Dec. 23, 2015, was a cold day for Mobile’s Melting Pot, as the last meal was served. The restaurant’s closure was announced four days later, and we bid adieu to our premier fondue restaurant after just over a year of service. You can imagine my surprise seven months later when I received notice the Melting Pot is scheduled to reopen!

Expect several changes to the resurrected business. The building and décor should remain pretty much intact, but everything else should be improved upon. The new Melting Pot will be company owned and operated and no longer run by a franchisee. New management and new staff are the major change, with 20-year Mobile native Brian Walsh as the general manager, bringing single- and multi-unit restaurant management experience with local and national brands.

The restaurant will open for business Monday, July 25, featuring a new, limited-time Fondue Across America menu showcasing iconic fondue takes on some of America’s quintessential dishes, such as Chicago deep-dish pizza, a lobster dish and New York cheesecake. There is a nod to the South with “batter your own” fried chicken. There’s even a Louisiana-style gumbo. How all of this will involve a fondue pot piques my interest.

The new menu is a less confusing single page with a signature line of craft cocktails inspired by flavors from across the country. This promotion will last through Sept. 5, so get your sticks ready.

With 65 new jobs coming back to the Mobile area, I say bring on the fondue.

Ruby Slipper brings NOLA flavors to OBA
“There’s no place like home … there’s no place like home,” she said as she clicked together the heels of her ruby slippers. The powerful sense of homecoming to a post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans was the inspiration for the first Ruby Slipper Café in 2008 and the subsequent expansion across the Southern Gulf region. NOLA locations such as Marigny, Mid-City, Magazine Street and Canal have nudged the reputation farther east to places like Pensacola, Florida, and now Orange Beach.

The grand opening for the OBA location of Ruby Slipper Café was this past week, bringing New Orleans flair to breakfast and brunch standards as well as eye-opening cocktails. Omelets, six different Benedicts and unbelievable specialties befitting a hearty lunch have my mouth watering as I read the menu.

Located at 24151 Perdido Beach Blvd., the Ruby Slipper Café is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit and you’ll see why Mobilians are praying another location comes to this side of the bay. Be on the lookout for Dorothy and watch for falling houses.
Culinary curating with Gillian Clark
The Mobile Museum of Art’s Larkin Auditorium will host Chef Gillian Clark for a presentation followed by three small plates illustrating the food philosophy behind her upcoming restaurant, Curate. The event will be held Thursday, July 28, at 6 p.m. Admission is $15, with beer and wine by donation. RSVP is required; call 251-208-5237 or visit