First, a confession.
I suggested Fondue Cowboy for my sister’s birthday dinner this year, which was met with extreme excitement from said sibling. I subsequently re-though my decision and indicated that Town Hall would be a more appropriately fancy birthday location. And it was; the food was delicious and all was well. But, then I betrayed my teeny tiny sister and went to the Cowboy with other friends. Like a jerk!
Can we just say that I did the appropriate research that now allows me to confidently take my sister to this facility? I mean, I don’t want to waste her time in traveling all the way to The City for a crap meal. Now we can be certain of a good time, and of good food. Sister, will you join me at the Cowboy for some fondue?
Fondue Cowboy (also known as “Fondue, Fat Boy” as my co-worker mistakenly heard me call it) is in a not-awesome neighborhood in SOMA. Walking there, the three of us got very quiet around Sixth Street as we passed the boisterous homeless peeps staked out on the sidewalk. It’s not the worst area, but it’s not the best. It’s definitely worth trekking through for some Cowboy goodness, just keep your smarts about you. Gentrification: activate!
The restaurant itself has the feel of a wine bar. It’s a small-ish place, dimly lit in a cozy-type way, with a long bar along one wall. One long built-in booth hugs the opposite wall and cradles a dozen or so tables that seat 2-4 people each. It’s mellow and not crowded (at least on a week night) and casual.
And they have fondue! The menu is pretty simple. There are savory fondues (cheese – $25 each), sweet fondues (chocolate – $20 each), salads, and a few meat plates to dip in the savory fondues ($9-$16). With each savory fondue, you receive a variety of things to dip (included with the fondue order): fruits, veggies, and CARBS. We ordered two cheese fondues and a large salad for three people and were totally struggling to finish it all at the end. But don’t worry, I stuffed myself into oblivion for the sake of cheese. And I’d do it again.
We ordered a Traditional (Swiss Gruyere, Emmenthaler, White Wine, Roasted Garlic, Fresh Ground Nutmeg) and a Desperado (Goat Cheese, Emmenthaler, White Wine, Roasted Garlic, Olives), and all wavered back and forth on which we liked better. They were both really good. The dipping items were great and extremely plentiful, and the whole experience was awesome, except for the subsequent cheese farts, of course.
Sadly, the dessert fondues didn’t really ring any of our bells, so we opted for more cheese and no dessert. I know, we were kinda sad too. If I could be so bold as to suggest something to the Cowboy himself, I would opt for a more traditional chocolate fondue option, sans cayenne, nuts, or fruit purees. Just my two cents.
In conclusion, I now confidently invite my beloved sister to share melty cheese with me and aforementioned Cowboy.