Have you heard of Hotpot Smoothie Shop? I hadn’t until a week ago, and I’m so sad that it took me this long. It opened about a year ago, allegedly. For the paleo, gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian St. Louisan, this is a walk in the park. Located in Kirkwood near Geyer and Manchester, they are very allergy friendly and accommodating to different dietary restrictions.
A few friends and I went last week to see what it was all about. You walk in and it’s very apparent that this is a health conscious person’s shop. Many of the patrons were in workout gear. The shop seems a bit confused – it doesn’t know whether it wants to be a smoothie shop, a noodle shop, or a coffee shop. But hey, sometimes you’ve gotta have it all. I support that.
Hence the name, the “hot pot” bowl is the main attraction. Here’s how it works:
- You pick out your base – udon noodles (not GF), thai rice noodles (GF), sweet potatoes (paleo and GF) or brown rice (GF). [Apparently, over the summer they had broccoli “noodles” instead of the sweet potatoes, which sounds awesome.] I went with the rice noodles.
- Choose the meat. I chose the shrimp…and I was pretty sad about it. The bowl only came with four shrimp. Being a ravenous beast at the time, this just did not cut it. I was literally still hungry when I left the shop. Next time, I’d either pick a different meat or “double the protein.”
- Pick yo’ VEGGIES. I’d recommend going all the way and “raking it through the garden.” This means they pile ALL the veggies on – brocolini, carrots, celery, kale, onion, red bell pepper, scallions, mushrooms, spinach and tomato. Do it.
- Sauce it. I went with the lemon mango curry, which was a pretty light, mild sauce. Next time I will try the green curry instead, which had more of a kick to it.
To recap, I got the Shrimp Hotpot with thai rice noodles and the lemon mango curry. And I totally raked it through the garden. All the way. This particular combo wasn’t especially flavorful, and it was slim on protein with the limited number of shrimp. But the veggies were fantastic and plentiful.
Here’s a few other flavor combos to consider:
- My friend Lisa got the Thai rice noodle hotpot with spicy beef, veggies, and green curry sauce. The green curry was probably my fave sauce. It was light, but had a great kick to it. If I get the rice noodles again, I will for sure get this sauce.
- My friend Angie, who does Paleo, got a spicy beef bowl with sweet potatoes, miso and all veggies. While I’m not usually a huge sweet potato fan, this was an awesome bowl. The sweet potatoes felt much lighter than the thai rice noodles, and are loaded with nutrients. The spicy beef paired with the sweet potatoes was a delightful yet hearty balance of sweet and spicy. This would be my pick next time.
Wash it all down with a cucumber lemonade or an organic green tea. I did a little mixing of the two to make a delightfully refreshing Arnold Palmer that was a great complement to the Asian flavors.
Enjoy this gluten-free haven!
Until next time,