Monday, September 20, 2010

Genghis Grill

Jonathan and I were in Tallahassee for the BYU football game (which we won! yay!), and had dinner with Heather afterward. She suggested a newer place (it's been in Tallahassee for about six months) called Genghis Grill. We didn't really know much about the place, but it turned out to be very interesting!

It's a Mongolian Grill, which we've been to a few times in the past (notably in Mountain View). Only this one is GIANT. We were seated and ordered drinks, and the next thing you know we were given little silver bowls and told to follow our server. She led us to a buffet line of sorts, and explained the process. First, you go through and put your "proteins" in your bowl. Then, the spices. Then, the vegetables. Finally, the sauces. After that, you take your overflowing bowl to the grill where you tell them what starch you want, and they give you a number. You go sit down, put your number in the holder, and wait for someone to bring out your (now red and angled) bowl of cooked food.

But the complication increases. There were probably 10 or 12 proteins, including marinated fish, scallops, krab, shrimp, beef, sliced beef, chicken, turkey, pepperoni, sausage, and ham. There was also probably a tofu option, but I didn't notice it. There were 8 or 10 spices (very random selection, some with strange names and no descriptions). I remember lemon pepper, crushes red pepper, cajun, dragon, and ginger. Next, the humongous selection of veggies. There was a peppers-and-onions mix, baby corn, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, cilantro, green beans, bean sprouts, green onions, pico de gallo, sliced potatoes, tomatoes, and another 10 or so. This is also where you found raw eggs (in the shell). The ten or so sauces were even more varied than the spices: 3G, dragon, island teriyaki, chili garlic, garlic water, honey soy, mongo bbq, and tomato sauce are the ones I remember. At least they offered little tasting spoons so you could try to figure out what you want (there's no spiciness scale or anything). There were five or six starch options, including white or fried rice, spiral pasta, and udon noodles.

Now, there are two identical lines to help speed the process. But since we had no idea what was further down the line when we began, it was difficult to make decisions. Heather and I handled this by going through the proteins, spices, and veggies... then going back to get more protein before getting the sauces and starch. Jonathan went the more logical route: he looked through the "idea cards" and picked out one he liked. Then all he had to do was go through the line and put in the stuff from the card. He went with a jambalya-type bowl, but got fried rice instead of white. Heather and I kinda just took what looked good... so for me this meant a combination of turkey, chicken, shrimp, and scallops... cilantro, peppers, onions, tomatoes, green onions, and probably some other things I can't remember. I went with the udon noodles.

Overall, the bowls turned out okay. Nobody was in love, but nobody disliked what they got. I seemed to get more noodles than Jonathan or Heather got rice, but it's hard to judge. Jonathan went with the 3G and the dragon sauces, and that turned out to be a pretty good combination. I went with the island teriyaki and the chili garlic, but the taste came through only slightly in the end. I finished my bowl, but both Jonathan and Heather had enough to take home. I'd say it's worth trying if you're already in Tallahassee. It's down on Appalachee Parkway, where Bennigan's used to be (if you're old enough to remember that, hehe). Dinner is $10 or $14 if you want unlimited trips to the grill.

Also, apparently Genghis Grill is a chain. But they weren't in the NE, they're not in California, and the only other one in Florida is in Gainesville. So I'm not sure that you'll come across one, LoL.

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