Coworkers talking, and conversations on the Urbanspoon message boards led to my taking a look at Genghis Grill. It’s a newly opened instance of a chain, sitting pretty close to Madeleine’s near the Perimeter. That puts it very near work and people from work have been going there for a while.
Inside, I find it a little cramped and a little loud. You’re not exactly resting elbows with other patrons, but it’s close enough nothing you say will be private. The signs that pepper the place are a little “in your face” and the signage has the attitude of someone who thinks he’s funny. Otherwise, though they really don’t have the space, they’re trying to be a little sports bar-ish. Televisions and a small bar can be found in here. Overall, however, though there are unpleasant edges to the seating, it’s not unbearable. I think Flip Burger Boutique is too cramped for its own good as well.
The routine here is: you’re handed a smallish steel bowl and you select meats, spices, vegetables, a sauce, and when you hand your bowl to the cooks, a starch. They trade your bowl for a number, which you place on a stand. Then you wait. After a bit, your food comes to you, hot and piping. And though they call it a Mongolian stir-fry, I know this kind of eating as a Mongolian BBQ.
The business end of this chain are the cooks who sit around a donut shaped grill and mass process orders. I found my brief conversations with them quite enjoyable. If the place wasn’t as crowded, that would be the place to be here, watching them cook.
I liked what I ate. I went back for seconds. At lunch, the basic one bowl is about 9 dollars and unlimited bowls are 2 dollars more. For me, needing plenty of vegetables, the second bowl is a bargain.
Bowls would seem larger if I had added a starch.
If you can control what you eat, this is a good place for dieters. It would be better for diabetics if the sauces wouldn’t be so sweet, but they have enough dry spices you don’t need the wet ones. A spicy sesame oil would be something I’d add, if I were the wet sauce maestro of Genghis Grill.
Overall? A little rough around the edges, but the core experience isn’t bad. I heard diners comparing this place to “Chow Baby”, saying that this place had more food choices. If I recall, there were perhaps a dozen or more meat choices, including seafoods (one bowl of mine was shrimp and calamari based, the other more chicken, beef, pork), two stations of vegetables with perhaps 20-30 vegetable choices, and over a dozen invariably sweet sauces. There were perhaps a dozen dry spice options, most good.
I haven’t seen Mongolian BBQ commercialized in this fashion before. The last place I was getting Mongolian in any fashion was the old Badayori, now long gone. So it’s quite a concept. The action of course, is around that large shared grill, and if watching people cook is your thing, I’d come here during the off hours and hang around the grill while your food is being prepared.
1165 Perimeter Center West
Sandy Springs, GA 30338