Worst. Dining. Experience. Ever.

Last night, Holly and I went out to celebrate her upcoming birthday. We decided to go out and have a nice dinner out. We opted for The Melting Pot. It’s a fondue restaurant. We went there last year and had a wonderful time. We were there about three and a half hours, had a wonderful waiter, and spent about $130 after tip. We got all dressed up (shirt and tie for me. Holly bought a new outfit, had her hair and makeup done professionally… it was a big deal.)

Well, when we arrived, and our waitress managed to get cheese sauce all down the sides of the fondue pot while melting the cheese up, we knew it was not going to be as promising…. But wait, it gets better.

This is a very interesting story, but, it’s long, so I’m going to continue it after the break. Trust me, it’s worth reading on.

We elected to have their “Big Night Out,” where you get cheese, salad, entree, and dessert for like $85. If you break it down a la carte, it’s more expensive so it just makes sense. The waitress was not that good, to be honest. She was messy, not really attentive to our needs. She’d just run by occasionally and be like “Need anything?” She also was somewhat rushing us along compared to last time. We get our cheese finished, and she brings out the salads and someone else brings out the pot of oil and starts heating it (also known as the Fondue Bourguignonne method). We finish our salads, and she comes by with our entrees. She flies through explaining what the 50 little dishes of liquid are, and disappears.

We know we want to have mushroom caps with their Green Goddess stuff to make fried mushrooms. They’re extremely good. We take a cap, stuff it, dip it in batter, toss it in the oil, and it just sits there. It’s not even hot yet. So we wait forever, end up with soggy but warm fried mushrooms. Eventually the oil gets hot enough and we start to get some action.

Things are going okay until something completely unexpected happens. The lady at the table behind Holly throws up at her table. Oh yes, that’s right. She puked. All over their table.

It first sounded like she was choking… then my emetophobia kicked in…. time to plug the ears and attempt to drown out the sounds, waiting for the high-sign from Holly. I see Holly getting a disgusted look on her face. She removes her two fondue forks from the oil and sits them on her plate. I ask her to remove mine, at which time she says “Let’s leave.” So, I grab the birthday bag I made for Holly and go around the long way so I don’t have to look at their table. (I’m feeling nauseous recalling the story here, btw).

We go up to the hostess table where I step close to the hostess and in a quiet voice tell her “The lady at the table next to ours threw up at her table, so, we’re going to leave. I want to settle up our bill.” Obviously, this surprised her cause she paused a beat and was like “Oh… Here’s a manager, I’ll let you talk to him.” I recap the story for him, tell him I appreciate the fact it is not something in their control, but nevertheless, we’re done for the night. I was feeling really nauseous at the time and just wanted to get out of the place. He comes back and says “You had the Big Night Out, so, we’ll give you two coupons for free dessert the next time you come back” and hands me a bill for $119 or something like that. I give him the card, he comes back, I sign it and put on a $7 tip for the waitress (she was that bad), and left.

As we were driving towards downtown, looking for a place to have dessert and finish Holly’s birthday dinner out, it starts to rub on me that we paid that much and had such a bad time. Like I told the manager, I appreciate they had no control over the situation. It wasn’t like the waitress spilled water on my head. But, I think they should have done something slightly more even than two free dessert fondues, especially when their restaurant is so far away from where we live. I call Josh to get his take on it. He said they should have cut the bill in half or offered it totally free.

Anyway, we went to Palomino for dessert (she had creme brulee, and I had their pear bread pudding). We lamented that we should have came there in the first place, enjoyed our desserts, shared the story of The Melting Pot with their wait-staff that seemed interested that we were only having dessert while all dressed up, and recovered the evening nicely. I gave Holly her birthday presents. She loved them. Then, he gave us the bill and our “fortune cookies without the cookie.” The one I received read “I’ll always look back at this moment and remember how great it was” or something like that, that was extremely relevant. (The actual thing is in the bedroom, where Holly is sleeping at the moment. I’ll update it later if I remember).

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