Mongolian barbecue has been around Macon for a long time, but Genghis Grill is the first chain version of the concept to hit MacTown and these guys have it down to a science.
You’re seated when you first arrive, in a clean, dark-palleted dining area. Your super friendly server will ask you if it’s your first time and will explain how it all works: You can select one of their pre-designed meals or you can choose your own raw ingredients straight from the buffet line and the cooks will create your own concoction.
While you’re deciding, you can munch on a bowl of garlic citrus edamame for $2.99 or the white meat chicken potstickers for $4.99, served with their sweet and hot “3G” sauce.
Once you’ve decided what you want for your meal, you get a card from your waiter stating the size you want with your name on it. Lunch prices are $8.49 for the small, $9.99 for the medium, and $12.99 for the large, adding a dollar more after 4 p.m. The small is indeed not very filling by itself, but we chose to get several small portions and share them.
In the ingredient selection line, your protein is portioned out for you. If you choose a pre-designed meal, you ask for whatever proteins are listed on it.
We tried the Khan Pao chicken and the firecracker scallops to determine which was spicier. Though the scallops had more heat, the chicken was more enjoyable because it took on the flavor of the spices more readily; the spice on the scallops just sat on top, not accepting the flavors as well.
One new thing I learned is that you shouldn’t try to create more than one bowl at a time. I was constantly having to go backward down the 80-piece ingredient line because I had missed the bean sprouts or the green onions. That’s certainly not the restaurant’s fault, but something to remember if you choose to try several items.
Your protein choices are all-natural chicken, sriracha chicken, pork, turkey, tofu, ham, sliced beef, sirloin steak tips, marinated white fish, calamari and scallops. After you add your spices, you choose your veggies -- from carrots and baby corn to bean sprouts and bamboo shoots, along with mandarin oranges, bok choy and water chestnuts. The spoons for the spices and veggies control the portions, though you’re welcome to scoop several times.
Choose one of the 15 sauces and one of the five starches and you’re done. They have a few dessert choices as well, which they wrap up very nicely if you’re too stuffed to eat them right away.
Mongolian barbecue is a great way to get little ones to clean their plates and it’s healthy to boot. Genghis might be a little more expensive than another local version, but they seem to know what they’re doing.
Address: 5743 Bowman Road, Macon
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: Yes
Noise Level: Medium
Health Rating: 100
Price range: $8.49-$13.99
Rating: 3 stars