My husband and I tried out Ghengis Khan on Grant Line Road today (in the new shopping center by Costco). He loves Mongolian barbecue. Before I had surgery, we'd visit the Ghengis Khan in Stockton a few times a year. Since surgery, though, we've shied away from all buffets. It just doesn't make sense to shell out the money when I'm not going to eat much, nor does it seem smart to surround myself with the temptation of an all-you-can-eat event. But my husband really wanted to try it, and Ghengis Khan is affordable as far as buffet restaurants go.
The best thing about Ghengis Khan is its location. It's in a small strip mall along with Kinder's Meats, Kitchen Angel, a coupld of salons and a check-cashing store. It's remote location makes it the prime dinner spot on a weeknight. The manager said the place is packed on weekends but it's not a weekday destination yet.
If you're unfamiliar with Mongolian barbecue restaurants, they all work the same. You walk in, grab a bowl at the buffet that you stuff with thin slices of frozen raw meat (turkey, chicken, beef or pork), noodles, and a variety of vegetables and cooking sauces. At the end of a counter, you turn over your bowl to one of the cooks who dumps it out on a hot metal cooking surface. He uses two long sticks to move the food around the cooking surface until it's done. He puts your food into a clean bowl and then hands it back to you, piping hot.
While your food is cooking, a server is busy setting up your table. When you get to your table, there is soup, rice, an appetizer (fried wontons with sweet & sour sauce) and a sesame biscuit. You order your drinks and enjoy your food.
I had fun creating my bowl tonight. I added turkey, chicken, a heaping pile of spinach and cabbage, a little bit of corn, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, cilantro, jalapenos and peanuts. I added one scoop of each sauce, three scoops of garlic sauce and a scoop of sesame oil.
My overflowing bowl cooked down into a scant bowlful, but it was so tasty that I didn't care I would leave most of it behind. After about 30 minutes of eating, I looked down to realize that I didn't even make a dent in the bowl. The server came by and asked if I wanted to box it up. That was shocking. Most all-you-can-eat places do not allow you to take food home with you. But the server said that anyone who only makes one trip gets to take home their leftovers.
That was exciting for me, because I now have at least two more yummy meals waiting for me in my fridge. And it's nice to know that there is a buffet in town I can visit without feeling like I'm the weirdo who doesn't make trip after trip.
I know many post-ops carry around a card that tells restaurateurs that they've had gastric-bypass surgery and asking that they be allowed to eat off the children's or seniors' menu. That's not something I've ever done because I don't find things on those menus to be that healthy. Besides that, I just don't think it's a restaurant's job to bend its rules for me because I decided to alter my body's biology. So, I would never ask for such things, but it's nice when a restaurant offers. And for that reason, I'll be back to Ghengis Khan.