he name might not be the best thought-out ever, the concept maybe not all that unique, but BangBang Mongolian Grill is confident enough in their brand to bank on opening six new locations total in Maryland, with more planned for Virginia. Based in West Des Moines, Iowa, the restaurant gained momentum in the Mid-Atlantic region when three local businessman, one of them a physician, took interest in spreading the company’s healthy dining options. The first to hit Maryland opened in the Fall at the CAN Company in Baltimore.
In short, my experience at the location was a good one. The food was reasonably priced, and the atmosphere clean and fun. Part of the ambience is due to the cuisine experience itself. Anything that puts more power in the customer’s hands usually has my vote. In this case, you pick a bowl, and in it get to choose all the ingredients for your meal yourself: beef, chicken, pork, seafood, vegetables, sauces and dry spices. I had fun mixing and playing with the portions, then watching them seared at over 500 degrees on a large circular grill.
Unfortunately, BangBang’s biggest draw might also be its biggest issue. The fact is, I don’t know anything about Mongolian cuisine or half the sauces and spices on display. While I still made out with a pleasing concoction, thanks in part to help from the chefs (thank you Courtney), my friend couldn’t finish his overly-spicy bowl. The General Manager admitted it was a semi-common problem where new bowls were issued.
But will we go back and keep trying? Probably.
For more information on BangBang Mongolian Grill, visit their website here.