A Fun Tasting Dinner @ BD’s Mongolian Grill in Denver

I have to admit, BD’s Mongolian Grill restaurant in Denver, Colorado is one of our favorite places to eat. We’ve had birthday parties there, and we make at least once a month even though it’s almost 40min from where we live. There’s just something about being able to assemble a bowl full of each person’s favorite proteins, noodles, veggies and sauce then watch it quick grilled in front of you that makes it fun and tasty, and I haven’t taken a child there yet who hasn’t also enjoyed it.

When the BD’s marketing team reached out and invited us to join them for a new menu tasting event at the restaurant, it was a no brainer. Even on a school night! And so last night my 11yo K- and I headed into Denver through the usual 5pm traffic for a BD’s dinner at the “#DenverBDsBlogNight“.

To start, here’s a photo of the location, their only one in Colorado:

bd's mongolian bbq, denver co

Disclaimer: This one’s a photo they supplied. It was pretty jam-packed last night!

To start, Hayley, the marketing person from corporate who hosted the event, had a nice display of what we’d be tasting:

new entrees and appetizers bd's bbq

Back right and around clockwise, it’s pineapple and cashew fried rice with an egg on top, street tacos, beef sliders, and more street tacos.

We started with some seasonal beers: I opted for a very nice Sam Adams Octoberfest, and K- had a root beer (don’t worry, they weren’t about to give her alcohol!). I’m not a big beer drinker, but I like the extra flavors of the seasonable fall and winter beers.

Then a sample of the Pineapple & Cashew Fried Rice, up really close because, well, iPhone 6s camera:

pineapple and cashew fried rice, bd's mongolian bbq

Really quite tasty and the sweetness of the pineapple was a good addition to a common dish on many menus. K- didn’t like it that much, however, but I think that’s because she was saving her appetite for our bowls of make-your-own food.

Next up were the Bánh Mi beef sliders, which were good but I thought lacked depth:

banh mi beef sliders, bds mongolian bbq

The house-cooked potatoes were good and the spicy ketchup? A definite winner. In fact, I found myself dipping the slider into the ketchup as I went along…

Then the street tacos. What street tacos have to do with the Mongolian theme I don’t know, but sometimes you just eat without worrying too much about consistent theming, right? 🙂

There are three flavors of street taco on the menu, fish, pork and chicken, but we only had a chance to taste the latter two, starting with these, the Five-Spice Pork Tacos:

five spice pork tacos, bds mongolian bbq

I’m happy to report that they were very good, and the Sriracha Chicken Tacos we had after were even better. Those were quite delicious and I would have been happy to have a trio of ’em as my meal. I don’t know if you can buy tacos on the street in Mongolia, but I don’t much care about verisimilitude when I’m eating…

During these different samples, Hayley offered up an interesting exercise for us, giving us four cards with different factors that influence someone’s decision on where to eat and asking us to rank order them. Here’s what we came up with, most important on the left:

factors that go into choosing a restaurant

How would you rank your own factors in this particular decision?

Finally the servers came by and gave us empty bowls. It was time to head to the BD’s buffet line and pile in everything that would cook up to a perfect dish for each customer. If you’ve never been to a restaurant of this nature, it’s pretty darn fun, starting with the protein options:

protein, meat, buffet bd's mongolian bbq

Unlike the earlier photo, you can see that the restaurant was quite busy, particularly for a Tuesday night!

What I like is that there’s quite a range of protein options, including vegetarian faux meats, tofu, seafood, etc. The meats are a mix of marinated and raw, and one of my favorites you can see in the photo too: the sausage which cooks up as a delicious addition to any bowl. Well, unless, like my older daughter, you’re vegan, in which case it’s not good at all.

Next up are veggies:

vegetables veggies buffet mongolian bbq

The big white portion in the foreground are onions. Lots of onions. A good addition, for sure.

Finally the most important part, choosing sauce and condiments to add as it’s all grilling:

sauce bar buffet mongolian bbq

I’m a sucker for the Buffalo, since I like spicy, but this evening I tried Teriyaki, which is apparently one of the most popular choices. It was quite good. Oh, and there are a lot of gluten-free options too if that’s something you’re paying attention to.

Finally, my bowl and sauce were ready to go:

bowl ready to grill, bd's mongolian bbq

You can see the huge grill in the background. They toss your foods on and using “swords” they keep things flipping, moving around and cooking without burning:

grill in action, bd's mongolian bbq

My modest portion is the one with the egg adjacent. Usually I’d have a considerably larger portion, but I was stuffed by that point from all the other food we’d tried. As you can see, each person has a very different mix. Indeed, it’s quite interesting to see who eats their veggies and who goes for the all-meat sort of portion as you can see to the left of my food.

Once it’s done, the grillers add the sauces, give it a few more seconds to heat up and combine, and you’re ready to eat hot, delicious food. And it’s crazy good!

Finally, we got a dessert sampler too. Deep fried Oreos:

deep fried oreos

I wasn’t too sure about how they’d taste, but actually it was quite good. Would I order ’em? Probably not, but I often go with kids, and my kids are all very pro-sugar, so you can do the math. 🙂

My thanks to Hayley and the BD’s team for a fun evening event and a chance to try a lot of good additions to the menu. If you think that going there requires you doing all the work of assembling your meal, there are now plenty of alternatives to try at a range of different price points!

Disclosure: Yeah, they paid for our meal. But that’s obvious, right?

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