Mango Fondue & Lounge


by Nicole Watts

My introduction to fondue was when I found my mother’s fondue pot. It was shoved in the back of a rarely used cupboard. It was dusty and mysterious. There was a small recipe book with it that I flipped through with intense curiosity. The fondue forks seemed so elegant and exotic…


In my late 20’s, I went to The Melting Pot in Red Bank, New Jersey. I remember it being somewhat disappointing, but due to the romanticism of those early memories, I was willing to chalk it up to a bad night for The Melting Pot and I maintained the belief that I like fondue.

I was wrong. I really don’t like fondue. I just don’t get it. It seems like an awful lot of work for tiny bits of mediocre food. I like it as an appetizer with the Guinness blue cheese fondue I serve up for St. Patrick’s Day or as a random dessert with chocolate
fondue for slumber parties, but fondue as a meal leaves me disappointed.

Mango Fondue Lounge offers a unique dining experience for Peoria with a dimly lit, subtle décor. They offer a gluten free menu as well as additional menu items that are prepared in the kitchen instead of your tabletop. Everything is meant to be shared, so it could make for a fun night of food sampling with a group of friends who were looking for a casual snack. It could also be a great spot for a couple looking for a slightly more intimate date night. Fondue is a love it or hate it experience.

Our appetizer cheese fondue consisted of chunks of apples and a few bread varieties to dip in a gouda cheese dip. The main course was chunks of fish, beef, and vegetables that were cooked in a fairly bland broth.

Our waiter was polite, but was more concerned with us selecting our favorite colors for our fondue forks than he was with giving us instructions on how to cook our fondue. When asked if the seafood was fresh or frozen, he informed us that he was sure it was fresh because they got it from Hy-vee. Granted, we weren’t expecting a sommelier, but a slightly more seasoned waiter would have been nice. Our waiter informed us that they had an  “extensive wine list.” Neither of us were allowed to taste the wine prior to our glasses being poured and the cap being screwed back onto the bottle of Malbec. As we were paying our bill, he did apologize for being so busy that he wasn’t able to do any magic for us. Doubtful that a magic trick could have saved the experience.

Fondue is something that everyone should try once. Mango Fondue & Lounge is located at 1818 W War Memorial in Peoria. It is between The Red Roof Inn and The Super 8, Next to Perkin’s. Their website is