|Hot Pot and Asian Grill|
4038 Talmadge Rd.; Toledo, OH
Mon - Thu: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm; Fri: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sat: 12:00 pm - 11:00 pm; Sun: 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Northeast corner at Talmadge and Sylvania
The Toledo Blade did a review of the Hot Pot Grill, which I will not link to here. The restaurant reviewer didn't know what she was talking about, mainly because of her worldly experience (none), which was inversely proportional to her attitude - if the food doesn't look like a burger and fries, then what's it doing on my plate? I couldn't let that one slide, so this afternoon I went over to see for myself. Keep reading to get the straight money story on the Hot Pot and Asian Grill, and why people would want to eat there.
The trouble with this review is that I didn't have the hot pot for lunch. I saw that they had bibimbap on the menu, and I am here to tell you that bibimbap is some good eating. Plus I was by myself. I think if I'd had Main Lady with me, we'd have ordered the hot pot. Fortunately for me, I'm welcome back so I can get it next time. Plus, some people at the next table were having it and weren't a bit shy about sharing and telling me all about it.
The atmosphere at the Hot Pot is restful. The place has excellent acoustics, so if there are six drunks raucously celebrating a birthday at the next table they don't stand a chance of overwhelming the entire dining area. They have music playing softly in the background - smooth jazz classics, not elevator music - and the overall decor is tasteful without being pretentious. It's restful, and I enjoy that in a restaurant.
The service is well above average. I was greeted promptly and seated in some prime real estate next to the window. I mention this because the wait staff knows which are the most desirable tables and didn't make me ask for one. I was served promptly and my waitress was friendly. Contrary to popular belief, my waitress was fluent in English, and was quick to explain what a hot pot was and how to deal with it.
|Couple at the Next Table|
The couple at the next table were from Columbus, and remarked that if this place were open in Columbus it would be standing room only from the first day they opened their doors. I tend to agree. If you've ever been to Short North, you could easily envision the Hot Pot in the Short North neighborhood. Anyway, here is the eponymous hot pot.
Should you be at a complete loss, your server will help you. They offered to help me, but I explained I was beyond help. Additionally, there's a little card sitting on your table that suggests how to deal with the hot pot menu item. Don't overlook it, as it has cooking times on it.
|Szechuan Fire Pot|
For desert I had the mango ice cream, which is closer to a sorbet or something. It's got a great mango flavor and a nice, firm texture. There are, however, alternatives. If you'd like to destroy your diet and increase your risk of heart failure, Cold Stone Creamery is in the same strip mall, as it a French pastry shop. Both are very hard to resist. Still, I resisted. This time.
|Mango Ice Cream|
|Tommy, Owner and Chef|
|Kiki, Owner - Manager and Hostess|
I enjoyed my meal at the Hot Pot Grill and I'll be back again. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place to my friends and family.
- Ambiance: 9
- Service: 8
- Food: 8