While there are Melting Pot restaurants all over the nation, they are owned by franchisees, so I am just referring to The Melting Pot La Jolla in this review.
When I first started hearing giveaways for certificates to The Melting Pot La Jolla on Clear Channel stations, I assumed that cheese would be compulsory at a fondue restaurant, so I did not try to win. Then I figured that’s silly, so I looked up their menu and saw they have a “Good Earth Vegetarian” entrée.
As long as your order is right and you don’t burn yourself, vegans can have fun fondue experiences at The Melting Pot La Jolla.
You have to request modification of the “Good Earth Vegetarian” entrée because it comes with cheese artichoke ravioli and cheese wild mushroom sacchetti (I wouldn’t go for the mushrooms anyway, of course.) That’s a shame because vegan ravioli are easy enough to find in stores, and thus, there is no excuse to include cheese in a “vegetarian” entrée as cheese is not a vegetable. However, you can request extra tofu and other veggies in lieu of the cheese items. You also get potatoes and edamame and you cook your veggies yourself in a pot of steaming vegetable broth right at your table. That’s the fun part believe it or not. Three (3) out of six (6) of their dipping sauces are vegan, but one is wasabi, so I just request the sweet and sour and the teriyaki sauces.
You can also modify a salad to exclude cheese to make it vegan. I like the candied pecans in the “California.” Their Raspberry Black Walnut Vinaigrette is dairy-free, but has a lot of ingredients, so hopefully it’s fully vegan. You can actually read the ingredients on the bottle in the lobby by the front desk.
The first time I ate here, I actually did not get enough food. Why? Well, my order came out wrong and the server tried to change her story about the vegan friendliness of the cheese items. I just passed them off to a dumb cheese eater. I also didn’t get dessert because the server said the dark chocolate sauce wasn’t vegan.
The second time I ate here, even though my entrée came out wrong (this time with mushrooms), the server (Leah) noticed the mistake and took it back to replace the mushrooms with plenty of yummy tofu. Also, when she later asked if she could bring out more of something, I explained that my buddy took most of the potatoes, so she brought out some more. Sweet person! Then she said that all of their chocolate sauces were actually vegan (I wonder about that), so I got a dessert of strawberries, banana, and pineapple to dip in melted dark chocolate sauce. (Don’t leave the spoon in the pot or you might almost burn yourself like I did.) So yeah, I was plenty stuffed after eating here the second time.
Well, now you know that vegans can have fun at a fondue restaurant. Let me know about your vegan fondue experiences, okay?!