Mongolian BBQ

2007/04/18

Mongolian BBQ

A long time ago I went to the Mongolian BBQ over by Fred Meyers and was disappointed that it wasn’t “all you can eat” like other Mongolian BBQs I have been to. So it has been a long time since I have been back and now I sort of regret it. I like this place.

For those that don’t know, Mongolian BBQ features “create your own stir-fry” using a variety of meats, vegetables, and sauces. You start off with the size of bowl you want, pack it with the ingredients you want, finish it off with ladles of sauces and hand it to the grill guy.

He’ll throw it on the massive flat stove as seen here:

I guess this style started with Mongolian warriors cooking food on this inside of their shields. Not sure if that’s accurate or not and I’m too lazy to look it up.

When it’s done they’ll slide it back into a bowl and you’re ready to eat:

What I found amazing about their set up is the order in which they lay out the bar. Starting with the bowls your first options are the vegetables. The broccoli and cabbage are huge and will take up quite a bit of room in your bowl. Before you know it, you’ve got a bowl full of crappy vegetables and you haven’t added your meat. That’s how they “get” you.

I decided that I wasn’t going to conform to the order and sort of jumped around from section to section. After a couple vegetables I hit the meat section. I went a little overboard with beef, pork, and shrimp. I should have stuck with only one main meat for better flavor. But I’ve always been a fan of eating as many animals as possible. I know that sounds barbaric but it’s the truth.

At El Caporal I LOOOVE the Tres Cobaios (not sure if that’s spelled right, I think it means Three Horses…mmmm horse (kidding)). It’s skirt steak, chicken breast, and prawns wrapped with bacon, rice, beans. Oh man, sooooo good! Beef, Pork, Shrimp, Chicken…am I missing something?

I was having too much fun adding all the different stuff and not following the “proper” order of things that I forgot to add noodles. DUH! So I ended up with this massive stack of noodles on top. It worked out ok since most of the ingredients cook down, plus they drop some like you see in the photo, and it all fit back in the bowl just fine.

It’s not necessary to have all you can eat since the big bowl is plenty big. You don’t need more than that.

If you do visit Mongolian BBQ, I recommend going HEAVY on the ladles of sauces. I had the big bowl and put in what I thought was a lot of sauce but mine still came out a tad dry. It was good, I just would have preferred a little more sauce is all.

Also, I’m not sure I’d recommend the Mongolian BBQ if you are allergic to anything on that bar. I didn’t add any peanuts to mine but the other dish that was on the grill at the same time must have cause I had no less than three peanuts in my bowl while I was eating.

All in all, for the money, it’s a pretty good deal. Dinner prices are around $7-$10. You get exactly what you want (and maybe an extra peanut or two) and your eating pretty soon after you come in. I’ll be back there.

Mongolian BBQ
61535 S Highway 97, Bend, OR
(541) 318-8500

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

IHateToBurstYourBubble April 18, 2007 at 7:23 pm

Dude, I have been asked to teach classes at COCC about Mongolian BBQ! I have often eaten there with co-workers who did not know whether to hide their face in shame, or give me a standing-O when I got to the table. They actually use 2 (pissed off) guys to cook my stuff, and ALWAYS it takes the original bowl, PLUS a to-go container to house it all. The woman files a preliminary Chapter 11 when she sees me walk in.

OK, here is the drill.

1) Wash your hands. FIRST THING.
2) grab BIG bowl
3) Put on ankle weights
4) Go to chicken & meat section, fill to rim
5) Mash the meat into your bowl with your fists
6) Make sure you lift yourself off the ground to get the full mashing effect of the ankle weights.
7) put various veggies in to taste
8) repeat mashing.
9) There should be a pile about 2-3 inches above the rim of the bowl
10) pile noodles, using hands to steady the whole mess, to a minimum of 9-12 inches above the rim.
11) Ladle at least 30 dips of your favorite sauce
12) Gingerly carry to the cooking dudes.
13) Never turn your back, as they will spit in your food for committing such an egregious violation of nominal bowl-filling.
14) Hold a fiver over the tip jar and scowl, or they’ll try to get it all in one bowl, which, if you’ve done your job, will be impossible. If they attempt one bowl, you yank that five back, really dredge up a hocker and spit on the floor. That’s the only language they understand.

You will have enough leftovers for 4-5 people for about 2 more meals.

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Bend Oregon Restaurants April 18, 2007 at 7:36 pm

That’s kind of gross dude.

Thanks for the comment anyhow.

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dkgoodman April 18, 2007 at 7:46 pm

If the name is “Three Horses” then it’s “Tres Caballos” (“ll” in Spanish is pronounced like Y). A caballero is a horseman.

We love Mongo Mania. I’m amused at how they arrange the food to encourage you to fill your bowl with cheaper ingredients, but it irritates me when a customer makes a mess by piling their bowl sky-high. If you want more food, buy a bigger bowl or buy two bowls, don’t cheat the owners.

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Chillable April 19, 2007 at 4:46 pm

I’ve only been once, and probably won’t go back. My experience was that it wasn’t very sanitary. The dining area was generally kind of dirty, and there was a naked 3-year old hanging out on a blanket behind the counter, having his diaper changed. Plus, the problem with this (and other chain-style mongolian grill places) is that no matter what you put in the bowl, it pretty much all ends up tasting exactly the same.

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