located on Joyce Boulevard in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
We had seen the sign for this new eatery ever since I’ve been in Fayetteville. First they were hiring and then they were finally open for business. We loved the sound of the name and we would say it emphatically whenever referencing it, but even with all that, we hadn’t been clamoring to try it out. So when we were cleaning the townhouse on Sunday to finally hand in the keys, we were pretty hungry and couldn’t think of what to eat. At first I had wanted chinese food. Then the Stalker suggested pizza and with her beau’s input, we had been all ready to head to Cici’s for the pizza buffet. But then the Stalker remembered HuHot which is located right by it.
The rest… was history.
I’m not sure what sort of place I was expecting HuHot to be. I don’t believe I thought it would contain a buffet but I’m not sure if I was thinking sit down service either. But as soon as we walked in, we knew that it was going to be an adventure. The decoration is deep and rich in colors, many sort of mongolian horde decorations scattered along the space. While the place is spacious, there were all sorts of seating arrangements for parties of all sizes. Another thing you’ll notice as soon as you walk in is that there does appear to be a sort of buffet line and at the very end, a circular grill top with cooks walking around and around, chopping and clinking metal spatulas as they cooked up the things patrons would fill their bowls with.
When we sat down, our server explained it. Yes, there was a set menu for appetizers and desserts. There were a few other items like salads that one could order. But the main order was really either the lunch or dinner buffet. Every buffet meals come with an order of white or steamed rice; fried rice had an additional cost. For dinner, either an asian or garden salad accompany the buffet meal as well. When one felt ready, you were ready to storm the line.
First on the line are meats. They are partially frozen and already cubed and/or sliced. You take one bowl and take whatever you like from chicken and beef to sausage to fish or scallops. Next were the noodles. Afterwards was a long and varied line of veggies. There was a another area just for sauces. They varied in flavors and heat, with other things like lemon juice or sesame oil for your own taste. You could mix and match them as long as you remembered that the recommended amount was 5-6 ladlefuls per bowl. Then you moved on in a nice orderly fashion to the grill area where the cooks took the bowls and cooked them up while giving you a show.
The first thought when the Stalker and I saw this was that people with food allergies should never risk eating at HuHot. Later when we spoke to the servers, it turns out HuHot is quite clear on what every item their menu contains that may be a potential allergen. Should anyone dine there with a known allergy, they need only tell the cooks who would very carefully reclean the grill top and grab a fresh set of spatulas just for their food. Otherwise, it was a pretty safe bet.
Over all, we had a blast. The first time it was a trial and error on just how to fill your bowl. If you go the noodle route, it can be rather difficult to pile your bowl as high as you would like to. But since you get rice, you can skip that and really bulk up on meat and veggies. Which is what we did mostly for every trip we took to the line. The sauces are wonderful and it’s a great idea to be able to combine them as you wish. The Stalker liked it so much the first time that we chose to go back yesterday!
Since it was dinner and we had been starved, we even went along with dessert.
We had so much fun melting and setting our marshmallows on fire. We gobbled them right up. While the menu said it was for 2 people, I’d say you could stretch it for 3 people. Our waiter has even been very accommodating to give us more flame when the draft made the fire too low to properly roast with.
So if you have one near you, I highly recommend you go to it. The prices are very fair for the amount of food you will consume but it does not include the price of the beverage. Still, considering the whole attitude of the place and the hilarious menu, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.