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Mongolian Grill in Trooper, PA

Chefpaulo | Jun 12, 201505:16 PM

OK...the name (Fat Boy's Mongolian Grill) is a misnomer as the place has no Mongolian cuisine - not that there actually is any - as I was there in 2000 and came away with NO memories of anything Mongolian. Some research turned up that the "Mongolian grill" is an early 1970s Taiwanese invention offering an array of fresh fish, meats and raw veggies that you pile onto a plate, select from an array of sauces, and then have staff grill it on a huge circular grill while you stand and watch. I took advantage of a large tray of freshly-thawed shrimp that I piled on with bean sprouts, scallions, snow peas, mushrooms, onions and a ramekin of Peking sauce that I took to the grill and, five minutes later, had it presented. My final product was good but the sauce a bit bland necessitating a trip back to the sauce and condiment bar for some corrective heat and garlic. Accompanying white rice is included and fried rice is extra.

On the plus side, the place was about two-thirds full at lunch hour (compared to the cavernous emptiness of the previous two buffet disasters) and half of the clientele were enthusiastic Asians who knew the system and seemed skilled at creating their favorites. Staff was attentive, beverage refills prompt and all quite clean. Most of all, it functions leaps and bounds above the Sino-American lunchtime blasphemy steam table glop that's been wallowing in its own juices for over an hour before you arrived. What you're getting here is fresh and you get to create your own.

I guess you have to count in a few negatives like infidel ingredients (sliced hot dogs??? Come onnnn), jello and chocolate pudding for dessert, the grill being a no-no for vegans as your choices are cooked next to animal products and the establishment moniker that will insult any young male of excessive girth. Otherwise, now that I know how it works, I'll be back.

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