Jan 082012

Cuisine: Asian, Mongolian
Restaurant Features: Bar, Lunch Buffet, Dinner Buffet, On-Site Parking
Locations: Coon Rapids,  Richfield, Roseville
Addresses and Maps:
Coon Rapids– 2085 Northdale Blvd NW Coon Rapids, MN 55433 (763) 767-3018
Richfield– 500 E 78th St Richfield, MN 55423 (612) 861-7991
Roseville- 2720 Snelling Ave N. Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 631-3398

Hours: Daily 11am-9pm

Atmosphere: At the Roseville location there are several small dining areas situated around the restaurant, which are made a little more private with the creative use of live plants.  The dining areas all surround the centrally-located meat and vegetable buffets.  All seating is limited to tables, but there is at least one dining space that allows for tables to be pushed together for larger parties.

Within the restaurant there is a small bar area to accommodate patrons who may have to wait for a table on a busy night, or for those who would like to try one of the specialty tropical drinks or wines.

Menu: The concept of Khan’s is one that allows diners to customize their own stir-fry dishes.  Guests choose from a buffet containing a variety of sliced frozen meats (beef, chicken, pork, lamb, shrimp and imitation crab).  You take a bowl, fill it with the meats and noodles of your choosing, and then move down to the vegetable line where you can choose from a large selection of fresh vegetables to be used in your custom stir-fry.

After filling your bowl with your preferred meats and vegetables, you then add sauces to flavor your stir-fry, such as Garlic Sauce, Cooking Wine, House Sauce, Dragon Sauce, Teriyaki, Curry, Lobster Sauce.  There is a sign over the sauce bar that suggests which sauces and flavorings you should choose, depending on how spicy you would like it.  After you have your bowl filled with meats, noodle, vegetables and sauces, you take it to the Barbeque Area, where  your stir-fry is cooked right in front of you.

Price guide: Lunch (1 bowl) $10  Dinner (unlimited bowls) $14

What we ordered: It is true, Khan’s has changed their appetizer.  Each table now receives a plate of crispy fried wonton chips with a sauce that is a combo of sweet, sour, spicy and garlicy.  They are great but I miss the chicken wing and hot and sour soup that it used to come with.

At first it may seem overwhelming what to include in your stir fry but I have been to Khan’s enough to have my combination down.  I always get beef and the very fine noodles at the bottom of my bowl.  For my veggies I get broccoli, purple cabbage, onions, bok choy, bean sprouts, pineapple, zucchini, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms and a ton of fresh cilantro.  Its the sauces that can get tricky and impact the flavor of your stir fry.  I like sweet, savory and spicy all together so I usually follow the recipe for the spicy and add a scoop of garlic, fresh jalapenos, chili oil, teriyaki, and Thai peanut sauce.  Yum!

My companion made a stir fry that had beef, lamb, shrimp, noodles, mushrooms, bok-choy, green pepper, water chestnuts, crushed red pepper, garlic, and curry.  Much more savory than my dish and quite spicy. Very good!

Service: I have eaten at Khan’s a handful of times each year for the past decade and while they once had very good service, the service at the Roseville location has really gone downhill this past year.  On this particular visit we especially had bad service from the moment we arrived.  There is a big sign that says “please wait to be seated” but there wasn’t a host present and we waited several minutes before someone acknowledged us.  Once we were finally seated, we had to wait several more minutes before seeing our server and then it was an even longer wait before initial drinks as well as refills were brought to the table.   On most visits a server will ask us if we have been to Khan’s before so they can explain the procedure.  On this particular visit, our server did not ask us this.  I can imagine that if we had not been to Khan’s before, we still would have figured it out but its easy to see that newbies might not know how it works.  We went ahead and got in the buffet line fast and efficiently since we both know exactly what we want.  Sometimes Khan’s will have someone available to offer help with sauces, but not on this visit.  The line for the Barbeque goes rather quickly.  We sat down and started enjoying our dinner but then the server brought our check out to us before we had finished our first plates!  I thought this was strange, but I guess I would rather have it now than wait forever later.  I haven’t had anyone to help me with my sauces in the last 2-3 visits either.
Overall Impression: I go to Khan’s for the food and definitely not for the service! The make-your-own stir fry at Khan’s can be varied thousands of ways, depending on what combination of ingredients and sauces you use.  Be prepared because it can take some time to create the stir-fry to your liking, at least it did for me. If you’re lucky, there may be an employee helping customers with their sauces.
Khan's Mongolian Barbeque on Urbanspoon
Khan's Mongolian Barbeque on Urbanspoon

Nov 272011

Cuisine: Chinese, Vietnamese
Restaurant Features: Dinner Buffet, Lunch Buffet, On Site Parking
Location: Little Canada, MN
Address: 1 Little Canada Rd E Little Canada, MN 55117 (651) 483-1239
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-9pm Sat 12pm-9pm
Lunch Buffet Mon-Fri 11am-2:30pm * Dinner Buffet Fri-Sat 5pm-8:30pm
Links: Caravelle on Facebook * Google Map
Caravelle Chinese Vietnamese Restaurant ~ Little Canada, MN

Atmosphere: The Little Canada location of Caravelle Restaurant is located in an old and faded strip mall on Little Canada Road, about 1/4 mile from Rice Street. The dining room has several vinyl-clothed tables, including a handful that are round and can seat six.  There are a couple of Chinese lanterns suspended from the ceiling but that is the only hint given aware by the decor that this is an Asian restaurnt and not a diner straight out of the 90’s.
Dining Room at Caravelle ~ Little Canada, MN

Menu: Appetizers at Caravelle include Vietnamese Eggrolls, Vegetarian Eggrolls, Chicken Wings, Teriyaki Chicken, Oyster Wings, Szechuan Wings, Sugar Puffs, Cream Cheese Wontons, Fried Meat Wontons, BBQ Pork, Steamed Vegetable Dumpling, Pork Dumplings, Shrimp Spring Roll, Pork Spring Roll, Chicken Spring Roll, Shrimp Toasts, and Butterfly Shrimp.

Soups include Wonton, Egg Flower, Vegetable, Hot & Sour, House Seafood Soup.

Chop Suey, Chow Fun and Fried Rice options include Vegetable, Chicken, Pork, Beef and Shrimp.

Entrees include your choice of chicken, shrimp, beef or pork with Sesame, Curry, Kung Pao, Garlic Sauce, Egg Four Young, Sweet & Sour, Moo Shu, Lomein, Twice Cooked Pork, Ta Chien Chicken, Hunan Beef, Beef Szechuan Style, Vietnamese Hot Chicken, Tong Ting Shrimp.

Caravelle House Specialties include Caravelle Special Delight, Seafood Delight, Diamond Head War Bar (shrimp, scallops, beef, chicken, roast pork, sauteed with diced Chinese veggies), Triple Delight, Happy Family, Mongolian Beef, Ginger Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken, Chicken in Black Bean Sauce, Pineapple Chicken, Orange Beef or Chicken, Beef with Potato in Oyster Sauce, Shrimp with Black Bean Sauce, Salted Pepper Jumbo Shrimp, Beef Green Bean, Vietnamese Hot Spicy Beef, Chicken Broccoli, Moo Goo Gai Pan, Chicken Almond Ding, Chicken Cashew, Lemon Chicken, Beef Pepper Steak with Tomato, Beef with Broccoli, Eight Immortal Beef, Shrimp in Lobster Sauce, Shrimp Chinese Vegetable, Shrimp Almond Ding, and Chicken with Vegetables.

Vietnamese specialties at Caravelle include Vermicelli Bowl (choice of beef, chicken, or shrimp), Saigon Noodle Soup, and Pho (beef, beef meatballs, chicken and vegetarian).
Price guide: Appetizers $4-6 Entrees $8-12

What we ordered: We started with an order of Oyster Wings. This was an order of eight giant, crispy wings covered with a sweet vinegary sauce that was unlike any oyster sauce I have had before. I liked these but I wouldn’t call them oyster wings.
Oyster Wings at Caravelle ~ Little Canada, MN

We also tried the Shrimp Toast, which are little cocktail-sized toasts with a shrimp on top, then breaded and deep-fried. These were very crispy and heavily battered but didn’t seem greasy at all, which was an unexpected but pleasant surprise.
Shrimp Toast at Caravelle ~ Little Canada, MN

For our entrees we tried the Crunchy Sesame Shrimp, which I thought was great. The shrimp were quite large and butterflied before being battered and deep fried and there was a pretty big serving of them overall. The sauce was a tangy and slightly sweet sesame sauce
Crunch Sesame Shrimp at Caravelle ~ Little Canada, MN

The Lemon Chicken also came as a large order of crispy, heavily battered chicken pieces, bathed in a very lemony sauce. This was good but I found the sauce to be kind of boring, like it was missing a crucial ingredient.  This was good only until the lemon sauce turned the breading soggy.
Lemon Chicken at Caravelle ~ Little Canada, MN

We also ordered the Pork Fried Rice, a heaping serving of rice with peas, carrots, scrambled egg, bean sprouts, and candied Chinese barbecue pork. Very flavorful and yummy.
Pork Fried Rice at Caravelle ~ Little Canada, MN

Service: We were greeted with a smile and the server was very nice. We took our time looking over the menu and ordered our appetizers and later ordered our entrees.  The dishes were brought out to us in the order they were prepared, which was nice so that we could try everything when it was hot and fresh.
Overall Impression: I had known of the Caravelle that used to be located on University Avenue(now closed) but I wasn’t aware of the one in Little Canada until a friend told me about the lunch buffet.  I am glad I stopped in and tried this place, especially glad I ordered from the menu, as the food was hot and fresh.
Caravelle Restaurant III - Little Canada on Urbanspoon
Caravelle Restaurant Reviews in Little Canada

Apr 102011

Cuisine: American, Asian, Dessert
Restaurant Features: All-You-Can-Eat, Lunch Buffet, Dinner Buffet, Hotel
Location: Hinckley, MN
Address: 777 Lady Luck Drive  Hinckley, MN 55037   800-472-6321

Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. & 4 to 8:30 p.m.
Monday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. & 4 to 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. & 4 to 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. & 4 to 8:30 p.m.
Thursday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. & 4 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. & 4 to 10 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. & 4 to 10 p.m.

Links: Grand Buffet Website * Grand Casino on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: The Buffet is sits in the back center, surrounded by a very large dining rooms.  The Buffet itself is divided into different sections: Grand Harvest, Oriental, Entree, International, American Bounty, Homestyle and Desserts.

The seating area


Menu: Items available during the Prime Rib Buffet on Saturday and Sunday nights include:

American Bounty Station: Fried Cod, Ham, Broasted Chicken, Sausage and Sauerkraut, Wild Rice, Corn Bread, Baked Beans, Pizza and Calzones.

Homestyle Station: Corn, Green Beans, Green Bean Casserole, Potatoes Au Gratin, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Gravy.

International Station: Fish, BBQ Ribs, Buffalo Wings, Sesame Wings, Garlic Wings, BBQ Wings, Baked Potato Bar

Oriental Station: Szechuan Beef, Noodle, Fried Rice, Chicken and Broccoli, Egg Rolls, Wontons, and Potstickers.

Desserts: Soft-Serve Ice Cream and Sundae Bar, Bananas Foster, Peach Cobbler, Bread Pudding, Apple Crisp, Churro, Cannoli, Cheesecake, Chocolate Mousse Pie, etc.

Full Salad Bar

Grand Buffet Weekly Specials

Lunch Buffet
Monday through Friday – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $8.99.
Always plenty of variety; hot and cold entrées, delectable side dishes, fresh salads, pizza, and great desserts. Breakfast items served until 1 p.m.

Weekend Brunch Buffet
Saturdays and Sundays – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $10.99.
Pastries, fruit, chef-made omelets, waffles, breakfast meats, salad bar, chef-carved ham and turkey, chicken, fish, dessert, and more!

Crab Crackin Buffet
Sunday, 4 to 9 p.m. for $19.99
Opilio Crab highlights the Crab Crackin Buffet – other offerings include chef carved prime rib, BBQ Ribs, Peel & Eat Shrimp, smoked salmon. Full Salad bar with all the fixings, Asian station with house favorites and a dessert station that features a wide selection of cakes, pies, and sweet treats.

Classic Dinner Buffet
Mondays – 4 to 9 p.m. for $12.99.
Featuring traditional favorites such as chef-carved turkey and ham, broasted chicken, succulent ribs, baked cod, delicious and varied side dishes, our always loaded salad bar, and dessert options galore.

Seafood and Prime Rib Buffet
Tuesdays – 4 to 9 p.m. for $22.99.
Our lavish Seafood Buffet showcases sweet snow crab, shrimp, scallops, oysters on the half shell, mussels, clam strips, cod, salmon; along with shrimp scampi, prime rib, full soup and salad bar, and much more – it’s the ultimate feast for the seafood lover.

Smokehouse Buffet
Wednesdays – 4 to 9 p.m. for $14.99.
If you love barbecue, you’ll love this buffet! Featuring our St. Louis style ribs, smoked turkey, apple wood smoked chicken, pulled pork, Southern style brisket, smoked meatloaf, and Cajun cod; along with distinctive side dishes and regional favorites specially chosen to complement the barbecue theme.

International Buffet
Thursdays – 4 to 9 p.m. for $12.99.
Selections from around the world – carved corned beef brisket, jerk pork loin and our German sausage roll. Entrees included an assortment of Asian entrees, Italian favorites such as lasagna and straw and hay, and traditional items like Yankee pot roast and pan fried cod.

Prime Rib Buffet
Fridays and Saturdays – 4 to 10 p.m. for $15.99.
Our delectable, all-you-can-eat prime rib is hand-seasoned, slow-roasted to perfection, and then chef-carved to order. As always, you’ll find plenty more to choose from – a great variety of hot entrées and side dishes, peel & eat shrimp, our Wok station where all your choices are fresh-made as you watch, and of course, our wonderful handmade desserts.

Buffet menu and prices are subject to change. Grand Traditions Buffet is served on most holidays. Please contact the Buffet for more information.



What I ate: I visited on a Saturday night during the Prime Rub Buffet.  My first stop was at the American Bounty where I tried a calzone and a piece of pizza.  Nearby at another station I found marinara sauce and since I love tons of red sauce, I took a ton for my calzone.  Best idea ever, the calzone with the extra sauce was one of the things I liked the most.  I also tried one of the Buffalo Wings, pretty basic.

Next I tried a plate from the Oriental Station which included Szechuan Beef with Noodles, fried rice, fried potstickers, cream cheese wontons and an eggroll.  Typical mediocre chinese buffet food, nothing stood out as anything special.

I tried a few bites of the Tomato Basil Soup, which was creamy and flavorful.

I also tried some of the Prime Rib.  The initial cut I got was very well done, so I asked for a different piece.  The chef who was carving it then cut into a whole new roast so I could get a slice that was medium rare.  This cut was far better and while the slice wasn’t very thick, the meat was very tender.  It took me many years to get to the point of eating my steaks at a maximum of medium temperature but it tastes so much better when it is still tender and juicy. Cooking beef until it is well done is ruining the meat!

I piled up a plate of different desserts and took only a few bites.  The bananas foster and the bread pudding were both very good.

Service: We made it to the buffet after 9pm on a Saturday night, less than an hour before they closed.  Our server was a quite strange and made very weird comments to various members of my party, but drinks were refilled at record pace and dishes cleared almost as quick.
Overall Impression: The food at Grand Casino Buffet was decent but nothing special; not nearly as good as the Buffet at Mystic Lake.  I’d eat here again if I happened to be at the Casino but I wouldn’t drive out of my way just for the food.

Grand Casino Buffet on Urbanspoon

Dec 282010

Disclosure: I was invited out to do this review and my meal was provided by the restaurant.

Have you been down to Mystic Lake Casino recently?  Have you tried their Buffet? The menu at the Buffet changes every couple of months with seasonal items, so it is always fun to try the plethora of food items no matter what time of year you visit.

Today I will highlight the Winter “Holiday” Around-the-World Buffet, which runs through December and January.  Mystic Lake is offering a special Buy-One-Get-One-Free Buffet Dinner throughout the month of January, get the printable coupon here on their website.

Cuisine: American, European, and Pacific
Restaurant Features: All-You-Can-Eat, Hotel
Location: Prior Lake, MN
Address: 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake, MN, 55372 (Mystic Lake Casino)

  • Mon – Fri Lunch:  11:30am – 2:30pm $9.95
  • Saturday & Sunday Brunch:  10am – 2:30pm $13.95
  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday Dinner:   4:30pm – 11:00pm $12.95
  • Wednesday  Seafood Night:  4:30pm – 11:00pm  $22.95
  • Saturday & Sunday  Dinner:  4:30pm – 11:00pm $16.95

Links: Buffet at Mystic Lake Website * Mystic Lake Facebook Page * Google Map

Atmosphere: The Buffet at Mystic Lake Casino is an International-Themed Buffet with three main stations: European, American and Pacific.  Each station is host to a variety of holiday foods found in that particular region of the world.  There are also two salad bars and a dessert station.

For the holiday season the Buffet is festively decorated with trees and lights but also displays these beautiful, elaborate Gingerbread creations by Marshall Rosenthal.

Menu: Salad Bar items include Mixed Greens, bean Sprouts, Mushrooms, Green peppers, Garbanzo beans, Broccoli, Shredded Carrots, Garden Peas, Julienne Red Peppers, Black Olives, Radish, Cucumber, Onion, Tomato Wedges, Chopped Eggs, Bleu Cheese Crumbles, Cheddar Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, and Sliced Beets.  Dressing include Caesar, Italian, Bleu Cheese, French, Ranch, 1000 Island and Parmesan Peppercorn.  Soups include Chicken Wild Rice, Asian Soup and a Soup of the Day

Other Salad Bar Items include Ham salad, Tropical Fruit Salad, Smoked Salmon, Pickled Herring, Green Olives, Grilled Vegetables, Baby Corn, Roasted Mushrooms, Cherry Peppers, Pepperjack, Cheddar, Swiss, Honeydew, Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Oranges, Pears, Peaches, Strawberries, Cottage Cheese, and Yogurt.

Items found at the American Holiday Station include Waffle Fries, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Beef Enchiladas, Stuffed Peppers in Tomato sauce, Alaskan Cod with Mushroom Dill Sauce, Acorn Squash with Apple Bacon Crumble, Rotisserie Chicken, Chicken with Banana Mango Chutney, Macaroni and Cheese, Broasted Chicken, Smoky Cowboy Beans, Vegetable Medley, Roast Beef (lunch), Prime Rib (dinner), Mashed Potatoes, Oven Roasted Turkey, Sage Dressing, Corn Niblets and Blackened Atlantic Salmon.

Items found at the European Holiday Station include Pork Saltimbocca with Fresh Sage and Brown Sauce, Ziti with Sundried Tomato and Pancetta in Basil Cream Sauce, French Peas with Mushrooms and Pearl Onions, Potatoes Au Gratin, Mahi Mahi, Beef Stroganoff, Tomato Provencale, Buttered Egg Noodles, Garlic Cheese Bread, Assorted Hearth Baked Pizzas.

Items found at the Pacific Holiday Station include Cream Cheese Wontons, Sesame Sedd Balls, Pork Egg Rolls, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Vegetable Lo mein, Chow Mein with Pork, Chow Mein Noodles, Dan Dan Noodles with Bok Choy, Mongolian Meatballs, Chinese Spare Ribs, Egg Fu Yung, Honey Seared Pork with Peppers, Steamed Rice, Vegetable Fried Rice, and Grouper in Black Bean Sauce.

Dessert Station Items include Sugar-Free Carrot Cake, Sugar-Free Cheese Cake, Sugar-Free jello, Apple Spice Cake, Caramel Custard, Ice Cream Sundae Bar, and many more.

What we ordered: We first started at the Pacific Station where we tried a little bit of everything.  The Mongolian Meatballs were a spicy-sweet bite of meaty awesomeness, the Chinese Spare Ribs were very sweet and tender, the Dan Dan noodles were packed with flavor, and the sweet and sour chicken, fried rice, lo mein, eggrolls and cream cheese wontons were also very tasty.  My favorite item from the Pacific Station was the Grouper in Black Bean Sauce.  Yum!

Our next stop was the European Station where everything looked so good we tried it all!  The French Peas with Mushrooms and Pearl Onions was very tasty, as was the Tomato Provencale, which was stuffed with Parmesan Cheese and Italian Seasonings then baked.  The Mahi Mahi was decent and the Pork Saltimbocca was full of flavor from the sauce it was cooked in and the prosciutto baked on top.  The Garlic Cheese Bread was full of buttery-garlic goodness with bubbly baked cheese on top.  Delish! Our second plate from the European Station included the rich, meaty Beef Stroganoff, Ziti in Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Cream Sauce, Buffalo Chicken Pizza and the Stuffed Pizza.  Everything was very good.

We made a couple of trips to the American Station where we tried everything that was offered. I made a traditional “Thanksgiving” plate with Roasted Turkey, Rotisserie Chicken, Sage Dressing, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes. Everything was excellent, I must have eaten it all before I took a photo… sorry!
Feast your eyes on this gorgeous cut of Prime Rib from the American Station. Incredibly tender,  juicy and fairly lean.  I could eat at the Buffet for Prime Rib alone!

Other items we tried at the American Station were the Macaroni and Cheese which was very creamy and cheesy but not at all clumpy like mac and cheese can get sometimes.  The Smoky Cowboy Beans were as good as any I have had, and the Alaskan Cod may have been my favorite fish that I tried at the Mystic Lake Buffet, the sauce was flavorful and the fish was not at all fishy.  The Blackened Salmon was also good.

I didn’t have much room for dessert but wanted to see what the Sugar-Free Desserts were all about.  So glad I tried both the Carrot Cake and the Cheesecake because both were delicious, even sugar-free!

I tried one last dessert before I was too full too move, the Caramel Custard.  I love custard and thought this was delicious! It was smooth, creamy and the caramel was just the right touch without being too rich.

Service: We were able to get a table right away and were greeted almost immediately by our server who quickly took our drink order and kept the refills coming all night.  For a Buffet, I thought Mystic Lake did a great job with service.  The Manager stopped to greet us, as he did with nearly every other table of guests, to make sure the food was enjoyed by all.

Overall Impression: The Buffet at Mystic Lake is the perfect place to go if you want a HUGE selection of All-You-Can Eat International foods at a very reasonable price.  I highly recommend you take advantage of the January BOGO Buffet coupon offer! Print your coupon now. Even better would be to have lunch or dinner at the Buffet, then stay the night at Mystic Lake Hotel and try Il Premio Italian Steakhouse the following Night!
Buffet on Urbanspoon

Nov 062010

Disclosure: I was invited out to do this review and my meal was provided by the restaurant.

Cuisine: American, Dessert, Mongolian, Stir-Fry
Restaurant Features: All-You-Can-Eat, Bar, Dinner Buffet, Lunch Buffet, Patio, On-Site Parking
Location: Burnsville, MN
Address: 1025 County Road 42 West Burnsville MN  55306 (952) 435-0032
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11am-10pm  Friday-Saturday 11am-11pm
Links: * bd’s Mongolian Website bd’s Mongolian Facebook PageGoogle Map *

Atmosphere: bd’s Mongolian Grill is located off Co.Rd 42 on the frontage road that runs around Burnsville Center (across from Macy’s), in the location formerly occupied by Macaroni Grill.  The inside of the restaurant is very large, with a giant, open dining room and another  smaller dining area up front (pictured below).  There are tables as well as booths, with plenty of room to accommodate a larger party.  The walls are bright and colorful, with really cool abstract paintings adorning them.

Near the front there is also a cool bar area, the perfect place to get a drink while waiting for a table on a busy night.

Menu: Appetizers include Wham Bam Shrimp, Eggrolls, Mongolian Ginger Wings, Nachos and Pan-Fried Potstickers.

There is a Soup and Salad Bar, with a basic selection of fresh salad ingredients and dressings.  There are always two soups, one that is the seasonal soup and the other rotates.  The Seasonal Soup is currently Beer Cheese.

The experience at bd’s Mogolian Grill is completely custom as you Create-A-Bowl just the way you want, from a large selection of ingredients that are set up buffet-style.  Your server will give you a red bowl to fill before you hit the buffet line.

First you start with your meats and pasta. Options include Chicken, Lamb, Strip Steak, Ribeye, Pork, Sausage, Krab, Scallops, Shrimp, Calamari, Mahi Mahi, Beer Pork, Ham, Montreal Rubbed Steak, Meatballs, Italian Sausage, Bacon, Cheesy Brats.  Pastas include Rice Noodles, Penne and 3 Cheese Ravioli.

Next you have your choice of fresh veggies including Bean Sprouts, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Carrots, Cheddar Cheese, Cilantro, Baby Corn, Cabbage, Edamame, Fresh Jalapenos, Mushrooms, Onions, Green Onions, Pea Pods, Peppers, Pineapple, Red Potatoes, Tomatoes, Water Chestnuts, Egg, Tofu, Asparagus, Cottage Cheese, Kidney Beans, Capers, and Apples.

Once you have your bowl filled, you will make a little dish of sauce and dried spices.  Sauce options include Asian Black Bean, Buffalo, Chili Garlic, Fajita, Kung Pao, Mongolian Garlic, Lemon, Peanut Sauce, Mongo Marinara, Shanghai Barbeque, Shitake Mushroom Sauce, Soy, Sweet and Sour, Teriyaki, Ponzu, Mustard, Pad Thai, Olive Oil, Sweet Orange Peel, Horseradish, Alfredo, Beer Cheese, Sauerbraten, and Thousand Island.

You can top your dish of sauce with any of the following dried spices: Chopped Garlic, Cajun, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, Cracked Black Pepper, Curry, Granulated Garlic, Ginger, Lemon Pepper, Mixed Herbs, Peanuts, Seasoning Salt, Sesame Seeds, Crushed Red Chili Pepper, and Caribbean Jerk.

After you create your Custom Bowl, you bring it to the Mongo Cooks who will cook your creation to perfection over this 500′ Mongolian Grill.  The meats and veggies are cooked first and then when they are near done, the sauce you created is added.  It takes under 5 minutes for most dishes to be cooked.

bd’s Mongolian Grill also offers a variety of desserts including a line of Mini Desserts for only $2 including Cherry Cheesecake, Cookies and Cream, and Peanut Butter Cup.  Other larger desserts include Caramel Apple Pie Sundae, Brownie Sundae, Mongolian Sundae, Root Beer Float, and Cheesecake.

Price guide: Appetizers $7  Unlimited Soup/Salad/Create-A-Bowl *Kids 3-6 yrs/$3.99 * Kids 7-11yrs/$5.99  *Adults/$14.99   Desserts $2-6

What we ate: We started with a trip to the complimentary Soup and Salad Bar while we waited for our appetizer.  I made a garden salad and tried the Chicken Chili, the soup du jour.  It had many ingredients and was pretty good, very mild.  I didn’t eat too much of this because I wanted to save room for all the other goodies.  My companion got the Beer Cheese Soup, which is one of the seasonal items they are promoting this autumn. YUM!! It was one of the better beer cheese soups I have had! It was savory and cheesy and you could definitely taste the hint of beer.

The appetizer we ordered was the Wham Bam Shrimp.  These crispy fried shrimp were tossed in a creamy buffalo style sauce with green onions, then served in a large margarita glass.  These were slightly spicy and very tasty! The breading on the shrimp was still crispy providing a delightful combo of textures.

I knew I was in the mood for Asian-flavors so the first bowl I made was with with strip steak, ribeye, rice noodles, broccoli, pineapple, mushrooms, tofu, onions, bell peppers and fresh jalapenos.  The sauce I used was a combo of Szechuan, Kung Pao, Chili Garlic, Cayenne and Chopped Garlic.  So good!

My companion’s first plate was made with ribeye, scallops, chicken, noodles, zucchini, and green onion.  The sauce was similar to mine with Mongolian Ginger and Kung Pao.  Very good!

With every meal comes white rice, brown rice, lettuce, or tortillas. You can also upgrade to Fried Rice for $3.99. I ordered the Brown Rice and my companion ordered the Fried Rice, which was basically brown rice with carrots, egg and onion tossed in. Nothing special about the fried rice.

I went for a second plate and this time I wanted to try something that wasn’t Asian. At the suggestion of the guy who was there to help customers with their creations, I made an Italian-inspired stir-fry of cheese ravioli, broccoli, mushrooms, marinated chicken, and green onion.  The sauce I used was alfredo, cajun, and garlic.  Quite tasty! I enjoyed the flavors and textures quite a bit but wish that I would’ve doubled the amount of Alfredo I had used because it wasn’t as saucy as I prefer.  I loved the grilled flavor of the chicken and other veggies with the alfredo and ravioli.  A great option to create for those who aren’t in the mood for Asian cuisine.

My companion made a second bowl as well, with mahi mahi, shrimp, beef, zucchini and peppers cooked with the shanghai barbeque sauce.  I tried this one too and thought the asian barbeque sauce gave it a wonderful smokey-sweet flavor.   The mahi mahi was delicious!BBQ Beef Stir Fry at bd's Mongolian Grill ~ Burnsville, MN

I was certainly too full to eat dessert but managed to try a few bites of the Caramel Apple Pie Sundae before taking the rest home.  The size of this dessert was HUGE! It actually comes in two sizes and I guess I chose gluttony! The pie had been warmed and placed in this dish and then topped with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with caramel and then a ton of whipped cream on top.  It looked and tasted wonderful, it was just overkill after eating so much!

Service: We had great service at bd’s Mongolian Grill.  We visited late on a weeknight which was great because we didn’t have to wait for a table.  Our server explained how it all worked and was helpful with ideas of dishes to create, as were other all the staff who helped customers working their way through the buffet line of ingredients.

Overall Impression: I enjoyed bd’s Mongolian Grill a lot!  They have a great selection of ingredients so just about everyone can Create a Bowl that they can be satisfied with, even if they aren’t in the mood for Asian.  I loved the variety compared to other Mongolian-Grill style restaurants, plus bd’s addition of a Soup & Salad Bar.  The seasonal options are fun to try, I look forward to seeing what they will come up with next!

I would love to share the opportunity to try bd’s Mongolian Grill, so here is a Printable Coupon for $5 Off your next visit.  Good until November 15th, so head down to Burnsville fast!

BD's Mongolian Grill on Urbanspoon

Oct 062010

Cuisine: Indian
Restaurant Features: All-You-Can-Eat Lunch Buffet & Dinner Buffet, Flat Screen TVs, On-Site Parking, Patio
Location: Minneapolis (village of St Anthony)
Address: 2700 39th Ave NE  Minneapolis, Minnesota 55421 (612) 789-2828
Hours: Sun-Mon 11am-10pm
Links: * Taj  Indian Grill WebsiteTaj Facebook PageGoogle Map

Atmosphere: Taj Indian Grill is located in a newer shopping area in the Village of St Anthony, just off Stinson Blvd.  The large space is open and inviting, with brightly colored walls and hardwood floors.  The kitchen is adjacent to the front of the dining room, allowing customers to watch their food being prepared (if you so choose!)  Next to the kitchen is the Buffet, which is open all day every day.

Menu: Appetizers at Taj Indian Grill include Samosas (chicken or veggie), Potato Fritters, Hot Wings, Spiced Potato Patties, Fish Pakura (with masala chickpea batter), Chila Paneer (pan seared chicken or shrimp).

Tandoor specialties include Chicken Tikka, Shrimp Tikka or Lamb Tikka.

Meat Curry Specialties at Taj Indian Grill include Chicken Tikka Masala (tomato based), Vindaloo (tamarind and coconut milk) with choice of Meat, House Curry, Butter Chicken (tomato butter cream sauce), Khorma (sauce of almond, cashew and saffron), Thai Green Curry,  Sweet and Sour, Lamb Rohgan Josh, and Mango Chicken.  Choice of Chicken, Beef,  Lamb, Fish or Shrimp with most dishes unless otherwise specified.  All Curries are served with a side of Biriyani Rice.

Veggie Curry options are  the Gobi Manchurian (cauliflower tossed with sweet chili garlic), Paneer Tikka Masala (Indian cheese in tomato-based sauce), Chana Masala (garbanzo bean curry), Palak Paneer (Indian cheese and spinach sauce), Malai Kofta (veggie dumplings in Khorma), Daal Makhani (spicy lentil curry), Vankaya Tamata (eggplant and tomato curry), and Navratan Khorma.

Taj Indian Grill also has a variety of Naan including traditional Naan, Aloo Naan, Garlic and Cilantro Naan, Bullet Naan (with green chili), Peshwari Naan, and Paneer Naan (indian cheese).

Dessert options include Gulab Jamun (dumpling/donuts in a sweet syrup), Kheer (rice pudding), and Falooda (Indian summer drink).
Price guide: Buffet $8.95  Appetizers $4-8  Entrees $8-11 Naan $3

What we ordered: We all knew we wanted to start with Samosas, so we got an order of the Chicken.  These were very large triangular-shaped pockets stuffed with bite-sized pieces of mildly curried chicken.  I was looking forward to eating these and they were even better than I had hoped! The wrap was fried to a perfect golden crispness and the chicken inside was tender and flavorful.  It was served with some kind of yogurt-based dipping sauce with shredded carrot.  We loved these!!

We also order the Potato Fritters, not really knowing what to expect.  These were slices of potato battered with chickpea flour and seasonings, then deep fried.  These were also good, with potatoes cooked al dente and served with a mint-cilantro chutney for dipping.  We all liked these but would probably order a second order of the Samosas next time instead.

Our server highly recommended that we order the Chicken Tikka Masala, the most popular dish at Taj Grill.  I asked if I could have the dish made with shrimp instead of chicken, and they were happy to oblige.  This was a very tasty dish, with a creamy tomato and onion sauce.  It was just mildly spicy although we could have ordered it spicier.  It came with 8-10 medium-sized shrimp mixed within and fresh herbs on top.  Very delicious and savory dish, the perfect sauce to dip your garlic naan (bread)!!

We also ordered the Mango Chicken, a sweet curry sauce made with curry, mango and coconut milk which was also seasoned with onion and other spices.  This was also delicious! It was sweet but not too sweet, rather just enough to compliment the tingle that the spice brings.  You can also order it mild if you don’t want much heat.  The dish was full of large bites of  tender white-meat chicken.  Mmmmmmm!!Mango Chicken at Taj Indian Grill ~ Minneapolis, MN

The third dish we ordered to share was the Vindaloo with Fish.  Wow!! I loved the first two dishes I tried and then I tasted the Vindaloo and found my new love.  This is one of the best curries I have had, it was so full of flavor!  The sauce was made from a blend of hot and spicy onion, tamarind and coconut milk that contained several large pieces of white fish that were perfectly cooked.  It had a fair amount of spice to it as well, but could be ordered to your spice preference.  I could eat this every day it was so good!

Vindaloo with Fish at Taj Indian Grill~ Minneapolis, MN

Vindaloo with Fish at Taj Indian Grill~ Minneapolis, MN

Every entree came with a bowl of Biriyani Rice, a basmati rice cooked with spices.  It was very light and fluffy, the perfect compliment to every dish.

Biriyani Rice at Taj Indian Grill~ Minneapolis, MN

It is also customary to eat Naan with most Indian meals, so we tried the Naan with Garlic and Cilantro. Yum! It reminded me of a soft pizza crust that was slightly buttery and topped with thinly shaved garlic and fresh cilantro.  Great on its own but even better when dipped into one of the curry sauces!

I had never tried an Indian dessert before and was curious about the Gulab Jamun, which was described on the menu as dumplings.   The dumplings reminded me of donut holes that were saturated with the sweet syrup that they were served in.  This was a very interesting dessert, to say the least!

Service: We were greeted upon entering and sat ourselves.  Our server had many recommendations from various sections of the menu and did a thorough job explaining each dish.  It seemed to take awhile for our food to be prepared, but that only assured me that our food was all fresh and made-to-order.  The cook and owner, Sahal, was very polite and appreciative of our business.  We had a great experience at Taj and wouldn’t hesitate to go back again soon.
Overall Impression: A delicious and wide variety of Indian foods at extremely reasonable prices (nothing over $11), so go ahead and add Taj Indian Grill to your list of Good Cheap Eats!  If you crave Indian food or even if you have never tried it, Taj Indian Grill is the place to go for a lot of flavor.  Everything was wonderful but I highly recommend the Chicken Samosas and the Vindaloo.  I will be back soon to try the all-you-can-eat buffet!

Taj Indian Grill on Urbanspoon

Jun 212009

Cuisine: Chinese, Mongolian
Restaurant Features: Catering, Lunch Buffet, Dinner Buffet, On-Site Parking. Take-Out
Locations: Woodbury, MN
Address: 8340 City Centre Dr (Woodbury City Centre) Woodbury, MN 55125 (651)730-8668

Hours: Lunch Mon-Sat 11am-3pm     Dinner Mon-Thur 4p-9:30p                 Fri-Sun 4p-10p    Sunday & Holiday Brunch 11:30a-3p
Links: Google Map Atlantic Buffet Website

Atmosphere: The Atlantic Buffet is located within a large strip mall called Woodbury City Centre.  When you first walk inside the reception/lobby area, the Atlantic Buffet in Woodbury has a cute little mini-pond set up with Koi swimming around inside, and live plants arranged around it.  The main dining room is arranged into at least two dining areas on half of the large space, the other half of the restaurant has all the Buffet Islands set up.  The dining areas  contain both tables and booths and have a contemporary feel.

Atlanticbuffet-dining100 Atlanticbuffet-diningbooths1000

Here is a glimpse of the Buffets Islands (I think there were 6-8 of them).


In the way back of the Buffet Islands there is an additional area set up for the Mongolian Stir-Fry.  You can choose your own ingredients and then you have the chef ccok it for you on the Mongolian BBQ.


Menu: The items on the buffet change frequently, but there are over 100 items, including a decent selection of Chinese foods, Sushi, American foods, Seafood, and build-your-own Mongolian Stir-Fry.  There is also a dessert and fruits table, and salad bar.

There is also a full Chinese Take-Out menu available.
Price guide:

  • Lunch Buffet  Kids 3-6 $4.25 Kids 7-11 $5.50 Adults $8.25
  • Dinner Buffet  Kids 3-6 $5.75  Kids 7-11 $7.25  Adults $12.50

What I ordered: There were many food items at Atlantic Buffet and I was determined to try a little of this and a little of that.  Here is my Chinese/Sushi plate.  The cheesy mushrooms were very good, as were the steamed dumplings and cream cheese wontons.  The few bites I tried of the chicken & Broccoli stir-fry were okay, but I did not care for the other meat entree I tried (not sure what it was but the meat was stringy and chewy).  The sushi was decent although there wasn’t a large variety to choose from, mostly California Rolls or Salmon/Avocado Rolls.


I made my own Mongolian stir-fry which was my most favorite dish at the Atlantic Buffet.  I chose the ingredients I wanted at the Mongolian BBQ station (Beef, Broccoli, Pineapple, Onions and Noodles) and figured out my own combination of sauces (there was no guide to help!) which included cooking wine, teriyaki, garlic, chile peppers, and sesame seeds.  I have found that the more sauce you put on, the better it tastes because the noodles and vegetables soak it right up.


I tried just a few items on my Seafood Plate, including tiny mussels (pretty good, not too chewy or rubbery) that were cooked in a fish sauce.  The salmon was okay and I also tried a bite of Halibut.


For the sake of this review I also made a Dessert Plate.  Nothing too exciting here but the rice krispie bar and almond cookies were good.  They also have soft-serve ice cream.


Service: We were greeted upon entering and were shown to a table right away.  Drinks were fast and continuous throughout our visit, as was the clearing of plates.
Overall Impression: Wide variety and selection of foods for the price.  The Mongolian BBQ and Seafood Buffet offered the best choices, but I thought the quality of the the Chinese food was just mediocre.

Mar 102009

Cuisine: Chinese
Restaurant Features: Lunch Buffet, Dinner Buffet, On-Site Parking

Locations: Maplewood & West St Paul, MN
Addresses & Maps:

Maplewood– 2950 White Bear Ave Maplewood, MN 55109 (651) 704-9801

West St Paul– 1200 South Robert St.  West St. Paul, MN 55118 (651) 554-0558

Hours: Sun-Thur 11am-9pm  Fri-Sat 11am-10pm

Atmosphere: Both the Maplewood and West St Paul locations are located within strip malls.  Each restaurant has a large, open space for the dining areas.  Silk Kimonos adorn the walls and here and there you will see silk plants as well.  Rectangular-shaped wooden tables are placed close together throughout the space, easy to accommodate larger groups.

GreatMoonBuffet-inside1000 There are four large buffet islands, with additional tables for dessert and also a separate stir-fry section at the West St Paul location.  Each buffet island has about 10-12 food items.

GreatMoonBuffet-buffet1000 The West St Paul location also has a custom stir-fry area.  Similar to Khan’s, choose your frozen sliced meats, Vegetables and sauces and the chef will cook it up in front of you on the Mongolian BBQ.


Menu: Appetizers include Egg Rolls, Cream Cheese Wonton, Cheesey Potatoes, Sweet Biscuits, Sesame Cakes, Pork Sausages, Egg Foo Young, Roast Duck, BBQ Ribs, and Steamed Dumplings.

Soups include Hot & Sour and Wonton.  There is also Lo Mein, Fried Rice, White Rice, Rice Noodle and String Beans.

Chicken dishes include Black Pepper Chicken, Roast Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Moo Goo Gai Pan, Chicken with Broccoli, Chicken Chow Suey, General Tao’s Chicken, Sweet & Sour Chicken, Chicken Wings, Chicken Sticks, and Chicken with Cashew.

Pork dishes include Mopo ToFu, Hunan Pork, Butter Potato, Double Cooked Pork, Hunan Triple Delight, Pork with Mushrooms, and Boneless Ribs.

Beef dishes include Beef with Broccoli, Mongolian Beef, Beef with Mushrooms, Peppered Beef, and Beef Ribs.

Seafood (most items served at dinner only) items include Mussels, Fried Codfish, Salmon, Popcorn Shrimp, Butterfly Shrimp, Salted Shrimp, Coconut Shrimp, Shrimp with Lobster Sauce.

Desserts include Soft-Serve Ice Cream, Cake, Fresh Fruit

Price guide: Lunch Buffet $8-9  Dinner Buffet $11-12
What I Ate: My visit was at lunch time with a group of colleagues, but I still wanted to try a selection of foods.  I had Cream Cheese Wontons, Boneless BBQ Ribs, Steamed Dumpling, General Tao’s Chicken, Sweet & Sour Chicken, Fried Rice, and a Rice Noodle dish with veggies.  The cream cheese wontons were the biggest I have ever had! They were stuffed full of a cream-cheese mixture that was slightly sweet.  The steamed dumplings were very good, with a flavorful pork/onion mixture.  The meats that I tried were okay, but I would not say these use high quality meat.  The Sweet and Sour as well as the General Tao’s Chicken was kind of fatty and gristly and the batter was soggy.

GreatMoonBuffet-myplate1000 I wasn’t quite satisfied with what I actually ate from my first plate, so I opted to wait in line for my own custom stir-fry.  I chose beef, broccoli, pineapple, onions, pepper and mushrooms with noodles and several scoops of all the different cooking sauces.  There is only one cook making stir-fry and he only cooks one dish at a time, so I had to wait at least 10 minutes for my plate.  I was only able to get a few good bites in before it was time to head back to work, but I was very happy with my stir-fry dish.

GreatMoonBuffet-stirfryplate1000Service: At Great Moon you must pay for your meal before you enter the dining room but from that point forward, there are many servers ava
ilable to take drink orders, clear plates, etc.
Overall Impression: Huge buffet with many options, but I would say food is just slightly better than mediocre in taste and quality.  Make-it-yourself Stir-Fry option at West St Paul is a big bonus.
Great Moon Buffet on Urbanspoon