Eat like a Mongol horde at Genghis Grill

by Charles Womack

If you avail yourself of every option on the Genghis Grill buffet line, your meal might look something like this.

It’s a little tricky at first, but once you know the system, watch out!

Genghis Grill — the Mongolian Stir Fry is fun, healthy and filling. Opened just six weeks ago by owner/operator Chris McAuley, the first North Carolina location of the Dallas-based chain has been a super hit.

According to its website, “Genghis Grill is a build-your-own-bowl, fast-casual Asian stir-fry concept. The atmosphere is colorful, lively and fun. It’s actually not a cuisine, but an interactive style of exhibition cooking modeled after a centuries-old legend. According to this legend, 12 th century Mongol warriors, led by the mighty warrior Genghis Khan, heated their shields over open fires to grill food in the fields of battle!!” “The response has been tre’mendous from people who have come in to give us a try,” said McAuley. “Our customers are having a lot of fun and enjoy picking out exactly what they want for us to cook for them and watching it being prepared. Once they get past the initial phase of how the system works, the fun takes over.”

It works like this: A customer heads down to the entrance of a two-sided buffet line. Just prior to entering the buffet, there are two menus with several traditional recipes such as teriyaki chicken, beef broccoli and Thai chicken as well as some signature dishes like the Firecracker Bowl, Bowl of Seoul and the surf and turf. These titles give the ingredients for each item; you then pick them out of the buffet according to the receipe.

“Most people like to just go crazy,” said McAuley. “They will pile in shrimp, chicken, beef and all the other items we have and mix it up together to create their own special dish. That’s what makes it fun!” After getting a silver bowl from the front of the buffet line, you move thru the 13 meat and seafood items, picking your protein. Some go with one or two, but I went for the full monty — almost everything.

Next you can choose between 12 kinds of seasonings and more than 30 kinds of vegetables. I went light on the veggies, but sprinkled in a few for good measure and for the sake of appearance.

Sprinkle your bowl to capacity with any of the amazing sauces available and then head to the grill where you “call your starch” to add to the cooking.

“We offer brown rice, fried rice, udon noodles, steamed rice, tortillas and spiral pasta,” said McAuley.

I went with the noodles, and for my sauce something a little spicy they called “Dragon Sauce.” For good measure I sprinkled on a variety of the powdered spices to complete my materpiece.

I am really not sure what you would call what I put together. Maybe the “Everything Platter,” but I can tell you it was some of the best food of this type I have ever had. My son Alex, who dined with me, agreed.

wanna go?

Genghis Grill — the Mongolian Stir-Fry 3298 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem 336.774.2154