Ghengis Khan Mongolian BBQ offers guests dinner and show

When I found myself between two separate family Thanksgiving dinners and a Friendsgiving dinner, I decided to step away from any turkey, stuffing, or mashed potatoes for this week’s dining out experience.

Ghengis Khan Mongolian BBQ in Midland was able to satisfy my stretched Thanksgiving stomach while also offering a wide variety of customizable dishes.

Address: 5010 Bay City Rd., Midland

Hours:

Wednesday to Friday: 4pm to 9pm.

Saturday: 12pm to 9pm

Sunday: 12pm to 8pm

Monday and Tuesday: Closed

Phone: 989-496-2288

Online: www.ghengiskhanbbq.com


Like any all-you-can-eat Mongolian grill, guests can pack any combination of meats, vegetables, noodles, fruits and more into a bowl that will then be tossed onto a large circular grill.

For those who know BD’s Mongolian Grill – the concept is the same here.

However, I noticed two significant differences between BD and Ghengis Khan – the staff and the quality of the food.

The first one, I noticed immediately – Ghengis Khan has an outstanding team.

My wife Taylor and I decided to take our kids to the restaurant the day before Thanksgiving. As I stated earlier, we were looking forward to eating something different.

Turns out we weren’t the only ones with this idea.

The restaurant was packed – and although we only needed seating for two and a high chair, we were told it would be a 20 minute wait. It wasn’t ideal, but we decided on our dinner choice and opted to wait.

About three other people came and left after hearing the wait time. After about five minutes, the receptionist confessed that there were only two people serving tables and she wanted to be careful not to overload them. She determined that it would be okay to squeeze us in.

On the way to the table, I was worried about having to deal with a stressed waiter/waitress and testing everyone’s patience with our energetic son.

When we entered the dining area, the first thing I noticed was that most of the tables were full of families – many of whom had young children.

After being seated, we were greeted by a calm and collected young man who was patient with us as we settled in before taking our drink order. Even though the place was almost full, our waiter never let our water glasses remain empty throughout our visit.

Another employee – who I can only assume was the other waiter of the night – even stopped by our table to start an absurd but hilarious conversation with our 2-year-old son. This really took away my anxiety about eating out with kids.

After we settled in, our waiter asked if we wanted to bring rice and tortillas for our plates – we unanimously accepted. He then released us into the buffet style area to prepare our first meals.

Ghengis Khan offers all-you-can-eat soups, salads and entrees ($21.99 per person). Raw ingredients are chosen by guests and combined in a bowl, then cooked on a huge grill for everyone to see.

We grabbed our bowls and headed to the first station, where I loaded up broccoli, onions, potatoes, and carrots. I stopped for a while at the next station while I pondered which protein to go with.

I decided to combine sirloin steak and chicken before filling a small cup with house-made teriyaki sauce. When I went to the grill line, I saw a woman in front of me with an egg on top of the bowl.

I went back to the second station to find the eggs and balanced one on top of my food.

There were two cooks stirring the 10 different dishes on the circular grill before pouring each person’s selected sauce over the food and serving it on a platter.

While they were cooking, the two set up some theaters – all of which were a big hit with my son. Seeing his face light up as the cooks threw the food into the air was a unique gastronomic experience.

My mouth was watering watching my food cook; therefore, I rushed back to our table after eating my meal.

I was delighted to see that while we were out, our waiter delivered drinks as well as rice and tortillas.

As always, our son was served first – so we ripped up a tortilla and some of his favorite veggies and meats from the stir-fry we made for him and placed them within his reach.

Taylor and I didn’t waste any more time before starting.

My traditional stir-fry dish turned out great. Some of the additions, like the sirloin steak and potatoes, stood out, although most of the other vegetables could have been in a pre-packaged stir-fry mix for all I knew.

The highlight of the meal for me was the sauce. I’ve had teriyaki sauce countless times throughout my life, although I could count the memorable ones on one hand, and this was one of them.

Taylor had a much more unique dish with pasta, broccoli, carrots, pineapple, baby corn, onion, mushrooms, chicken, shrimp and scallops and an egg. She topped it with a mix of teriyaki and General Tso sauce with added onion powder and pepper.

Instead of trying hers, I made my own unique dish on the second try. Mushrooms, green beans, onion, baby corn, peppers, crab and scallops with house-made ginger sauce.

Another good dish, although the seafood didn’t resonate as well with me as the sirloin and chicken.

Now, on the second course, I realized that my son had barely touched the food. According to Taylor, he kept saying “spaghetti” as I served it. This gave me an idea.

I was back in the building, this time adding penne pasta at the first station, sausage at the second station, and finally – a cup of marinara sauce. What I brought was a grilled Italian dish that we quickly put away.

The bottom line here is that no matter what you want, there’s a good chance that Ghengis Khan will satisfy it.

We were all fuller than a Thanksgiving turkey when it was all said and done. Taylor and I remember feeling sick after filling up at BD’s – although that wasn’t the case here.

We might have been expelled from the house of Ghengis Khan, but when our fullness diminished, we were not left with pain in our bowels.

Unfortunately, the restaurant doesn’t allow take-home boxes, so we weren’t able to save our son’s first course. It also dashed my hopes of preparing a dish for a meal later in the week.

We had an excellent experience at Ghengis Khan Mongolian BBQ. The icing on the cake was when the bill arrived, and our son’s meal was nowhere to be found.

“Children under 11 eat free,” explained our waiter.

Now, knowing this, I have no doubt that Ghengis Khan’s will be a regular stop for our family once our three-month-old moves on to real food.

Email Daily News Community News Editor Max Milne at max.milne@hearst.com


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