FonDONE Take 2!

13 04 2015

At the end of March, I was lucky enough to get an invitation back to The Melting Pot for another round of FonDONE! The kind folks at Front Burner Brands saw my first post about FonDONE and reached out to see if I could come back for a media event they were having. More cheese and chocolate? Yes, Please!

Bill and I headed over to St. Pete to the only Melting Pot that is serving FonDONE right now. I had no idea that this particular restaurant was so special- they often will pilot new concepts here and oh, and it’s also supposedly haunted:-) We didn’t see any ghosts while we were there, but we did get to meet up with some other bloggers/media who I had only ever interacted with via social media. I shared a table with Carlos Eats, his friend from the USF Foodies club, and Crystal from Thrifty and Frugal Living. There were two other tables of bloggers/writers, but unfortunately I was too busy eating to really get to talk to anyone else. We had one more special guest at our table: Mike Lester, THE president of the Melting Pot. NBD.IMG_8803

(not the most flattering picture, I apologize)

He was really cool; very passionate about what they’re doing at the Melting Pot, and clearly a leader who is respected by his staff. It was easy to see that the Melting Pot really fosters a sense of inclusion and “we’re family” among the staff, and he’s a key player in bringing those values to life.

We also got to meet the head chef, who has a very impressive resume, but of course the one thing he always gets asked about is that time he was the personal chef for Ludacris!


I hadn’t really thought of it before, but Melting Pot restaurants who wish to bring FonDONE to their restaurant need to undergo a kitchen makeover. There’s no need for a cook top or oven right now (since you do it at your table)- but with FonDONE you need a chef and a kitchen in which he can work! That’s quite the investment, but I’m pretty sure it will pay off for sites that choose to add it to the menu!

For our event, they were highlighting a few speciality cocktails, so of course I had to try one (or two). I started with the Love Martini: malibu, peach schnapps, cranberry juice, and fresh strawberries. It was a little sweet, but if you like Malibu, you’ll LOVE this martini. IMG_8788

I sipped my martini while we got started on our appetizers. We began with the Wisconsin Trio and the Classic Alpine. I had never actually had the Classic Alpine before, which is a Gruyere, Raclette, and Fontina blend with some wine wine, garlic and nutmeg, but I definitely found my new favorite! The nutmeg just brings it all together (who knew? I guess the Swiss!) and it is dynamite on apples, carrots, bread, or some of their premium rosemary fries (new!!). Oh- and did you know that they have a charcuterie plate with accoutrements? Put together a dipper with salami, cornichon, sweet pepper, and bread- you won’t regret it!



After we got our fill of cheese, it was FonDONE time! The FonDONE menu offers small plates from a variety of categories: Beef & Pork, Poultry, Seafood, Pasta, and Vegetarian. We were offered 5 of the different dishes- and man, were we spoiled! We got to try:

The Filet Mignon, served on a small pile of wasabi mashed potatoes


Lemon pepper chicken (served with a side of tri-color quinoa salad),


Jumbo grilled shrimp (on a corn salad),


Lobster tail (YES!!)


and (my favorite) the Wild Mushroom Sacchetti in a marsala sauce.


Now THAT’s a MEAL!


As if that wasn’t enough, we obviously needed to have some side dishes: quattro macaroni and cheese (how can you go wrong with mac n cheese??) and the fresh asparagus risotto.


Of course, the FonDONE is served with the trio of dipping sauces: Goat Cheese fondue, Marsala, and savory Cabernet. Yup, the Goat cheese was still my favorite!


As I was filling myself to the gills with delicious food, it was time for another beverage. I had planned to wait until dessert to get my drink, but I just couldn’t wait. Enter: the Yin & Yang Martini:


Godiva white chocolate Liquer and Stoli vanilla vodka blended with ice cream then topped with chocolate shavings. Oh, and served in a beautiful yin yang shape! This is probably the prettiest drink I’ve ever been served, and though I didn’t want to destroy the beautiful artwork, I just couldn’t wait to dive in.

O.M.G. Absolutely delicious. Dessert in a martini glass. It reminded me of the black and white milkshakes my mom used to make when I was younger (no, hers were not spiked). I would absolutely come back for that drink again. And again. And again.

When I didn’t think I could eat (or drink) anymore, I had to find a little more room for dessert! It was chocolate fondue time! We got two of the Melting Pot’s most popular chocolates: the Flaming Turtle (chocolate, caramel, and candied pecans, a la flambe, obviously!) and the Creme Brûlée (white chocolate and caramelized sugar).


If you know me, I’m a dark chocolate fan. The darker, the better. I’m honestly not really a white chocolate person, and would probably never have ordered the Creme Brûlée fondue, but man, was it amazing! It definitely won a place in my heart (not overtaking dark chocolate, but a close second). I kept coming back to it, dipping all of the different dessert dippers (including one of the premium dippers: the raspberry cheesecake).



Yes, please!

And if the evening wasn’t special enough already, the servers brought out plates that had been decorated with our blog names!

How awesome is that??

I was absolutely overwhelmed by the hospitality and kindness of the folks at the Melting Pot. They’re really excited about this concept- and it shows. They’re also SUPER open to feedback- they just want customers to have the BEST dining experience possible. I definitely think they’re doing something right, and I really hope that FonDONE takes off. It’s a great idea, and I can’t wait to go back for more! Thank you Front Burner Brands for the invite!


(FULL DISCLOSURE: My meal was comped, but all opinions are my own!)

Cow Wow Cereal Milk

3 09 2014

I was recently contacted by the nice folks at Cow Wow to give some of their “Cereal Milk” a try. What’s cereal milk you ask? Well, ever pour yourself a bowl Cocoa Krispies just to get the chocolate milk at the end? What about Fruity pebbles? or Cinnamon Toast crunch? (I knew I’d get you with Cinnamon Toast Crunch!) Who doesn’t love that sweet flavored milk at the bottom of the bowl?

Well, Cow Wow recognized that the milk at the bottom of the bowl was perhaps the best part- so they decided to make those flavored milks available without requiring the cereal! Pretty genius right?


They sent me 3 flavors: Fruity Trudy, Chocolate Chip Cathy, and Cinny-Minny.



Fruity Trudy is similar to a strawberry milk, but if you are/were a fan of Fruity Pebbles, this is your milk!



I drank this one after one of my long bike rides. It was quite tasty, though I was never a huge fan of Fruity Pebbles- mom didn’t keep them in the house! I found it to be pretty sweet- 20 grams of sugar in such a tiny box will do that to you! But, only 6 g of it is added sugar- and it is cane sugar, not that HFCS crap! And 12g of protein isn’t too shabby!



Now, Cinny-Minny was the one I was most excited to try. I was a big fan of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, so I was really looking forward to this one. It did not disappoint! Again, it was quite sweet, but that was to be expected. I had a few sips, but I didn’t want to drink the whole thing in one sitting (even though it is only an 8.5 oz box). So I opted to make some pancakes with it!


This recipe makes enough for 1 with a few left overs. You could probably get two servings out of this if you don’t over-indulge like I did!



Dry Ingredients:

1/2 scoop vanilla Shakeology (or other protein powder)
1/4 cup oat flour (I just ground up some oats in the blender)
1/4 cup dry oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
1 TBS (or more to taste) of crushed walnuts
Wet Ingredients:

1 egg
1 heaping TBS Greek Yogurt
1 box Cow Wow Cinny-Minny (minus the few sips I had already had!)

Greek yogurt + Cinnamon + Agave (to taste)
Crushed walnuts
IMG_6768These were fan-tastic!  Perfect balance of cinnamon and vanilla – and because of the protein powder, milk and Greek yogurt, they kept me full for hours after! I wish I had another box of the Cinna-Minny thought- it would have been a great complement to the pancakes!

Thanks Cow Wow for letting me try out your cereal milk!