Recently, my family and I had the opportunity of dining at two different restaurants. Our experiences were vastly different, one being great and one being very disappointing. We will start with the favorable review first.
After the Christmas holiday, we discovered that there was a new restaurant that had recently opened near us. We had heard some friends had tried it and they enjoyed it.
Mongo’s Grill has recently opened in Maple Grove, MN in the Arbor Lakes Shopping Complex located near Costco on Fountains Drive. We went on a Thursday evening and really liked it. Mongo’s is a Mongolian BBQ restaurant similiar to other Mongolian BBQ’s like Khans and others. We were seated right away and our server came up and explained everything to us. She also took our drink orders and when we were ready to start, she took each of us up (one at a time, so we could watch Joseph) and explained everything in detail.
This was an unbelievable experience! There were loads of choices as far as food items and other toppings for the BBQ were present along with a large number of different sauces. Once you load your bowl with the ingredients and sauces, then it is off to the grill, which occupies a large section towards the front-middle section of the restaurant. There are several cooks in this pit area and they take your food and ask you what you would prefer for a side (choices are a wrap, flour tortillas, brown rice, fried rice, etc.) While your food is being cooked, the cooks sometimes will sing or tell jokes. They are very interactive with the guests along with their attention to detail with your food. In watching them cook, they never once gave anyone the wrong food. They must have a system to keep track!
Staff – very friendly and customer oriented
Bowls for food are small
Price – $14.00 for all you can eat. They do have a one-bowl option for $12. Prices are cheaper at lunch
Overall, I enjoyed our time at Mongo’s and look forward to returning. It is well worth the price!
We have been to Royal Buffet several times in the past. We found this place via some coupons in a small paper and tried it once and the food was pretty good. Royal Buffet is in Crystal on Bass Lake Road, east of 169. The buffet is three long stations with two of them being hot food items and one being cold food items. We went at my wife’s suggestion. I initially was not real enthusiastic about it because I had noticed that there was a decline in service and food quality since our first visit and subsequent visits. I really hoped that I would have been proven wrong, but I was not. This was probably one of the worst meals I have ever had at a Chinese restaurant. First, the price was quite steep $10.55 per person. Second, the food was not very hot. Everything that I seemed to eat that night was barely hot. The hot and sour soup was very disappointing. There were no beef dishes on either line. The food was not being replenished. About 45 mins into our meal, the kitchen staff came out and started mopping the floor like they were getting ready to close. They also started removing some items from the buffet line while they were still seating people. Nothing like making them feel welcome!
I finally quit eating after two plates of mediocre, lukewarm food. The only bright spot was the friendliness of the wait staff with my son. After we paid the bill and left, we went to the car and my wife told me that we did not have to go back there again. She came to the same conclusion that I did!
After experiencing this bad meal, it makes me long for a grading system in restaurants similar to LA County where a grade is given (A,B,C,D,F) and that grade is posted near the front entrance. A and B restaurants are ok. You would never eat in a C restaurant. D &F places are usually closed down. I wish we had that type of rating system here!