Today I had the privilege of enjoying a VIP lunch from Bang Bang Mongolian in West Des Moines. I’d been communicating back and forth with Bang Bang for a month or so, out of excitement for a new place like this to open up. I am a HuHot frequenter, and especially enjoy Bd’s when I travel to Columbus, OH for work. I won’t say I’m an expert of Mongolian BBQ’s, but I can hold my own.
As far as the food options go, Bang Bang surpasses HuHot right out of the gate. You’ll find all of the traditional fare, along with some more meat (meatballs & sirloin) and seafood (scallops, shrimp, calamari rings). There’s also more options in the form of veggies, sauces and spices to top your dish.
And let’s not forget the all important egg. If you’re not getting an egg dropped over your dish, you’re missing out.
Another place where Bang Bang stands out is the offering of a salad bar and fajita bar, which offers all of the goods you’d need to make the ultimate nacho’s with your stir-fried noms. I have to admit, I didn’t have a chance to check this out, as I was too absorbed in the standard stir-fried plates, but it looked great. Definitely on the menu for my next trip.
I also gave the lettuce wraps a shot, since I’m a huge fan of PF Chang’s similar dish. And I loved Bang Bang’s take on them just as much as my go to lettuce wrap.
The mood today was fun, with a very high quality of service. While the service may not be at this level outside of a opening day VIP lunch, it feels like the staff is comprised of the “right people” to keep the good mood flowing. The atmosphere did give the impression you were in a place that is a step up from the competition, but didn’t feel unwelcoming, even to my tattooed, Yankee-capped cousin.
The only two complaints I had were: 1) That the food at the meat & veggie bar wasn’t labeled, which made me question what things were without asking a staffer, and 2) The sauce and spice bar didn’t match on both sides, which led to some back and forth saucing that slowed the lines.
I don’t have a rating system for food reviews to give you a star count, or any number of thumbs up. All I can say is that if given a choice between HuHot and Bang Bang, I’m going Bang Bang.
For anyone out there interested, Bang Bang Mongolian opens today (6/21/2010) at 4pm to the general public. I’d recommend being one of the first to check the place out.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Hits: Variety, Service, Atmosphere
Misses: Labeling, Consistency