Hot Pot Delight 01/16/2021
As customers are slowly allowed back inside restaurants and bars due to the restrictions of COVID, Hot Pot Delight in Roselle, IL was the first restaurant we decided to review. Hot Pot is a type of Chinese cuisine which involves preparing a bowl of boiling hot stock in the middle of a communal table and cooking a variety of ingredients in the stock.
Arriving at the restaurant, parking is not an issue as it is located inside Cross Creek Commons Shopping Center. Overcrowded parking is rare even on Saturday nights because of the number of parking spaces in the big lot. However, entering the restaurant is a bit complicated. Customers currently must go through Maria’s Mexican Restaurant next door to enter Hot Pot Delight due to a broken door. Having to go inside one restaurant to get into another causes a bit of confusion and reluctance from potential customers especially at night. The restaurant is low-key with a laid back atmosphere. Inside the restaurant is small but clean with tables on one side and booths on the other. There was only one server working that Saturday which caused an issue because the restaurant was fairly busy. It was difficult to get the servers attention which meant drinks took longer than usual to get refilled and for anything extra such as napkins or silverware.
Hot Pot Delight provides two options: All-You-Can-Eat or A La Carte. The All-You-Can-Eat is a two hour limit, 2 portions of meat each round and for $30.00 per person. Also, you order in rounds with the max being 3. Round 1 starts with choosing the soup base. The broth is mild, spicy or half and half bone broth full of flavor. Then you select raw ingredients to put into the soup such as meat, vegetables, seafood, tofu, noodles, etc. You cook it yourself with the flat glass hot burner being in the middle of the table. The service is friendly, but there is an expectation you already know how the process works. There was no explanation regarding how long to cook the meats. Customers inexperienced with cooking will have issues unless they ask questions. When the food arrived, it was more than expected. The meats were tender and all the vegetables were fresh. Overall, everything was tasty and Hot Pot Delight is recommended for novices and seasoned hot pot foodies. The restaurant is definitely a hidden gem.
Naxos Greek Island Restaurant 01/23/2021
This week we decided to review Naxos A Greek Island Restaurant in Itasca, IL. Greek cuisine tends to be lighter in fare and more savory than spicy. Greek cousines are known for their wheat , olive oil and wine. Entering the restaurant, we noticed the atomosphere to be bright and welcoming. A traditional Greek atmosphere with a light, modern twist. We went on a Saturday night, the restaurant was quite busy – despite this, the wait to be seated was not very long. Our server gave us the menu with a basket of fresh bread and butter. The bread was crusty with a nice soft middle. It was a tasty appetizer to munch on before our meal got served.
The menu offers a wide variety of dishes: vegetarian, chicken/beef/lamb and seafood – all prepared in a myriad of ways. We decided on the Mousaka (baked eggplant with ground meat and potatoes in a bechamel sauce) and barbeque Lamb with potatoes. The food came out rather quickly, which as a pleasent surprise. The Mousaka was flavorful with several rich, dense layers. The lamb was tender and zesty – and the potatoes were superbly seasoned.
For dessert, we decided on Baklava – a sweet dessert made from filo dough filled with chopped nuts and topped with a simple syrup. It was flaky, crunchy and with just the right amount of sweetness to compliment the savory notes from the nuts. If you are looking to try Greek food with a modern feel, Naxos is definitely worth checking out.