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Genghis Grill

My family eats out way more than we should.  My father predicted this more than 25 years ago when the Hubster and I were dating.  I have mentioned previously that my family rarely went out to eat when I was a child, so the number of times that the Hubster took me out to dinner was shocking to my parents thrifty nature.  Of course, I thought it was great.  And since my family was also very religious, there weren't a whole lot of other options of sanctioned activites.
Needless to say, proprieters of many restaurants in our area know our family on sight and not a week goes by that one of them will ask about this missing family member or another.  Of course, we each have our favorite establishment, but occasionally we will want a change.  When a new restaurant opens up in our area, we are sure to be one of the first families to try it out.
Recently, the boys came home saying that there was a new restaurant that they wanted to try. This new restaurant was called the Genghis Grill-the Mongolian stir fry.
The boys were excited because Mongolian BBQ has been one of their favorite meals since we lived overseas and went to the Mongolian BBQ nights at the base restaurant.  Typically, Mongolian BBQ consists of several different types of raw meats and raw vegetables with various spices and sauces to season it.  Each person picks the exact combination of ingredients that they want.  The chef then cooks the meat first and adds the  vegetables at the end.  In many places, the cooking is a performance using a large flat cooking surface reminiscent of the shields that the Mongols may have used for cooking.
The closest Mongolian BBQ type restaurant until now is over an hour away so the boys were very excited at the prospect of having this option near our home.  We had no idea what to expect when we opened those doors for the first time.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a host/hostess and led to our table where we were given menus and bowls, The menus are really extraneous since they talk you through the process.  However, the menu does show their selection of mixed drinks and beverages as well as a wide selection of "recipes." These recipes can be used as a guide when choosing what to include in the bowl.
Once the beverages were ordered, we took our bowls and made our way to what looks like a large salad bar. The first station is the selection of proteins.  Genghis offered everything from beef to shrimp.  Some unusual offerings also included sausage, pepperoni, and scallops.
Following the meats was a good selection of dry seasonings that diners are encouraged to sprinkle on their meats.
The next several sections were reserved for the fruits and vegetables.  They had several choices of pre-mixed vegetable medleys designed to complement the various meat selections.  They also had a nice firm tofu that held up well to the cooking process.  Baby corn, bok choy, cabbage, carrots, squash and zucchini were all present and accounted for in this area.

Finally, we were encouraged to sample the abundant choice of sauces using the mini spoons that were available.  Once we had made a selection, the sauce was ladled into a cup.
Moving over to the cooking area, we handed our bowls and sauce to a waiter who took our order for the carbohydrate choice.  They had a good selection to choose from that included white rice, brown rice, fried rice, pasta, and soba noodles.  The waiter then gave us each a number and put a matching number with our bowl.  At this point, most people headed back to their table, but I stayed to watch the chefs as they did their magic.  By doing so, I discovered the dry condiments such as sesame seeds, chow mein noodles, and chopped nuts that are available at the cooking area bar.  (A word of caution here--be sure to know which number is yours because it will be hard to tell once the food has been cooked--ask me how I know).
Genghis Grill is not cheap, but it is not in the fine dining price range either.  Lunch time prices are more reasonable, but still run in the $8-10 range.  Dinner runs a bit higher.  Turning your meal into an all you can eat experience is also an option for just $2-3 more.
Overall, the boys were pleased with Genghis Grill and we have made several return visits.  The price may keep it from being placed in the weekly rotation, but it will definitely find its place in the monthly options when the boys are home from college.

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