Since today is International Hot and Spicy Food Day, my thoughts turn to the Eastside, home of some of the spiciest food in the area.
So, what better place to try than Bellevue’s Boiling Point? The clientele is almost exclusively Chinese, and the menu is simply a selection of hot pots – along with some bubble tea-like drinks to offset the heat. Oh, there are curry fishball, Korean kimchi, and beef hot pots (all running at $11.99 during dinner), but on a special day like this, I recommend trying the House Special Hot Soup. After all, it’s advertised as “So hot. So bubbly. So stinky. So wanty.”
Aside from the meat ball, pork blood, pork intestine, and quail egg you might see floating on the surface, know that below is some organic fermented tofu, a.k.a. “stinky tofu.” You’ll know something’s brewing, as the smell will hit you as soon as the fiery pot (signs on the table warn “Keep your pretty hair away from the fire.”) hits the table. The stink, though, dissipates in the dish – perhaps because I ordered it about as spicy as the kitchen was willing to send it out. If that’s not hot enough, add more fire from one of the three dipping sauces at the self-serve bar. And have yourself a happy hot and spicy food day!