Well, my friend Snowy loves hotpot and we had been trying to go together for a while, and when she texted asking if we could go on Saturday night, of course I said yes! She had called Hometown Hotpot and asked how long the wait would be ahead of time, and we met at 6:15 and even though we were quoted to wait an hour, but it ended up being only a half an hour wait! When you walk in and see only a few tables, you think it's going to be much longer than an hour! But don't worry! There is an entire basement full of tables and hotpots and yumminess waiting!
Ok, so there's not really a good way to describe the menu, so I uploaded pictures of most of the menu so you can see for yourself! I took pictures of the Korean BBQ portion of the menu, but since no one ordered that, why include it! Basically, unless otherwise stated, it's all you can eat! First, as you sit down, you're handed the menu and if you've eaten there before, you basically know what you want anyway! You pick out a broth; Snowy got Original, Matt got Spicy Ma La, and I got Curry. I didn't take pictures of Snowy's or Matt's broth, but Matt's broth was a bright pure red, and he asked for medium.
After you place your order, you go up to the sauce station and create your own custom sauce! I'm sorry the pictures aren't great but a line was starting to form behind me and I didn't want to be rude. Here, they keep their forks and spoons so be sure to grab some! And I don't even remember what sauces I ended up picking! I know there was some sesame paste, a peanut sauce, crispy shallots, sesame oil, and I know the last one was soy sauce, garlic, and scallions because that ended up going great with everything! Gosh I'm hungry...
We basically ordered the entire menu... Not even kidding about that!
Once your food arrives, just dig in! The broth will be put in front of you and turn your burner on medium or high. There's no right or wrong way to eat it! It's basically like your own personal fondue! Some people like leaving the starches (noodles, taro, pumpkin, etc...) for later because it thickens up the broth, but just go with what makes you happy! The spoons they give were are great because they are slotted so you won't be carrying much broth over to your plate, keeping it cleaner!
The quail eggg, fried tofu balls, and luncheon meat (aka spam) were just my favorite! I could have eaten a dozen of the eggs!
Now depending on how long you've been eating, your broth may be running low on liquids! But don't worry, your waiter will come with some boiling water to refill your pot!
You know that saying that you should never have dessert at an Asian restaurant? Well, I was pleasantly surprised when I tried the desserts here. When Snowy and Matt went to investigate, I was still eating and taking pictures. When they came back, they reported that the choices were white goo or blueish grey goo. Wow. Appetizing. It was free with the meal so I wanted to try it so I only got a little bit of each. Well, it was pretty good! They were warm, the "white goo" was taro and the "blueish grey goo" was red bean! It was pretty tasty and I would have gone back for more if I wasn't so full!
Gosh, just writing this up is making me incredibly hungry! Basically when it comes down to it, there are no write or wrong ways to eat this! I would highly suggest going to an all you can eat place, because there is always going to be someone who doesn't get as much beef as someone else, or maybe someone is allergic to seafood and can't have it in the same broth as the others. And you also get as much food as you want for a great price!