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.
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.
The chefs at Bombay Club seem to draw their culinary inspiration from nearly every region of India. Behind the bright colors of the dining room, they're hard at work melding equally bright colors into dishes that draw on coastal recipes or the flavors of North and South provinces. One of their specialties is chaat, or casual street foods, especially vegetable curry served on a bun and samosas that come with zesty chutney. The main menu, though, highlights a rainbow of entrees ranging from chicken or goat curries and stews simmered with garlic and spices to tandoor clay oven-baked dishes featuring paneer, lamb chops, or fish. In true Indian fashion, many of the restaurant's dishes are vegetarian, and some are even vegan.
For centuries, the long arm of The Mughal Empire reached across a huge area of India. Though the Empire has long since disintegrated, the cuisine lives on in fragrant kitchens and dining rooms like that of The Mughals. Here, owners Mohinder and Dharmesh oversee a menu of dishes rendered flavorful by rich, spicy sauces and cooked in traditional clay ovens. Led by Chef Mohinder Pal—who has honed his skills in Indian restaurants for the last 20 years—the kitchen churns out piles of tandoori-baked naan, simmering bowls of goat curry, and sweet mango chutney. The team also has domestic and imported beer on tap and in bottles, which is why genies hide in bottles in the first place.