The Bariatric Foodie Survival Guide to BD’s Mongolian Grill

For my long-time readers (God bless you) this is the new name for what was formerly “Pouch Party Peeks.”

So…BD’s Mongolian Grill. If you are fortunate to live in a state where this restaurant exists, you are a very, very lucky person.

This place was made for post-op family reunification.

How so? Wait…let me not get ahead of myself.

So what the heck is this place? It’s a raw buffet. Yep, you read right. It’s a raw buffet.

Now before you go “Ewwwwww!” (and I know you’re doing it, I heard you) you don’t eat the food raw. It is just in the buffet raw. Here’s the concept. It’s simple, yet genius.

You take a bowl. You fill it with whatever you want. And the choices are plentiful. There’s all types of seafood, chicken, beef, tofu, whatever you want. There’s veggies beyond any stretch of the imagination. Then you add your sauce. They give suggestions based on what you might like but have everything from Hoisin to black bean sauce and everything in between (seriously…there were like 30 sauces there. I nearly passed out).

Then you take it up to the grill and ask the grill guy (Grill master? Seems appropriate here) to grill it up for you. They grill it to perfection, give it back to you and all God’s children are happy. Easy, right?

My wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL friend Pam (there…I fulfilled the three “wonderful’s” contractual obligation…) took me there for the first time when I visited her in Michigan a few weeks ago. I found the staff very friendly and willing to explain the whole concept to me. The grill masters were even funnier. One tried his best to do a food trick for us, but ended up sacrificing one of Pam’s shrimp to the food gods (she was NOT amused).

So I said above this place is great for post-op family reunification. What’d I mean by that? Well, most of you have experienced, at some point in your journey, that sitting together, as a family, eating a cohesive and unified meal can be difficult. You’re either eating something completely different or a heavily modified version of what you served the rest of them. And you feel like you’re finished before them and their plates are so much bigger and filled up than yours.

The one striking thing to me about BD’s is this is a place where both non-ops and post-ops can get DOWN. There are two separate prices: one for just one trip through the buffet and another for people who plan to return. But get this: if you do the one bowl option you’re allowed to wrap your leftovers. (The person who invented this must have known a post-op. I’m sure of it.)

Pam also taught me a good strategy. I wish I’d taken a picture of it but I was too entranced by scallops and peanut sauce. You take your little bowl up to the buffet and load it UP. She has this technique whereby she stands up her sugar snap peas against the side of her bowl, along with any other vegetables that will stand upright, and fill in the proteins in the middle to get more in her bowl.

Now newbies are probably going, “but that’s too much!” Ah…but keep in mind you can take home what you don’t eat because you, my little grasshopper, have chosen the one bowl option.

I, on the other hand, did the typical post-op thing and went lean and ate my entire bowl there at the restaurant. Then I proceeded to watch, with jealousy as Pam had yummy leftovers for the next two days. Not fun. Go with her plan, not mine.

The other good thing about BD’s is if you like Asian food but don’t want the rice, they are fine with not giving you rice. My beloved P.F. Changs…much as I adore them…it takes an act of God to get them to not give me rice. I don’t eat it. But I don’t want it on the table either, reminding me of starving children in Africa.

Anyhoo…you might ask what I got. That would be a good question. I got a medley of chicken, andouille sausage (sp?), shrimp, scallops and too many veggies to remember them all. For my sauce I combined red chili sauce (very spicy) with peanut sauce (because you all KNOW me).

The verdict? Delicioso! The stuff came grilled just the way I like it, with the smoky aroma and that slight char on it that I love.

To be honest, that was one of the best damn meals I ever had.

So check out their locations and, if there’s one near you, head on over. And tell them Nik sent you! (Actually don’t. They probably have no clue who I am)


  1. OMG this sounds so so good…think I need to find one close to me now.

  2. Awesome review of my beloved BD's! It is seriously my favorite restaurant in the world! I typically get the same combination of stuff every time I go. I've come to think of it as my "Green and White" meal. Here's the ingredients:

    * chicken
    * shrimp
    * scallops
    * tofu (if I have room the bowl)
    * snap pea pods (stood on end around the edge of the bowl)
    * broccoli (only small florets to save space)
    * mushrooms
    * edamame
    * water chestnuts
    * bean sprouts
    * Sauce is always Black Bean
    * Seasoning – Lawry's Salt & chopped peanuts

    YUM! I might need to stop for take out on the way home tonight.

  3. Nik,
    This is one of my family's favorite places! We haven't been there post op yet, but are looking forward to going soon! Yum-O!!

  4. We have one here called Charlie's Mongolian BBQ. It is just a local place, but it is wonderful! have some leftovers in my fridge right now!

  5. That sounds great! And luckily we have one near me!

  6. Mmmmm. I love Mongolian BBQ's. We have a lot of them here in Virginia Beach. They are great! They have something for everyone. Most of them also have a regular buffet so the rest of the family (and kids especially) can find something they like. You can protein it up and just get protein items. They cook it for you fresh. You can pick exactly what you want – even your what sauces, etc. It's great! I'm glad you have discovered the joy of Mongolian BBQ. I have always loved them. 🙂

    -Gastric Kitty

  7. I'm loving having just found your site. Wish I would have found it before I began my journey (Nov 2010). We have a bd's here in MI where I am (abt 40 miles NE of Detroit) & we had one near us when we lived in KC, MO. (DH is active duty USMC so we move a lot) bd's is one of my favorite places to go. I love that you can get exactly what you want. I also LOVE that I get so much leftovers to take home.

    I'm definitely bookmarking your site & will be back again & again!!!