Genghis Grill – Mongolian Stir Fry

Image credit: Melvin Steward.

11849 West Broad Street, a Mongolian BBQ wonder. “It’s like Chipotle, but for stir fry lovers,” says Collegiate senior Brenton Hayward (‘17). Genghis Grill, with two locations in Richmond (Short Pump and Chesterfield Town Center), another in Alexandria, VA, and many more nationwide, is a buffet-style restaurant that offers a variety of uncooked meats and vegetables, some with an Asian flair.

As I entered the glass doors, I saw a dimly lit room with an array of booths and seats. To the right, there was a neon-lit bar for people waiting to be seated. As I looked to the back of the restaurant, I noticed a buffet full of food, an oversized grill, and hardworking chefs. On the wall behind the grill is a giant gong that is used to indicate generous tippers.

The waitress approached our table and got our drink orders. She took little time to complete our order, and returned to record our entrees. I ordered a small size bowl because I wasn’t particularly hungry, and in about ten minutes or so, our waitress was out with our bowls. The service at Genghis Grill was phenomenal.

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For those who have never been, when you receive your small, medium, or large metal bowl, you take it over to the buffet to fill it with the food of your choice. I started out with the meats. You can pick flavored meats or regular, and you can even mix and match. After the meats are the spices. You have to choose carefully so that you don’t create a bad combo, but there are many to choose from. After this, I made my way to the vegetables and then finished the process off with whatever sauces I wanted, which go in the smaller silver cups pictured to the right.

I, along with five of my friends, went over to the buffet and picked out what we wanted to eat. Everything at the buffet is uncooked, except for the vegetables. I created a bowl containing sliced beef, carrots, onions, and topped it off with honey soy sauce. I then proceeded to the cooking station and one of the chef’s said, “Good evening. Would you like rice or noodles, and what kind?” I immediately answered, “I would love fried rice, please. Thank you,” and handed my ticket to the chef so that he could begin to cook.

The meat is thinly sliced and is a healthy reddish-brown color stitched with white fat strips. The carrots were vibrant orange, and the cloudy white onions were sliced. Once cooked, the bowl was beautiful. On top of the fluffed bed of noodles, there were slightly charred beef slices, and the carrots and onions were warm and slightly shriveled. It was a delectable freshly-cooked meal.

Photo credit: Colleen Nichols.

Four out of my five friends ordered different styled bowls, and they all enjoyed their meals. Collegiate senior Chase Smullen (‘17) stated, “If you want to eat here, you need to arrive famished, because there is an abundance of food that is cooked to perfection.” Hayward (‘17) was the only outsider and ordered a burger instead of the classic buffet bowl. He immediately regretted his decision to order a burger from a restaurant that specializes in stir fry. He took two bites, then threw in the white towel. He recommends that if you go to this restaurant, you should order something they specialize in; I recommend he go to a restaurant that’s known for their burgers.

Luckily for me, one of my friends leaned over and told me that he forgot his wallet. “Oh, you’ll pay for me? Cool, thanks, man,” said Travis Reifsnider (‘18). So, even though I paid more than I had intended, it was worth every penny. According to Rob Sheehy (‘17), “It would be hard to beat the stir fry from here. It’s just what I wanted.”

About the author

Patrick is a senior at Collegiate.