The Melting Pot: Spirits in the Sixth Borough has sent one of our correspondents out for some field research, as our own Link Cromwell attempts to bar crawl his way through Hoboken, New Jersey- just a stone’s throw away from Manhattan. Check back for his adventures and travels every single Friday as attempts to do the unimaginable. And yes, it involves drinking.

With outposts all across the country, The Melting Pot is the nation’s most famous chain of fondue restaurants. And with a prime location on Sinatra Drive, The Melting Pot in Hoboken also happens to have a standalone bar and is thus, this week’s focus of “Spirits in the Sixth Borough.” Known more as a dinner destination than a haunt to bar hop toward, The Melting Pot actually offers up a surprisingly sensational selection of craft brews, making our short stop here worth the while.

The restaurant’s lounge area is adjacent to the main dining room, just a few steps from the front door. The small U-shaped bar is equipped with an elegant marble countertop with fondue grills in tow, so that even eaters dining solo can enjoy a piping hot bowl of sweet or savory fondue. The lone big screen television is also situated appropriately enough to be visible from anywhere in the bar area. The bar menu serves up some lighter small plates and affordable foods to pair with the many craft beers. Beer prices are on the higher side, but that’s to be expected for many of the microbrews being served. From $6 to $11, The Melting Pot’s selection ranges from the likes of Session, Chimay, and Allagash, to Full Sail, Dogfish, Troegs, and Rogue’s Dead Guy. Unbelievably, they also stock bottles of Innis and Gunn as well.

Although the beer list was plentiful, at the end of the day, we were grabbing a relatively pricey pint inside of a chain restaurant. Glancing around at the sloth-like fellow patrons seated beside us at the bar and lounge area while Peggy Lee’s ‘Fever’ played around us was a bit on the depressing side, actually. The friendly bartender was more than attentive, but without dining, there just wasn’t much going on leaving us with little reason to stay any longer. Once the last sip of beer was gone, I paid up and headed out, knowing full well that the next time I’d be back to The Melting Pot in Hoboken would solely be for dinner.

So here’s the rundown…

Preconceived notion – Having dined at The Melting Pot before, I thought I’d be returning to a higher end chain restaurant.

Bar Type – Fondue restaurant with a small lounge and bar.

Crowd stereotype –Hungry fondue eaters on a work night. Most were wearing elastic-waisted pants.

Music – Adult contempo tunes, with “Fever” being the most memorable.

Value – There’s ample value in the available selections, but as far as financial value, the beers are on the more expensive side for a weeknight in the area.

Good for a….

Date – Restaurant first, so I don’t see why not. Fondue can be a unique, shared experience.

Hookup – Highly unlikely that you’ll meet someone here that you don’t know.

Dance – Dude, it’s The Melting Pot.

Catch up with a friend – I suppose.

First or last drink of the night – First. If your night ends with “Bro, we gotta hit The Melting Pot,” you may as well throw away your Magic The Gathering collection.

Overall – Admittedly, having worked at a chain restaurant and having eaten at The Melting Pot before, I was disappointed by Hoboken’s version. The lounge and bar area didn’t feel ‘clean’ and the patrons inside didn’t seem like they were people I’d want to be dining near, if you catch my drift. That being said, I’m basing my experience here, like everywhere else I’ve traversed, on one drink. And based on my prior positive experiences here, I think The Melting Pot actually deserves the benefit of the doubt that perhaps I’d caught them on an off-night. Despite a fine selection of beers , the bar on its own is nothing special and there are better values to be had just up the block. That said, if you want to sneak in for a quick pop on a walk back to the Path station or even taste some of their tasty cheese or chocolate fondue, then who am I to fault you for it? 7.1.

-Link Cromwell

Completed Bars
Marathon Recap
Northern Soul – 9.3/10
Pilsner Haus and Biergarten – 9.3/10
The Clinton Social – 9.1/10
Cooper’s Union – 9.0/10
Havana Cafe – 9.0/10
The Turtle Club – 9.0/10
Bin 14 – 8.9/10
Court Street – 8.9/10
Hudson Tavern – 8.9/10
10th & Willow – 8.8/10
Elysian Cafe – 8.8/10
Grimaldi’s – 8.8/10
Madison Bar & Grill – 8.8/10
City Bistro – 8.7/10
Cork City – 8.7/10
Onieals – 8.7/10
Village Pourhouse – 8.7/10
1 Republik – 8.6/10
Mikie Squared – 8.5/10
Wicked Wolf Tavern – 8.5/10
Zack’s Oak Bar – 8.5/10
Black Bear Bar & Grill – 8.4/10
Moran’s – 8.4/10
Arthur’s Tavern – 8.3/10
Oddfellows – 8.1/10
Trinity – 8.1/10
Cucharamama – 8.0/10
Marty O’Brien’s Social Club – 8.0/10
The Dubliner – 8.0/10
East LA – 8.0/10
Scotland Yard – 7.9/10
The Shannon – 7.9/10
Carpe Diem – 7.9/10
Helmers’ – 7.9/10
Teak – 7.8/10
Mulligan’s – 7.7/10
Karma Kafe – 7.7/10
DC’s Tavern – 7.7/10
Louise & Jerry’s – 7.7/10
Brass Rail – 7.6/10
Hoboken Bar and Grill – 7.5/10
Four L’s – 7.5/10
Liberty Bar – 7.5/10
Texas Arizona – 7.5/10
McSwiggans – 7.4/10
Nag’s Head – 7.4/10
Eight Street Tavern – 7.3/10
Maggie’s Place – 7.3/10
Three A’s – 7.3/10
The Tilted Kilt – 7.3/10
Whiskey Bar- 7.3/10
The Quays – 7.2/10
Tutta Pasta – 7.1/10
Sushi House – 7.0/10
Wilton House – 6.0/10

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