Last year, while on a derby trip to Evansville, I ate at a tiny, family-owned Mongolian Grill called Charlie’s. The concept was awesome: put whatever raw ingredients you want (meat, veggies, noodles, eggs, etc.) into a bowl, hand it to the cooks, and watch them fry it on a table using two big sticks.
The Genghis Grill in Cordova comes closest to replicating my Charlie’s experience. Your server brings you a bowl, and then you fill it up with meat, veggies and seasonings from their all-raw buffet. At the end of the line, you fill up a smaller bowl with the sauce of your choice (they’ve got about 10 to choose from) hand it to the guys standing in front of the big, flat grill. They dump your bowl out, add the sauce, cook it with noodles or rice and deliver it to your table. It’s sort of like YoLo, but with stir fry.
The selection at Genghis Grill is a little overwhelming. I crammed as many chunks of crab meat, bean sprouts, tomatoes, bell peppers, scallops and pineapple chunks as I could into my small bowl, then precariously balanced a raw egg on top. It didn’t look like a lot of food when I handed it to the grill guys, but when it came to the table, the portion had grown kind of ridiculously (partially because the grill guys add the noodles or rice).
Genghis Grill is (so far) the only Mongolian barbecue in Memphis. It’s a franchise restaurant, meaning that it’s part of a national brand, but it’s locally owned and operated. If you’re going to try it, you may want to go at off-peak hours – the space isn’t huge, and it’s super kid-friendly.
The meals are priced per bowl, with one adult dinner bowl at $10 (and endless bowls for $13) and kids’ single bowls (called Future warrior bowls”) at $4.99. You can make a to-go bowl for $9.