Great Wall Grill is a little Mongolian BBQ restaurant in the TJ Maxx shopping center on Douglas. It’s my second favorite Mongolian BBQ after Sizzle in Rocklin. This place seems to be very popular as I almost always end up having to wait a short time for a table, and the line to the grill is not the fastest.
This night my friend and I waited about 10-15 minutes outside (they only have a small bench inside that accommodates a small party). Once called, you place your drink order, choose your rice (fried or steamed) and soup or salad, then head to make your bowl while your table is populated with those items and some appetizers. For the uninitiated, at Mongolian BBQ you grab a bowl and fill it up with all the raw meat and fresh veggies you want, add in flavored sauces and then hand it over to be cooked on a circular grill. Meat choices typically include pork, chicken, beef and lamb. I used to do a pork and lamb mix but these days I do all pork and I can’t really say I taste a difference. So I went with my typical pork, then added noodles, yellow onions, spinach, corn(not available at Sizzle, I quite enjoy it), green onions, mushrooms and zucchini.
Next come the sauces. Most of the flavor is in the sauces (in my opinion), so my strategy is to add sauce until I can see it approaching the top of the bowl through the veggies. If you don’t put enough sauce in the cook will add water during the cooking process to keep everything moist on the grill (not entirely sure if that’s the reason, but it makes sense to me), and I think that ends up washing a lot of flavor away. If you’re new to this, all I can say is experiment, it will likely take you a few visits to figure out a mix of sauces that you like. For me it’s something in the neighborhood of 40% house, 40% lobster (or seafood, however they name it) 15% kung pao and 5% sesame oil.
Last but not least I drop a large scoop of garlic on top. I’m not really impressed with Great Wall’s garlic. It’s blended to an apple sauce consistency and I can never seem to taste much of it. Sizzle’s is much coarser and is quite potent.
At this point my bowl is complete and it’s off to be grilled up, which is always entertaining to watch, and the move to get it into the new bowl is always impressive. I’m waiting for the day when they miss the bowl entirely and have to awkwardly ask me to make a new one.
Now cooked, a scoop some peanuts and crunchy fried chow mien noodles on top and head to the table. Waiting for me is a piping hot bowl of egg drop soup, fried rice, fried wantons, crab/cream cheese wontons and my Dr. Pepper (actually Pibb I think in this case).
The fried wonton appetizers are always awesome here with the red sweet & sour sauce and are usually the first thing to disappear from the table. The fried rice is exceedingly ‘meh’, though that’s true at most places in my experience, unless it’s cooked right then and there when you order it (in which case it’s AH-mazing!). I always enjoy the egg drop soup and like to sip on it while my mongolian BBQ cools off a bit. Like I mentioned earlier, this place tends to be busy at dinner. It always seems to me that they are understaffed for the level of business they do. As a result, unless you actively flag down a server for a refill, it will probably be a while. Also, as visible in the photos of their ingredient counters, it can get messy fast. They do try to keep that up as soon as they get a chance though, while I was taking my pictures they were already moving down the line wiping it down and refilling the trays behind me.
I very much recommend this Mongolian BBQ as it’s probably the best one in Roseville (I haven’t been to the one in the Galleria’s food court yet though).