When The Melting Pot originally opened in 1975 just outside Orlando, the location was cozy and quaint, but diners had only three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. However, as the restaurant grew in popularity, so did its menu selection and atmosphere. The restaurant first expanded four years later under the leadership of a Melting Pot waiter and enterprising college student named Mark Johnston, who teamed up with his brothers Mike and Bob to open a new outpost in Tallahassee. This location grew in reputation to pave the way for future franchise expansion. Today, the company—now owned by the trio of siblings—reigns as the premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across North America with more than 140 restaurants linked by underground tunnels. The restaurant's menu has also ballooned, and patrons can now expect six varieties of hot dipping cheese paired with salads, meats, and molten chocolate.
On a given night, groups of foodies gather around tables to nosh on signature four-course meals, from cheese-fondue appetizers and various salads to steaks and seafood cooked in a choice of healthy broth or oil. Birthday revelers and couples can share decadent evenings at private tables, capping off meals with chocolate desserts that have defined The Melting Pot for decades.
Avenue Deli's 35 sandwiches are built with Boar's Head meats, including German bologna, Genoa salami, and cracked-pepper turkey. Sandwich artists build specialty creations, such as the Thanksgiving Turkey with cranberry sauce and stuffing, and craft old standards, such as hot pastrami on one of 11 breads, including rye, focaccia, and onion roll. For the finishing touch on each sandwich, they look to a litany of 15 condiments and extras such as hummus and roasted red peppers. They also round out meals with a roster of salads and sides such as chili, and offer catering services.
At The Ginger Pad, a casual atmosphere blends with the rich aromas of garlic, thai basil, and chili sauce hanging in the air to help guests forget the world outside. Like a suspension bridge made out of udon noodles, the menu connects distant lands through food, laying out delicious examples of Malaysian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine. Spring rolls or edamame preempt dives into salty-sweet pad thai or korean beef barbecue. Chopsticks can also lift spicy sichuan shrimp to mouths or gently cradle sushi rolls that combine colorful mango and avocado with fresh tobiko, tuna, salmon, and scallops.
Cooks at Gourmet India sling health-conscious, regional Indian recipes that have garnered praise from the Boston Globe. The casual eatery packs its menu with North Indian fare and serves South Indian specials on weekends, representing the subcontinent better than one grain of rice from each state. Each combo meal rounds up two to three servings from a rotating list of entrees, flanking the savory morsels with basmati rice or naan. Combo meals always include at least one vegetarian entree so diners can pick between vegetable-based gobhi aloo, a dish of cauliflower cooked with ginger; the palak paneer, a blend of spinach and homemade cheese; or a platter of cumin seeds arranged into a pleasing, vegetable shape. Meatier fare includes chicken tikka masala, tender poultry cooked in a tomato-cream sauce, and lamb korma with cashews and raisins. Dishes emerge steaming from the kitchen with fresh-cooked flavor, unlike entrees at other eateries that import their fare from India so it typically arrives cold. Combo meal 2 includes one appetizer, which could include either potato-filled samosas or aromatic onion bhaju.
For more than 40 years, Sammy's Deli has satisfied hungry Bostonians with a menu of classic and custom sandwiches made with gourmet meats, cheeses, and toppings. Indulge in a meaty mouth vacation to Italy with the Sicilian, extra-stuffed with prosciutto, sopressata salami, capicola, provolone, roasted peppers, pepper rings, oil, and seasoning on scali bread ($5.95/$6.95). Herbivores and herbivoyeurs will love noshing on the Vermont Veggie, a medley of cheeses, tomatoes, roasted peppers, lettuce, sprouts, olives, onions, Green Mountains, and pickles all swathed in the wrap of your choice ($5.29). Sammy's rotating soup bar boasts six to eight homemade soups ($3.39 for 12 oz., $5.19 for 24 oz.), as well as stews, chili, and chowders ($3.89 for 12 oz., $6.45 for 24 oz.) every day, with variations such as chicken noodle and split pea with ham warming up inner igloos. Contribute to the global extinction of sandwiches with the grub of Sammy's Deli.
The aroma of simmering beef and baking bread wafts out of Stack-a Burger kitchen all day, as chefs prepare fresh, never frozen, burgers, and pile them high with an array of toppings. Alongside Stack-a Burger, diners can also visit Spike's Junkyard Dogs, where 100% all-beef hot dogs are sandwiched into warm, soft french rolls. Beef links are decorated with banana peppers, barbecue sauce, baked beans, and other hearty toppings that test hand strength like a shadow-puppet performance of Hamlet. Customers can indulge in these towering burgers and sauce-slathered dogs, or opt for a more wholesome feast by ordering low-fat veggie dogs, curly fries dunked in cholesterol-free canola oil, and a collection of fresh salads, soups, and paninis.