A Tropical Dinner at bd’s Mongolian Grill

bd's mongolian grill, logoI’ve been a fan of Mongolian grill restaurants for a really long time, and it was natural that I’d try to get my kids enthused about the fun dining experience as they grew up too. And it worked! All three children are always happy when we head to our favorite, bd’s Mongolian Grill in downtown Denver, Colorado. There used to be a bd’s in Boulder, which was way more convenient, but it closed down many years ago. We still miss it. C’est la vie. Or, perhaps more accurately, амьдрал ийм шүү дээ!

Over the years I’ve also had a chance to connect with bd’s marketing team and when they reached out to invite us to check out some new temporary menu items themed to a Beaches Resort getaway vacation in celebration of their 25th Anniversary, we were in like Flynn! We entered the giveaway, of course, because what family wouldn’t want an all-expenses-paid luxury vacation to a Beaches resort in the Caribbean, airfare included? No word on whether I’m the winner yet, though! 🙂

Because it’s a beach vacation, the food theme was suitably tropical and the menu items we decided we’d try, in addition to the usual bowls, were the Coconut Shrimp Taco appetizer and the S’Mores Quesadilla dessert. And I had to get a “Painkiller”, a tasty mixed drink of pineapple juice, coconut water and orange juice mixed with Pusser’s Rum. Very tropical – and strong too!

To start, the Coconut Shrimp Tacos were cute, in tortillas maybe 8-inches across:

bd's mongolian bbq - coconut shrimp tacos

After quickly consuming those, we got up to make our regular Mongolian BBQ bowls. For those of you that might not have ever been to a Mongolian grill, the basic idea is that you go through a raw food buffet bar, heaping whatever meats, noodles, and veggies you’d like into your bowl. At the end of the buffet line you hand the bowl to a cook and they grill it up to perfection on a huge shared grilling surface. Toss on one of dozens of different sauces and you have a splendid meal, whether you’re heavy into the carnivore side or a strict vegan.

I finished piling up the foods I like – fajita marinated chicken, sausage, ramen noodles and a bunch of veggies – grabbed an egg and a sauce that was a 50/50 mix of the fajita sauce and the chili garlic sauce and sidled up to the grill area:

mongolian bbq at bd's, ready to cook

Looks nice and healthy, doesn’t it? The grillers have a huge steel grill that they use to simultaneously cook up to a dozen people’s food (and when it’s busy, they don’t get a minute’s break).

Here the grillers are in action:

grilling at bd's mongolian bbq

The food being flipped is actually my dinner: You can see the egg is still sitting in a bowl on the edge, waiting to be cooked as the meal is almost done. Each diner tends to get a very different mix of ingredients, one of the real benefits of a make-your-own approach like bd’s has. Also, that hole in the middle of the grill? That’s for eggshells as they crack the eggs to cook.

When the food’s 3-4 minutes from done, the griller cracks the egg, cooks it up and mixes it in, then adds the sauce (remember, mine was half fajita, half chili garlic) which is cooked into the mix just before it’s pulled off the grill. Mine looked fantastic when it came off the grill:

delicious custom dinner bd's mongolian bbq, denver co

Meals are optionally served with tortillas and rice, so I’ll commonly make a burrito with all the ingredients, but eventually I switch to a fork or chopsticks and eat the rest directly. I can assure you that as good as it looks, it tasted even better!

But don’t take my word for it, look at the smiles on the faces of my two young dining companions:

two girls enjoying dinner at bd's mongolian bbq, denver co

Notice also that by choice both girls added veggies to their plates. A blessing by itself!

We were done and full, but there were desserts to consume, so we ordered the S’Mores Quesadilla, a temporary menu item during the 25th Anniversary celebration, and a family favorite, the decadent and ridiculously tasty fried Oreos. First, the S’Mores:

s'mores quesadilla, bd's mongolian bbq, denver co

They were good but, frankly, not great and not worthy of becoming a permanent menu addition in my opinion.

Far more tasty were the fried Oreos that are part of the standard menu:

fried oreos, bd's mongo mongolian bbq

I know, super unhealthy deep fried in a batter with a thick fudge and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but ya know what? Sometimes you have to splurge and the girls did an excellent job of making sure I didn’t have too much temptation by quickly consuming it all. We did not get a second order, contrary to their expressed desires, and just as well: Walking back to the car my daughter K- complained she was “totally stuffed” anyway.

In total, we had a huge meal, much more than usual. Typically we head in and each get a bowl, but by adding the shrimp tacos, the mixed alcoholic beverage and two desserts, our tab jumped up and dinner ran about $75.00 for the three of us. Without the extravagant splurges, a dinner bowl runs $14.99 with unlimited salad (yes, they have a salad bar too) per person — and lunchtime’s even less expensive, $10.49 for a single visit to the grill. Overall, we had a delicious meal and bd’s is always fun and lively so the overall experience was really great. As a bonus, our server was quite entertaining too.

A good time with great food. We’ll be back. But there was never really a question about that, was there?

Disclosure: BD’s Mongolian BBQ covered the cost of our meal in return for this writeup.

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