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Monday, February 27, 2006


Best Mongolian Barbecue: HuHot!

HuHot Mongolian Grill is one of my top picks for exciting dining in Appleton. It's a Mongolian barbecue with the best ingredients and sauces I've seen for this kind of restaurant. It's all you can eat for about $14 a person (dinner) - not bad for such high-quality all-you-can eat food. The decor is fresh and attractive and the service is great, including the talented cooks who manage to keep track of everybody's customized food as they grill it for it you. They just opened in mid-February 2006, but business is already brisk and I think they'll keep going strong.

I was pleased to see that salmon was one of the choices for ingredients (other meats include chicken, pork, and beef). There are also three different kinds of noodles. I like the Thai rice noodles and the Chinese lo-mein-style wheat-based noodles. A scrumptious selection of veggies is available, all remarkably fresh and attractive. I loaded up on cilantro, broccoli, and other items. One thing that really sets HuHot apart is the rich variety of sauces, about 20 in total. In addition to the basic sauces like ginger water, lime, sesame oil, etc., they have a great selection of premixed complex sauces such as Black Thai Peanut, Yellow Belly Curry (with coconut milk), and "Kung Pao...Yow!"

I was also impressed with the salad that came with my meal. Beautifully prepared with elegant dark green lettuce and a delicious oriental salad dressing.

Given how quickly the bowls of food are cooked, HuHot could almost count as fast food. But it's also an elegant and classy place for a special occasion or a treat for the family.

You can get Mongolian barbecue at several other places in the Fox Cities, such as China King in Oshkosh, and the Great Wall in Appleton, but HuHot was the most enjoyable for me. I'm anxious to go back! (Note: Mongo's used to offer Mongolian barbecue, but is now closed.)

HuHot is at 3456 West College Ave. in Appleton. Phone: (920) 257-2555.

2009 Update: In the words of Yogi Berra, "Nobody goes there anymore - it's too crowded." Have had many complaints about big crowds and the long lines to get food. I'd stay away during peak hours. But once everyone takes my advice, then do the just the opposite.
My sweetie and I went to HuHot last evening for a marvelous dinner and dessert. I made 2 trips through the line and I was surprised how fast the round trip took. Marvelous selection of meat and veggies. Enough sauces to please even the hardest of hard core mongolian BBQ fans. WOW. We even saved room for a thick slice of the Seven Layer Choco Khan Cake. We'll be back!
HuHot is clearly the Noodles & Company of Mongolian BBQ's: mediocre food with a tacky interior. Anyone who would take their date to HuHot instead of a classy place in Downtown Appleton, such as Mongo's or Senior Tequila's, is evidence for the dead science of eugenics.
if you think senor tequila's is classy? then i don't hold much clout in your opinion. oh and mongo's you mean the restaurant that closed for health code violations?
Mongo's is no more, and Senor Tequila's doesn't fit my definition of classy, at least not when the TV is blaring, but I can see how it might seem classy at other times.
In the 90's, the nice/classy places were the quirky, one-of-a-kind joints you'd find in the downtown areas. Even if they had a slightly "hole-in-the-wall" quality, the uniqueness seemed to make a date much more special than any chain could ever do. Now, places like HuHot and Red Lobster are considered classy, which is a genuine shame.
As for the comment on health code violations, the fact of the matter is that due to a weak economy and the Fox Valley's disturbing need to bring in a copious amount of these stupid chain-restaurants in Grand Chute, the downtown area is dying. Every small business is suffering now. And tacky, no-class butt-holes like HuHot and the supporters thereof aren't helping.
Thank you, HuHot, for making the Fox Valley another generic and uninteresting place to be!
Do your research. HuHot originally opened up in Missoula Montana in July of 1999 under the name, "Mongo's Mongolian Grill" with the same exact logo that Mongo's had here in Appleton. They blatantly ripped off the entire idea and went corporate with it. It's a shame that our Mongo's didn't have their name and logo trademarked outside of Wisconsin.
The fact that anyone in this town supports this spit-in-the-face to our community makes me sick.
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I love mongos! Bring it back NOW!!!
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It was NOT a pleasant dining experience for me at Hu Hot. I agree that the ingredient and sauce selections are good but the production-line type cooking operation resulted in a meal that was over cooked to the point that my vegetarian dish was pure mush, even though I asked for it to be cooked lightly. And, apparently they didn’t clean the grill very well because it was so spicy I couldn’t eat it. I don’t use hot spices. Or maybe some spices from someone else’s dish that was cooking next to mine leaked into mine. When I complained it didn’t seem like they were very concerned about it. Probably since it was all you can eat, they figured I could just redo it. I wasn't going to even risk it. We paid and left and won’t be back. So disappointing
worst food ever! Cheap meat, un-friendly staff, the entertaining, cheap salad and soup. Overall a worthless waste of my money and nothing like a Mongolian Barbeque Resturaunt.
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