A few weeks ago, I expressed my displeasure with DIY dinning at Hu Hot Mongolian BBQ. Well call me a hypocrite because I must admit I had a very enjoyable time at the similarly constructed Flattop Grill. Once again, the idea remains the same as diners construct bowls of ingredients (veggies, noodles, meats, sauces) that the grill operators cook for you. The big difference between the two is quality. The veggies, meats, and sauces at Flattop are all vastly superior to Hu Hot. The biggest difference lies in the fact that everything is fresh, not frozen. In addition, the selection of veggies is about quality versus quantity. The sauces are not one-note exercises but rather have layers of flavor. I also appreciated the add-ons such as fry bread, egg, and shrimp skewers. The chefs themselves also seem to take more care. While Hu Hot is certainly a faster proposition, I appreciate the time the chefs take at Flattop as the food comes out cooked much more evenly. Displaying the nutrition information on the wall for all the sauces is also a nice touch for those of us watching our diets. I would even go so far as to say the atmosphere is much more enjoyable. While I was there for a Sunday lunch the place was still crowded yet the open airy space felt less like the cattle call that was Hu Hot. Don’t get me wrong I’d still rather have someone else prepare my food for me when dining out but if you’re looking for a DIY experience choose the quality over the quantity and try Flattop.
Flattop Grill, 538 N. Midvale Blvd. Madison, WI 608-236-0500