As the weather gets colder, hot pot is a perfect meal to warm yourself up and indulge in a smorgasbord of soup. The place to go if you’re in the DC metro area is Happy Lamb Mongolian Hot Pot, located in Eden Center, which is a hub for Vietnamese food that makes space for other types of Asian cuisine offerings as well (hot pot is Chinese).
For about $35 per person, you can get happy with all you can eat. Our group split a pot between a spicy broth and a regular broth, and the broth is refilled when you want.
An array of vegetables, seafood, tofu, various takes on meatballs, noodles, condiments (including my favorite, sesame sauce) and fried foods is well organized in a display area at the front of the restaurant. Fill your plate with what you like and keep coming back as desired.
On the menu are specialty items for the hot pot that are grouped into tiered price points, starting with the traditional basics of lamb meat and moving to pricier groups for more exotic items, such as duck blood and tiger shrimp.
When your food is on the table, simply drop the items in the broth (you can control the heat with a knob on the side of the table) and wait a few minutes for them to cook before fishing them out. You’ll happily repeat the process many times during the evening.