My love affair with downtown Minneapolis started many years ago, when I took my first-ever business "trip" alone to the Federal Reserve District Nine offices for a training seminar. I drove myself in my Olds 98, a huge boat of a car that rode so smooth it felt like you were driving a living room. I felt very grown up in my navy blue "power suit" and high heels. I don't know how I did it, but I found my way to downtown so easily that I had two hours to kill before my seminar, so I wandered Nicollet Mall.
I remember going into what was then the Dayton's flagship store (it's now Macy's) to buy a headband, after my big 80's hair went flat on my drive up. I also remember the prices in Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman-Marcus. I took a photo of myself in a photo booth somewhere along the Mall. I bought little gifts for the two guys I was dating (yep, two, but I was young and they both knew I was seeing "other people"), and I remember changing into jeans and a thick sweatshirt in my car after the seminar. Probably would not do that now. I had to drive back the same day, but what a fabulous time I had wandering downtown before, and after, my training.
The thing that fascinates me about downtown is, when you look at most of the buildings from the street they look like ordinary office buildings. But step inside! There are little cities behind those facades. In one building you can shop, eat, work, party, and make your way home to an apartment upstairs. You just have no idea what you'll find when you enter one of those buildings. To a small town girl like me, it's just this side of magic. And the buildings have names! How cool is that, LOL?
So nearly every year, around Christmas, we head to Minneapolis and spend a few days downtown. We missed one year a couple years back due to snowstorms, and last year we had to skip because I was still taking radiation therapy every day. Naturally, missing last year made this year just that much more special. Since I plan all these trips, I decided that this year we'd try some things that neither of us had done before. Enter the Melting Pot.
I've had fondue before, but this was a first experience at a fondue restaurant for both Walker and me. We opted not to take the "full meal experience", since you have to allow three hours to dine for that. Instead, we had the "cheese and chocolate" option. The tables are inset with glass burners, like a small stove top, and the server makes the fondue right there, right at the table, in a cook pot on the burner. Our server heated some sherry, added scallions, stirred in shredded cheese, and finished off with some chopped green onions and bleu cheese crumbles. She gave us long handed dipping forks, a big bowl of bread cubes, a smaller bowl of cut up veggies, and a small bowl of cubed Granny Smith apples. Five minutes later:
Walker is very dedicated when it comes to eating cheese. Another server stopped by just after this photo to take our empty pot away, but Walker informed her that there was still a lot of good cheese to be had. Um, okay, honey, if you say so, LOL. And then it was time for chocolate.
|They actually light the chocolate sauce on fire. See the blue in the pot?|
|Dang good stuff! We dipped strawberries, banana slices,marshmallows, rice crispie treats, and cheesecake.|
|Walker was one happy boy!|