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Newly Opened Pittsburgh Location Gets Great Review
Feb 20, 2012
Review: bd's Mongolian Grill SouthSide Works
Yes, a chain made it into one of our 'fine dining' reviews. We were invited to the rehearsal run for the opening on Mongo (apologies to the local owner, but the nickname just stuck), so we decided to send our tech and his wife. That's how we treat some of our contributing folks to local perks, and get some reviews ourselves. We honestly didn't think we were going to review on this site, as the review was initially destined for the Screaming Weasel blog we acquired. But...
Sometimes you just get surprised. We aren't going to sell Mongo as a five star restaurant, or tell you about some celebrity chef that showed for the opening, or anything even close to that. What we are going to say is it's unique, and that's why we reviewed here. The creators of Mongo, and the local owner that had enough vision to bring it here deserves our attention. When our tech came back with the photos from lunch and his opinion of the establishment, we reviewed the info and agreed with him that we might want to consider placing the review here.
Mongo is a take on the 'pick your own stuff' fast food model.... but no, it's not fast food. It is a very unique ' stir fry' grill. When you enter, you choose the selections you want (whether you want to dine one time, or multiple times, etc.) and you receive a bowl. You go through three stations: one to select the meats or sea foods you like, the next to select the veggies, the third to select the sauces, etc. You can completely mix and match what you want. You then take it to the grill station where the cooks (pictured to the left) cook your selections for you white you watch. Everything we noticed at every station was extremely fresh. WE didn't spot any low quality or poorly prepped foods... which is excellent for this type of concept restaurant. The twist that Mongo has put on the 'pick your own stuff' model is the face that YOU do the picking... not some clueless teen with heavily used plastic gloves behind the counter. Besides the items being very fresh, we like that very much.
Now, Mongo isn't just a better looking take or twist on a widely used model, but it also has a very nice bar that most would be happy to be seen at, and a great selection of soups for the office lunchers in the area. The style and look of Mongo very much fits SouthSide Works and would be appealing to those from high end to family trendy. We see Mongo as a great place to eat, meet, and hang out. Normally we try and spot a target audience for a place, but Mongo doesn't seem to really have one... they seem to be happy to serve all. The service during the rehearsal from the staff was great, so we are expecting them to do just as well when they go live on Feb 13th!
We highly recommend Mongo to families wanting to not have to hang out in the fast-food corrugate burger joints, but want to patronize an establishment with a high end feel, that includes fun for their family. We also recommend this to the college folks that don't want a party joint, but a great place to go with their friends for a unique night out. And the higher end BMW and Lexus folks... you won't be disappointed either. Check out Mongo, it may be something you quite enjoy.
Oh, yes... and don't let us forget - the desserts, get the desserts (although they may blow your points for the week, they are definitely worth it!)
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