Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cowboy up! It's time for dinner FonDude.

Yee Haw! There was no way we were going to pass up the chance to get our hands on some fondue! So when GrubwithUs announced this dinner (with a discount for bringing a friend) we were panting like Doggie Driver's who'd just heard the triangle ring out on the chuckwagon. This event was organized for Bloggers to meet and talk over a meal. Our hostess chose the restaurant, Fondue Cowboy.

We were the first to arrive, Angela's Kansas upbringing where 5 minutes early means you're late, strikes again. (If you ever see her loitering outside an empty event venue, this training is to blame!) Our hostess/grub with us organizer arrived next and then two friends arrived together, bringing our total to five diners. The menu was preset by GrubwithUs, but salads and drinks were not included so we paid for them on our own tabs at the restaurant.

The small salads were huge, and they offer a larger size for 'sharing.' However, Tea Time shared the smaller size of the Roasted Beet salad which featured golden beets, arugula, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and a tarragon vinaigrette.

The golden beet salad we shared. Huge, right? It's the 'small".

Happily our co-diners chose the other two salads and were generous enough to wait to eat until we got photos. Fondue Cowboy has a slightly seasonal menu and so while the fondues stay the same, the salad fixin's may vary depending on when you visit. All salads we've had there were tasty.

White beans with roasted red peppers and mixed greens.

Mixed Green salad with chicken, bacon and roasted pears.
The rest of our menu was preset and paid for (using our money) by the Grubwithus Overlords. We had 3 savory cheeses to dip into, a meat and fruit tray and 2 dessert fondues. Angela enjoyed a pint glass of sangria ($7) as well. We were presented with a cornucopia of  foodstuffs to choose from including bread, well-roasted delicious potatoes, raw crispy broccoli, greek olives, grapes and green apple cubes. If you were more adventurous, there was the trick of spearing a thin slice of prochuttio or salami on your fondue fork and then somehow not losing it to the cheese.

We had three cheese fondues to enjoy.
The Rawhide
Italian Dolce Gorgonzola, Emmenthaler, White Wine, Bacon, Roasted Garlic

The Outlaw
Aged Cheddar, Beer, Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic, Roasted Jalapeno, Cilantro

The Quick Draw
We used all these fruit/veg/carbs as cheese vehicles.
Manchego, White Wine,
Roasted Red Pepper Puree,
Roasted Garlic

Cured meats with fruit.
The Quick Draw and The Rawhide.
The Outlaw!

Desserts! Both were presented in their lovely ceramic pots with the votive to keep them warm (the nose knows when to blow this votive out, no one likes the smell of burned chocolate). FondueCowboy offered up lots of goodies to dip into both the Buck-a-roo (milk chocolate with walnuts) and High Noon (white chocolate with a balsamic strawberry puree swirl on top). There was quite a bit more discussion about these fondues, some diners did not like walnuts, or only liked them with savory treats. We talked about the old chestnut that white chocolate isn't "chocolate". The reason there was more time to talk and discuss was because we were slowing down, getting full of the fabulous variety of eats on the menu from that night. Strawberries, Kiwis, Bananas, pineapple chunks, Madeline's, chocolate bread and homemade marshmallows we dipped and dipped these delights into both pots, and even snacked on them naked. The winner was the chocolate bread though, our table agreed it was the one thing from the dinner we would love to recreate at home!

High Noon.
Fondue Cowboy takes reservations, and they are recommended, especially if you want to eat there for a  weekend dinner. You can call them directly or use a service like OpenTable. Don't be surprised if you get turned away even though the place is empty because they are expecting reservations. (This happened to Angela and Mel!) Angela enjoyed this return to a favorite spot in the city, and JK was introduced to a major competitor of the fondue chain The Melting Pot. The conversation was interesting and fun, we met a nice group through GrubwithUs. We hope you get the chance to check out this city gem and catch a little John Wayne at Fondue Cowboy, Dude.

P.S. if anyone knows where there are rooms full of Cowboys to sing Angela songs, let her know!