Sauces deliver savory meals at Hot Iron Grill

  • By Anna Poole, Herald Restaurant Critic
  • Thursday, September 13, 2007 10:30pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

EVERETT — The secret to a great lunch or dinner is choosing and mixing the sauces at the end of Hot Iron Grill’s buffet.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, my friend and I visited Hot Iron Grill for an early dinner ($8.99 each), and he did a much better job of mixing the sauces than I did. The sauces range from sweet to spicy to savory. On my first pass through the buffet line, I added two scoops of the house “Mongo” sauce, which is a combination of some of the sauces also available as individual choices.

My dinner was tasty and the extra ladle of Mongo sauce after my tofu and veggies were cooked gave everything a flavor boost, but my dinner companion added jalapeno peppers and four scoops of garlic sauce to his veggies and pieces of chicken. His dish had just the right amount of heat and flavor.

If you’ve never gone to a Mongolian grill, there are instructions on the wall at Hot Iron Grill and here’s how it works:

You order your drinks, which the server will bring to your table even though the drink dispenser is at the back of the dining area and looks like self-serve.

Then, you grab a large bowl and fill it with fresh vegetables such as sliced mushrooms, carrots, celery, bell peppers, green onions and shredded cabbage, plus paper-thin slices of beef, pork, chicken or seafood — squid, in-shell prawns and imitation crab. If you like, heap on some noodles (there are three kinds — egg, vegetable and rice).

Next, you give your bowl to one of the cooks, who tosses it across the grill until the meat is cooked and the vegetables are al dente. A scoop of brown or short-grain white rice completes your plate.

After my friend and I had gone through the steps and were busy cleaning our plates, our server asked if we’d also like a cup of egg flower soup. We decided to skip the soup and stick with our main dishes.

Hot Iron Grill opened about a month ago in the Lake Stevens Marketplace shopping center. The restaurant’s interior has that “new” feel and sports nutmeg-and-chrome walls that complement the black tables and chairs, which fill half of the dining room. The other half is dedicated to the buffet line, so there’s plenty of room to maneuver.

For parents, a Mongolian grill is a great place to take children because it’s inexpensive — $6.99 for dinner and $4.99 for lunch — and the kids can choose exactly what goes in their bowl, making it truly their lunch or dinner. With these prices, we can afford to return and perfect our sauce mixing.

Herald restaurant reviewers accept no invitations to review, but readers’ suggestions are always welcome. Reviewers arrive unannounced, and The Herald pays their tabs.

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