Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's Mongolian Time

If you haven't heard lately, the news coverage over Mongolian restaurants has been off the charts. So I thought it would be the perfect time to make my very first post and resturaunt review for Genghis Khan Mongolian Barbecue located on Highway 100 in Wauwatosa(apparently). I have eaten at Genghis Khan many times and have quite the handle on it's pros and mostly cons. Let's get to the meat of it.
As I had mentioned before I have eaten at Genghis Khan's multiple times in the past and therefore my views are pretty much what you could say, right on. Some immediate themes come to mind. Hideous service, dirty, congested, lack luster food presentation, but great food. The service is almost unbearable but the taste of the food really makes up for it, well barely. The initial reaction when you walk in is slightly dark, dingy, and dirty. I don't think they've ever cleaned the carpet. As it is Mongolian style you prepare your own bowl by walking through a buffet style line where you first add in your hearty meats, then vegetables/noodles, and finally the sauces that bring the meal together. The frozen meats are strategically placed in a large bin and it's a free for all. When you get to the sauces you wonder if anyone actually got sauce in their bowl. They use a durable grade 2 saran wrap system to wrap around the sauce presentations. It's a joke, seriously as it's easier to shoot a bird down in Duck Hunt then it is not spilling the sauce all over the durable saran wrap and brown carpet. But it's to be expected as you see the surroundings. There are about 10 sauces to choose from ranging from mild szechuan sauce to cooking wine to garlic sauce. It's definitely a wide variety but very difficult to maneuver the ladle into the presentation canister to scoop out your favorite sauce. You will spill and you will make a mess and you will realize it doesn't matter. A side note about the sauces. It seems that no matter what mixture you use for your sauce it ALWAYS tastes the same. I wonder how much of it is due to the fact they cook your food on the same grill and don't really clean it from person to person. Finally hand off your bowl of goodness to the cook. Wait! Don't forget to add some peanuts or sesame seeds as needed located at the cooks counter. The cooks use a traditional circular Mongolian grill and walk around it in circles pushing your food until ready. They finish and hand it back to you steaming. Tip as needed. As you finally take your seat in the booths or the elegant round tables you realize there isn't much space when it's busy(Lunch hour). The backs of the chairs are very close together and gets real suffocating. What I call the second course meal would be the second buffet which has the likes of your typical sweet and sour chicken, egg rolls, and fried rice, etc. It is bottomless for lunch so eat up!

Lastly let's talk about the service. It's just turrible(as Sir Charles would say) and really just down right embarrassing. Realize that as soon as you walk in the staff will hate you as a human being and want you to leave as soon as you are almost done eating. I had an experience where some friends and I had just finished up eating and who I believe to be the owner came by our table looked at us uncomfortably for a few moments and then tapped the table twice and exclaimed "you done!?" and then scurried away. We got the hint, payed our bill and single filed out the door. So don't ever think you will be treated with respect there.

If you want great tasting food, sauce stains on your light blue, button down, short sleeve work shirt, and some good old belittlement, eat at Genghis Khan Mongolian Barbeque.

P.S. Don't forget the complimentary fortune cookie!


  1. This was awesome.

    I have eaten there once with my wife and her family a few years ago, and your description is spot on. For some reason, I haven't been back...

  2. I ate there once as well. It's just to confusing with the sauces and shit. I don't need to solve a taste jigsaw puzzle before eating. I think I put like 6 random sauces on before seeing the notes on what tastes good together. It ended up tasting like someone raped my mouth with a shit plunger.

    Sidenote: I went there with a fat friend who was packing the meat down into the bowl with his palm as he exclaimed "This is the good stuff!" Yes, frozen slices of some type of meat product is definitely the good stuff...

  3. Nice first post Doc. We've been there together many times now, and the story is the same - rude service, homogenous sauces, and a terrible buffet on the side. Yet, sometime in the next 3 months, I bet we'll end up there again. Gluttons for punishment (and those wings on the buffet), I guess.

    I'm a vet of Mongolian BBQ since my Twin Cities days, and I have to say this one wouldn't make it 6-months there. But when the only competition is BD's across town, they manage to capture the west side folks who are addicted to the taste of soy-ginger-heroin flavors of the circular grill and sauces.

    Flat-Top grill down the street is probably stealing some biz from them, and its decent, but its missing something that Genghis Khan has...

  4. I love eating there every time I come to town, and your description is spot-on. The food is awesome, and the service sucks bad - I've been there twice when the wait staff has spilled drinks on our party - but the food is awesome. Avoid completely if you have a peanut allergy, turning around in the parking lot is probably fatal for you.

  5. Like it has already been stated... great food, horrible service. That one guy always seems like he's trying to shove you out the door.

    BTW - There is competition just up the street... FlatTop Grill. Many more options to choose from (which may not be a good thing - depending on your point of view), cleaner, more modern and cheaper (at least for lunch).

    I'm just waiting for the day when Genghis Khan is featured on "Dirty Dining".