BD’s Mongolian Grill – The SAFE Restaurant
I had the pleasure of talking to Ken Leetch, the General Manager, at BD’s Mongolian Grill in Bolingbrook. He was nice enough to take the time out of his busy schedule to discuss their safety practices with me. This restaurant can be allergen free, gluten-free, Paleo, or Vegan. You pick, and they will try to accommodate. First off, BD’s Mongolian Grill is one of my favorite buffet type restaurant. Most buffet type restaurants are not very safe for Bean with her peanut allergy, due to cross contamination issues. I was comfortable taking her to BD’s before, but now that I know more about their safety practices I am confident that BD’s would be a safe place for her to eat.
If you have never been to BD’s Mongolian Grill, it is essentially a place where you pick the ingredients and then take it up to the grill. It’s amazing stir fry. You can purchase one bowl or unlimited bowls. With your bowl, you also get their soup and salad bar. Their soups recently changed to being 100% home-made in-house by BD’s. After you start off with the soup and salad, then you take your bowl and go up to the buffet and choose your ingredients. You have several choices of meat, vegetables, noodles, sauces, and spices. Once you have all your ingredients picked out, you can take your food up to a grill to be cooked.
Some of the safety practices they follow are:
- Temperatures are checked on the food lines every few hours to make sure everything stays cold and fresh
- The tongs are constantly changed to avoid any cross contamination
- If you are concerned about possible cross contamination due to a food restriction or allergy, they will make your bowl from fresh ingredients in the back that are kept segregated
- Also, they have an Allergy Friendly cooking station. It is a separate place to have your food cooked to avoid allergens in your food. The pans are used one time before being washed, and then they are heated up to 200 degrees to burn off any remaining allergens
- There is a MAC or MAM (Market Area Manager or Market Area Coordinator) walking around the food area, in a black chef coat. They can help create meals, give ideas, and also can provide you with a nutritional brochure.
They also have a .pdf file on their website that lists every single ingredient used in all of their items. If you are on the go, there is an Android and Iphone app called BD’s Go Mongo. The app lets you create-a-bowl, choose all your ingredients, and view all the ingredients in the bowl you made!
Disclaimer: I did this review, because this is one of my favorite restaurants. I was not given anything and did not receive any compensation in any way, in order to do this review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.
I can’t help but to be frustrated right now. I have several friends that have children that are similar in age to my kids. And of course, my kids love getting together and being able to play. Recently, we had some time to spend with a friend who I have not seen in a very long time and her three little ones. We had a great time. But…..
She knows that my kids are eating gluten free. She knows that it is because of an issue they both medically have. She knows how much I struggle trying to make my kids feel like they fit in.
When she invited us over, she mentioned that we should come for lunch. I began to explain to her my hesitation…and went down the whole list. The foods contents, the cross contamination issues, etc. She still insisted. I offered to bring our own food, that I knew would be okay. I even offered to bring enough for everyone to share. She still insisted everything would be fine. But, if this lifestyle has taught me anything its to be prepared, so I brought food anyway.
And its really a good thing that I did! We got there, and the kids played for awhile, which was awesome. But then I noticed that she had thrown in a pizza. I knew immediately that it was not going to be anything safe for my kids. So, I asked her. I wanted to know why she was making a pizza when she had offered to provide a safe lunch. She then said, well it is a favorite of the kids, so I was going to give them that, and I have salad and fruits and veggies for your kids. I was appalled.
I, luckily, brought a nice hearty lunch for the kids. But, still not the point. She knows that I do everything I can to NOT alienate my kids. Sorry, but eating something that they can not have right in front of them is awful. To top it all off, she even offered me the pizza. I remained calm during the whole thing, but shortly after lunch my kids were getting tired and had asked to leave. I was more than happy to oblige.
While I did take the time to explain my frustrations to her, I still can not help but to be upset to this day. Please do not take medical issues, especially those revolving around kids, lightly. It is hard enough for the kids to feel like they fit in, try not to make it any harder.