Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Melting Pot Burlington: Two BIG THUMBS DOWN

Despite being named "The Best New Restaurant in Burlington, MA" according to Market Surveys of America in 2007 - I advise you to think twice before heading to The Melting Pot in Bedford/Burlington, MA.

The chain restaurant in and of itself is a fantastic concept - and a wonderful night out for couples, friends or families. The four-course fondue menu (Cheese Fondue, Salad, Meat Fondue, Chocolate Fondue) is unique and fun....and usually here is where I would also say it is delicious.

My fiance took me there last night for my birthday dinner and a much needed night out. We're in the midst of moving and planning a June 08 wedding and extra cash is just not something we have at the moment. Spending $118 on dinner was a little steep for us at this point in our lives, but he knew how much I needed it. So off we went, with high expectations. Only to be horrifically disappointed. Why you ask?

  • Our first impression of our waitress was her bad-mouthing a co-worker mentioning how he sounded like a used car salesman and she couldn't stand his voice or to look at him (Not the way to represent yourself, Jocelyn!)
  • The cheese course was fantastic...until we noticed the fruit sticker still on one of our apple pieces. Completely intact, and obviously had not been cleaned or run under any water. (Ewww dirty, unwashed fruit) We let it go....
  • We both ordered the Caesar salad. Not only was the lettuce so wet (hey at least it was washed) that the salad dressing slid off and pooled in the bottom of the bowl, there was a HUGE DISGUSTING hair in my salad. We brought it to the waitresses attention who as also disgusted (although she had no problem with the unwashed apple) and she offered to bring us new salads (no thanks honey) and said she didn't know how it was possible b/c there was a guy on "salad duty" that night.
Now normally I would have gotten up at this point and left, but I had SO been looking forward to this meal and we just didn't have the energy to seek out a new place to eat. The rest of the meal was ok.

We had to endure another disgruntled employee when she brought out the broth for our meat course. The pan had this neat little contraption which literally sealed the lid on the pan, so hot broth or oil was not spilled on the waitress or customers. Fiance asked what it was called and she said it was her "killing machine" named Fred...and it was used on rude customers.

When the meal was over we went to speak to a manager and spoke with co-owner Brian Skedd. We mentioned the issues we had with the meal. He said "I'm sorry to hear that, come back and see us again soon." Excuse me, Mr. Skedd, are you SERIOUS? Not only is it highly unlikely that we will ever set foot in that establishment again, I vowed to let everyone I know about my horrible experience. So here I am, writing about it on my blog.

Dear Mr. Skedd,

As a frequent restaurant goer I would like to offer you a few suggestions. Perhaps they will help you live up to your 'best new restaurant' reputation.
  1. Make sure all of your food is cleaned before it is served to patrons
  2. If a hair is found in the food - do more than offer another serving of the food. Perhaps offer a free dessert, free drinks, a free meal on a future visit. Do something other than shrug your shoulders and say you hope to 'see us soon.'
  3. Pay a little more attention during your interview process - or have some training sessions for your very unprofessional staff (let me clarify - your unprofessional food servers. The hostesses and bartender were just fine.) Yeah, as a matter of fact because of all of the other issues I almost forgot to mention. After our meat course was served we went 40 minutes without hearing a peep from our waitress, dear Jocelyn. 40 minutes is quite a long time - especially when drinks are empty (you lost out on your bar tab for that one!)
  4. Don't underestimate the power of word of mouth or the blogesphere. As a matter of fact, Compass Partners LLC just released a survey which says 36.2 million women in the U.S write and read blogs every week and approximately half consider blogs a “highly reliable” or “very reliable” source of information and advice. Get more information about Social Media trends here.

Have any of you had bad restaurant experiences? Bad experiences-turned good? I'd love to hear about them.

Until then, if you're in the MA area you may want to want to check out The Melting Pot in Framingham. Hopefully you'll have a much better experience!


Anonymous said...

Great post, I'll make sure to stay away from there for sure. Vinny T's is another restaurant to stay away from in Danvers.

CousinErin said...

I gagged a bit when reading about the wet salad and hair.
The sad thing about your waitress is that she probably thought she was being personable with you when she was trashing he co-worker. At least she seems like that type of person after reading about the "our chef's a guy...what a mystery" excuse, and the forty minute wait time. Definitely won't go there. Who wants to pay a tab like that with that kind of service?

Matthew said...

I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience.

Should I expect the same kind of experience if I go at some later date?

Anonymous said...

Actually the fact that there was a sticker on the fruit does not mean it was not washed, it just means someone didn't take the time to take the sticker off before it got washed or after. Jumping to conclusions makes your reviews as bad as the restaurant you're criticizing.

CyberQat said...

FWIW we've been there a few times and the service has always been impeccable, the wait staff courteous and friendly, the food perfect.

Maybe they were having an off night. i do agree with you though that the manager should have done more to address your issues. Any restaurant that charges upwards of 50$ a person is not just selling food but the experience... and you clearly didn't get the one you paid for.

If i had read this sooner I would have suggested you contact the national office. Both to get the manager's incompetent response to your issues onto hisr ecord and maybe to get some compensation for it all.

Soxy Lady said...

Dear Anonymous, If the sticker were the only thing wrong with the meal I would not have complained. And if I'm paying over $100 for a dinner for two then I expect the people preparing my food to take the time to wash AND remove stickers from my food. If you think my review is so poor, you don't have to read it. And you certainly don't need to comment about it. You leaving such a negative "troll" comment makes you look like an asshat.

Anonymous said...

hahaha oh god. I hope one day you will realize how much it sucked to serve ppl like u. i know your gunna delete this but can i just say one more thing. theres more to life then writing on a blog on the internet soxylady. go clean your kitchen wash your apples and make your own fondue.

Soxy Lady said...

Anonymous, I've waited tables. When I did, I knew it was my job to provide a pleasant experience to paying customers. I never would bad mouth a coworker and would certainly make sure the food lived up to expectations. There is more to life than leaving lame comments on a 3 1/2 year old blog post.