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Melting Cheese and Hearts at The Melting Pot

By Allison Wilson

For 40 years, The Melting Pot has been a staple for ladies' nights, date nights and special occasions. Its hands-on, interactive dining experience allows guests to prepare their own entrees while indulging in delectable fondue. But did you know that the tradition began right here in the Orlando area?

The first Melting Pot fondue restaurant opened in April 1975 in Maitland, and its menu consisted of just three items: Swiss cheese fondue, beef fondue, and a chocolate fondue dessert. As the restaurant's popularity grew, so did its menu and its signature vibe. Today, The Melting Pot is considered the standard for fondue restaurants and is a leading casual dining franchise. The franchise has more than 130 locations in North America and recently opened its first location overseas in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Mark Conway, Owner of the Orlando Location, says the concept has become so popular because the element of activity adds an engaging twist to the meal.

"It stimulates great conversation and a connection with your loved ones," Conway says. "Our guests enjoy their meals at a relaxed pace. A typical four-course fondue dinner for two usually takes around two hours."

The lingering, laidback pace of an evening at The Melting Pot makes it favorite spot to celebrate romantic occasions like including New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day. Couples who want to cozy up in private booths should ask their hostess about Lover's Lane, and packages including flowers, balloons, chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne are available at most locations. All dinners can be customized with different combinations of cheese fondues, salads, fondue entrees ? from ravioli to filet mignon ? and chocolate fondue desserts. Conway's personal favorite dipper is the Blondie Brownie, a chocolate chip cookie dough bite dipped in the milk chocolate fondue. There are menu options for gluten-free diners as well.

People who can't get enough of The Melting Pot experience can join Club Fondue and enjoy beer and wine dinners, food tastings, special events, and advanced holiday reservation privileges. Whichever way diners choose to experience what The Melting Pot has to offer, it's sure to be a memorable meal.

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Allison Wilson is an award-winning writer and communications professional whose...

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