Located on the East Side of the Battlefield Mall, HuHot was completely new to me. Our friends, Corbin and Jenn, took us there last night for my birthday (thanks y'all!) to introduce us to the Mongolian BBQ fun.
It is fun!
The basic premise is a two-line buffet, one line of meats, veggies, and noodles followed by a line of over a dozen sauces and oils, then you step around from that and hand your bowl to one of the BBQ chefs who stir fry your meal on a huge wheel-shaped grill right in front of you. It's all you can eat so you can fix one meal for yourself or you can have couple of smaller combinations, if that works better for you.
At the tables, you're also offered the choice between soup or salad and an a la carte menu for appetizers and desserts.
The thing that impressed me the most was that this is one restaurant where you have aboslute diet control over your portions and your sauces. They have copies for the taking of their nutritional counts at the beginning of the first buffet line, and when I got home and looked, all but one or two of the sauces are 20-35 calories and 0-1 gram of fat per ladle (1 oz). The oils, of course, are the big exception, and the black thai peanut and yellow curry are are higher counts than the rest of the sauces but much lower than the oils.
I think I coul eat there every night. One of the problems with trying to stir fry or have a huge variety of fresh vegetables available at home for us is simply that there are only two of us so unless I really stay on top of it, we tend to waste some fresh produce every week and I hate that. It was nice to have my fill of vegetables last night and be able to have such a variety without the guilt of "okay, now what I am I going to do with the rest of this huge bag of bean sprouts?"
When you go, ask for our favorite server, Chris. He's adorable and a nice blend of personality and good waiter. So many times you either get personable waiters who never refill a glass or great waiters with the personalities of cardboard but Chris is a good kid and a nice combination. He was excited about the food and presentation, gave us good personal recommendations, kept us laughing, and was on top of the service at the same time which we really appreciated.
Here's a peak at some of our choices:
The included Asian salad, to the left above, was absolutely wonderfulw ith lots of crunch and a nice sesame dressing and crisp "good" lettuces.
Rice was also available. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of Gene's gorgeous fried rice that he had them make with extra eggs, just the way he likes it. That's the key right there. It's fun to be able to totally customize your meal without having to cook. Convenient plus you get exactly and only what you want.
The one thing that surprised me was how much I enjoyed the to fu in this setting. Now if I could just learn to prepare it at home in a way that doesn't make me gag, I'd be making some progress.
Along with posted "recipes" and suggestions, HuHot also has a blog where they give more recipes and information about using the restaurant as not only a night out but a tool for healthy eating.