bd’s Mongolian Grill – Portage
It’s hard for me to try new things. Things that aren’t burgers or pizza. Things like stir-fry.
When I think of stir-fry, I think of veggies. I’m not a super huge veggie person. I’m more in the Ron Swanson meat-eater category.
That being said, bd’s Mongolian Grill has always scared me. I don’t know why. It shouldn’t scare me. It’s just a restaurant….right?
Anyway, bd’s has never been on our radar when it comes to picking a restaurant. It still wasn’t last weekend when a co-worker of J’s asked if we’d like to go out to lunch for his girlfriend’s birthday.
We talked about it for a while and eventually decided to just give it a shot. We were sure that there would be something on the menu that we would like.
The Kalamazoo area location of bd’s Mongolian Grill is on South Westnedge just to the north of I-94 in Portage. It shares a small strip building with IHOP and is right next door to Grand Traverse Pie Company.
We were meeting a pretty large group so the organizer called ahead the day before to give them a heads up. Didn’t matter. They weren’t ready for us when the group started showing up. J, L, and I were the fourth of fifth party to arrive and we still waited about ten minutes while a large table was set up for us.
Once we got seated, a waitress went around the table and took our drink orders. There were already bowls on the table and only a couple people in our group had actually eaten at a bd’s before, so no one really knew what to do.
Someone finally took the lead and told us to grab a bowl and head to the salad bar type area of the restaurant where you make your stir-fry.
The bowl that you take from your table gets filled with all the goodness which will eventually get thrown on the grill. The first stop is the meat station. I loaded my bowl with as much ribeye strips as I could yet still leaving room for a little bit of veggies. At the meat station, you’re only supposed to take one selection. At the veggies station, you’re encouraged to load up. I would have been happier the other way around.
I did grab a couple large spoonfuls of sliced red potatoes and I scooped up what few jalapenos were left in the pan before heading over to the sauce and spice station. Here, you can come up with whatever concoction you can dream of to flavor your bowl. My choice was the Szechuan BBQ sauce, chili powder, garlic, and fresh rosemary.
Once your bowl is full, the next stop is the large flat top grill where a very happy couple of grill masters toss your bowl on the grill along with several others and use long metal sticks to flip and cook whatever it is you thrown on there.
Once the meat and veggies are cooked all the way through, they take your sauce/spice mix and toss that on to your creation for a few minutes to properly season your meal.
Once my meal was plated, I headed back to the table to tell J she could go get hers, but she had decided to just order off the appetizer menu instead.
J’s selection was The Shareable Trio which came with Edamame, Chicken Tenders, and Egg Rolls. The only one I was interested in was chicken tenders and she gave me a couple of those. They actually didn’t taste like food service tenders and the breading actually had a little bit of separation from the chicken. As for the rest of it, J said it was delicious and I had to take her word for it because there was nothing else I was really going to eat.
For L, we ordered the Mac & Cheese. The plate came with a little cup of orange slices and that’s what she was most interested in. The Mac & Cheese tasted and looked a lot like Kraft Mac & Cheese and that’s fine with me. Usually L likes that, but she really just wanted the oranges.
I was actually really surprised by how much I actually liked my meal. I had a pretty simple meat and potatoes meal with a little bit of spice from the jalapenos…something I never would have thought I would have gotten at a stir-fry place.
Before calling it a day, J noticed something on the dessert menu we just couldn’t pass up. Deep-fried Oreos. The four cookies come in a very thick batter and served with a rich, thick chocolate sauce. J and I split them right down the middle. I got two. She got two….but I hogged most of the chocolate sauce.
The bill for the three of us was right around $30. I know our waitress was dealing with a large group, but it took an awful long time to get our check then for her to cash us out after we had given her our card. We were pushing the limit with L so J and I were a little anxious to get out of there. It took a good ten minutes for our check to come back for us to sign.
bd’s Mongolian Grill was a pretty big surprise for me. Had J’s friends not wanted to eat there, I don’t think we ever would have stopped in on our own. I’m kind of ashamed to admit that I’m sort of looking forward to a return trip