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.
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.
- Make sure all of your food is cleaned before it is served to patrons
- 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.'
- 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!)
- 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!