Some days, you stop and think, “When was the last time I had a vegetable?” This sad little question popped into my head recently as I zipped up and down Buford Highway, visiting a variety of restaurants. After a quick search for vegetarian-friendly options, I added another restaurant to my list: J’s Mini Hotpot Deluxe.
This is a restaurant with a learning curve. If you’re not familiar with hotpot dining (I was not), here’s a quick primer: First, it’s a lot like fondue. There are induction pads on every table for boiling broth in large, cast-iron pots. You order broth, which comes in flavors like beef, chicken and vegetarian. Other broths are available for an upcharge. Then, order an “entree,” which is a basket of ingredients that can be cooked in the broth. These range from $15 to $25, and really work best for two people.
I chose the herbal broth with the vegetable entree, a cornucopia of attractively sliced vegetables, noodles, tofu and a raw egg. In my roughage-deprived state, this meal hit the spot. The tofu, noodles and egg provided heft to the vegetarian meal, which allowed me to leave feeling full and satisfied. The herbal broth was tasty, and supposedly packed with health benefits. If nothing else, I at least appreciated the placebo effect.
Though I dined solo at J’s Mini Hotpot Deluxe, I couldn’t help but think that it would be a perfect date restaurant. The interactive, do-it-yourself cooking experience could provide plenty of entertainment and opportunity for conversation, and the restaurant itself is cutesy and modern. It’s a fun little place that can be nourishing in more ways than one.
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