The true story of Hot n Roll AYCE hot pot [Ellicott City]

I am glad to report that my current Hot Pot AYCE is back open. And this time, I even have the correct name for the joint. First a recap.

Back in early 2022 I tried Hot n Roll. It has a conveyor belt with veggies, meat & fish balls and other items. Then there was a 24-foot self-serve food bar. Finally, there was a small sauce bar. The stuff on the conveyor belt was meh and the sauce bar weak. The broths were good and the stuff on the self-serve good. But over all, I was not impressed and there are two outstanding Hot Pots in the area {hot pot King in the Hub, and Hot Pot Hero whih offers AYCE at this location only.}

In June, I was shopping at the next door H Mart and in dire need of food, so I decided to give it another try as my usual choice in that shopping center was closed on Tuesdays. My bad luck turned out to be good, as the second meal was a LOT better. The sauce bar was still weak but the broths were better and the service was absolutely wonderful. I inquired at the pleasant change for the better and found out that there were new owners. I am not sure if my first visit was pre-changeover or post, but they had not had a chance to improve things back then. It was so good that Kay and I went a few days later and if anything, it was even better! So we again drove there only to find the windows papered over and the Yelp listing said closed. It was a major disappointment that I posted about using the wrong name. So sue me! {Lawyers of HO, that is a joke and not a suggestion}

A few days later, a recheck of their online presence showed a message that they were closed for renovations prompting a drive by. The place was a mess and stuff like tables were being taken out. I did see the manager and we chatted and he said it would be reopen in a week or so. Fast forward a month and it reopened. We went on a Saturday night and after waiting at the front for over 15 minutes with no acknowledgement of our existing, we moved on. But last week, I finally made it back at lunch and had a grand meal.

Now the sauce bar was much larger and well stocked. I ordered the Tom Yum broth which is usually not my go-to broth and I was blown away at how good it was. The conveyor belt was retained by it was empty. I do not know if that was because it was lunchtime or a permanent change. But the biggest change was the ingredients bar. The individual containers were smaller than prebviously with the selection being over 50% larger. One great feature is their extensive selection of parts. If you have to take a plate from the conveyor belt or order it from the listchen, you get more than a taste of these ingredients. But this time, I could literally take 1 piece of each odd offering, which I did. There were things I could not identify and many of them ere pretty spectacular. The Sichuan beef was numbing and spicy! Everything was pristinely fresh. And they kep the shrimp paste {which you spoon into your broth for light and fluffy shrimp balls, the highlight of the meal.} I took three portions!

Another nice thing is that the prices were reduced. I do not know of this is an intro special, but it makes lunch, especially, a real deal {$23,95 for AYCE}.

So I am glad they are back and both Hot Pot King and Hero will see me less often, although King has a self-serve refrigerated ingredient set up with some stuff that Hot N Roll doesn’t have {like pickled veggies especially and more balls.} And Hot N Roll remains the best service in the area, not just the best Hot Pot service. Tehy really make you feel welcome.


My brother-in-law lives in the area. I’ll pass along your intel to him.