Jan Norris: Food and Florida

Food, Restaurants, Recipes and Pre-Disney Florida

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EatBeat: CeeJay’s, Melting Pot, and Disney

September 29th, 2008 · 5 Comments

CeeJay’s Diner will open soon in the old Southern Kitchen spot on U.S. 1 in Lake Park. It’s to be Greek, we’re told, but haven’t got word on owners or menus just yet. Meanwhile, the new Southern Kitchen is bright, open and packed all the time; the neighbors were delighted to get it back — proving how these small spots really make a difference in a small town.

That’s why Sonny’s B-B-Q in Clewiston is moving west, and taking over the old Clock restaurant on S.R. 80. It’s almost ready — a little bigger than the old Sonny’s that recently burned to the ground. Clewiston residents and the many passing to and fro Fort Myers made Sonny’s a favorite stop out there, and couldn’t just pick up and leave, so there they are: in new digs. Expcect it to open most any day now.

Fondue anyone?

Also opening soon — any day now, and we’ve been saying that for some time now– is The Melting Pot in North Palm Beach. It’s in an odd location at the bottom of offices on U.S. 1, but that’s been the modus operandi of this chain of fondue restaurants that have been around since 1975. The business started in Maitland, just outside of Orlando, and was taken to a franchise by a starving student waiter, and his entrepreneurial brothers.

They’re now in 36 states with 133 locations and probably aren’t hungry any more.
It’s a favorite for dates and special occasions and “girls’ nights out”, so we hear. It involves cooking the foods yourself, so if you’re not into that much interactive dining, it might not be your pot of cheese…but for something different, check it out.

Melting Pot
11811 US Highway 1
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
(561) 624-0020

Check Back in on JanNorris.com

….for: Disney Waves— Walt Disney World has a new restaurant – Waves — in its Contemporary Resort that’s got a focus of healthful dining and family meals at the same time. Check back here sometime later today to find out more about it.

….for this year’s Wine and Food Festival at Epcot; it kicked off its six-week run this weekend. And I talked with former Cafe L’Europe chef Jens Dalhman about his recent move in the park to become Executive Chef at Epcot. He leaves the California Grill and takes over dozens more dining venues in his new postition (he’s one of five Exec Chefs of Disney World, and works with DW’s top food man, Dieter Hannig).
I interviewed these guys and several others this past weekend at Epcot during the first Bocuse d’Or USA competition to be held here. You’ll read more about that here, too — and I have photos of the event that include Paul Bocuse, Jerome Bocuse, and Top Chef season three winner, Hung Huynh — one of the contestants in the prestigious event.

 Closed: La Trattoria in Boca Raton.

Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ben // Sep 29, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Sonny’s in Clewiston was always one of the better franchises because all the veggies used in the Brunswick Stew were fresh. While en route to Immokalee (my hometown), I would stop and buy a gallon. My family loved their version of this Southern classic.

    I love the new Southern Kitchen. Their sweet tea is probably the best in Palm Beach County. It is actually fresh brewed, not a mix like so many others.

  • 2 Ben // Sep 29, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    The Melting Pot is a great place for a fun evening, however, eat burger before you go. The portions can be very small, and pricey.

    HOWEVER, it is a lot of fun and a unique experience. This restaurant should do pretty well in the North Palm Beach area as it seems to attract family friendly audiences.

    Last time I was there, we concluded the evening with a chocolate fondue that came with fresh fruits, graham crackers, marshmellows, etc. This made the evening worth it!

  • 3 jordan // Sep 29, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    The Melting Pot is definitely not somewhere I could go very often. The chocolate fondue is wonderful, and the rest of the menu is decent, but I find it rather overpriced for the experience. I have also heard a Melting Pot fanatic complain that the quality has gone down lately – not sure if that’s specific to one location or visit, but it is disheartening to hear considering customers pay top dollar to go there. It certainly does draw the crowds, though!

    Look forward to seeing your next blog with the latest from your trip to Orlando!

  • 4 Matt // Sep 29, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    I work right across the street from where the Melting Pot is to open. We moved into the Golden Bear Plaza in January 2006. I’m pretty sure the ‘coming soon’ sign has been there at least as long as we have. I’ll believe it is open when I smell the oil cooking.

    Not that I’d actually eat at the Melting Pot. I have been there exactly twice in 12 years. (Both times at the coammand of a female who thought the Melting Pot was romantic.) Both times I left the restaurant, it was with a substantially thinner wallet and smelling like the summer I spent working the freedom fry station at McDonalds.

    I love cheese and the concept of fondue but not enough to go to the Melting Pot.

    Brunswick stew… Smokey Bones (RIP or pretty close) made really good Brunswick stew. In fact, that is pretty much the only reason I ever went there.

    —Matt

  • 5 Charles Keefer // Sep 30, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    I too have been to the Melting Pot twice and both times dragged there by females.

    If I wanted to cook my own dinner, I would stay home, and I wouldn’t do it in a pot of oil.

    There used to be a place in Stuart where you cooked your own hamburger on their grill. I thought that was equally stupid.

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