plate came with an assortment of veggies, apples, and chunks of various kinds of breads. The house salad is practically a meat unto itself. They also plunked a bottle of a garlic-wine seasoning salt that really went well with my salad. (Never thought to have done that before.) And I did enjoy the sweet-tanginess of the house dressing. Apparently, it's also for sale there.

What really blew me away was the chocolate fondue portion. I ordered the yin-yang which was white chocolate and a sweet dark chocolate, the two of them exactly like the Asian symbol. Quite a nice effort, I'd say. However, I was not prepared for the impact of the dark chocolate. I speared a banana slice, dipped it somewhat liberally... and I thought as I tasted it that I was eating THE BEST chocolate truffle in the world. And I don't even care much for bananas! Something in my head *clicked*. Now I've realized that most of my foodie ecstasy memories had been wiped out by the car accident. No wonder I'm not eating much at all! I have to make new memories and see if I can dredge up the old ones. I practically cried at how good that tasted. I haven't had that pleasure since that MVA. I did learn quite a bit now about how and why my appetite has been terrible.

Now here's the weird part...

Too many times, I kept seeing something out of the right corner of my eye, yet every time I looked, whatever it was just vanished. Must have happened at least 25 times. The best I managed to view was a pair of ivory-gloved hands, the kind staff in the olds days would wear as part of their uniforms. I was very tempted to ask my waiter, Mr. K, if there were any hints of restless spirits there, but I chickened out. No point attracting too much strange attention my way. I've gotten enough of that because I look at medicine and nutritional health quite differently. I really need to go back and check this out. I didn't sense any hostility, just someone trying to do his or her own job. I wonder if anyone else has had similar experiences at a restaurant...

Didn't quite expect to be dealing with the paranormal on Black Friday. But who said my life was boring?

As for Thanksgiving, Mom and I spent it at two places.  Wednesday was with my brother and his family/in-laws. Thursday was with my cousin and her family and neighbors, etc. Cousin M. won on ambience and presentation, but my sister-in-law won hands-down on flavor. Surprisingly, E. provided the homiest, down-to-earth fare, but I could not believe the flavors involved. We all voted that next year, she is to stick to the same menu and preparation EXACTLY. I mean, I would cook a turkey just to get the same gravy she did. She states most of her inspiration came from Alton Brown from Food Network. Totally the best Thanksgiving meal I've had the pleasure of eating. Too many drunks at Cousin M's place. Can't people enjoy a nice meal without getting ripped?? I guess not. I don't mind a glass or two, but not to excess. Then the party is no longer fun. Probably why I enjoyed my brother's feed more. We spent at least an hour extra at the table, telling all sorts of stories which were down-right hysterical. Yeah, big difference. So my sister-in-law E gets the Thanksgiving Crown. I felt more at home crowded around two tables pushed together surrounded by folding chairs, etc. It was a lot of fun.

Hope the upcoming holiday season will go well for you all. Make up some new traditions! After all, this is the first official Christmas since Dad died. (We cancelled Christmas last year.) We won't be pining for what was. Time to gather memories and make for something new. Maybe we'll do a Dumb Feast for Christmas/Yule this year. I have my Tarot cards. We'll see what the ancestors have to say after the free feed.
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La Habra, California, USA
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Kenai, Alaska, USA

Member Since
Apr. 2011

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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean, Healthy, Dessert, Gourmet

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About Me
I have lived many places, including Amish Country in Ohio, but Alaska is the place I adore. I get all my seafood from Peninsula Seafoods, including wild white King Salmon, and King Crab at $9.95 a pound! I love the summers where it is just around sunset all night long! And on the Summer Solstice, we'll either stay up all night with the Dragon Drummers or go fishing in the middle of the night. In the Winter, we hibernate and eat comfort food.
My favorite things to cook
I LUV to grill! I'll grill all the veggies in my house once I get my charcoal grill going. I also love Asian cooking, especially Japanese, but Kalbi is my all-time favorite meat to grill.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My grandmother on my mother's side left me a lot of her authentic Slovak recipes which I adore. I also tried to learn as much from my Uncle Bob who is a chef extraordinaire.
My cooking triumphs
Anything seafood and noodles. In fact, I make my own pasta because it tastes so much better and soaks up the flavors of my sauces.
My cooking tragedies
Lately, I really screwed up meatloaf. And some goolash I recently did. Yuck!!! How can anyone mess up on these two entrees?? I guess I can...
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