Allowing diners to create their own dish, the Genghis Grill, 910 Providence Rd., adds a blend of healthy and creative cuisine to the Brandon culinary scene.
The Dallas-based "Mongolian Stir Fry" franchise is the first in the Tampa Bay area. Many members of its ownership group, JNE Mongolia 1, LLC, are also proprietors of Papa Johns pizza stores in the area. Using its knowledge of the Tampa market, the group plans on expanding into several different communities around Tampa.
"There are over 100 stores nationwide now, and we'd like to open six to eight stores in bay area," said Nick Dorsch, vice president of marketing. "Brandon is our first Genghis Grill location because of the success we've been able to have in the area with Papa John's. It's been a strong market because of the family demographic, and we feel like it's a good place to launch the brand."
Creating an unlikely combination, Papa John's owners all over the country are committing to the Mongolian Stir Fry franchise because of the success it's already had in 10 states.
In cafeteria style, Genghis Grill allows patrons the chance to walk through a buffet to build their own bowl to their liking. First, you must choose a protein with options ranging from chicken to shrimp and even tofu for vegetarians. A variety of seasonings are available so that customers can spice up their dish as much as they like.
Then, diners pick their vegetables in any quantity they like and afterward select a sauce for the food to be cooked with, along with a starch such as rice, tortillas, pasta or udon noodles. The mixture is then thrown onto a large circular flat top grill, where it is cooked by a grillmaster right in front of the customer.
"What makes Genghis so unique is that it is whatever you want it to be," Dorsch said. "You can he as health conscious and vegetarian as you want to be. For a good value, you get a lot of whatever meal it is that you want to build."
Since opening Dec. 14, the Genghis Grill in Brandon has received a positive reception from the locals who have visited. Bruce Ogle, vice president of operations for JNE Mongolian, has been pleased with the reception for the franchise's latest addition so far.
"We've had a great reaction from the public since we opened," Ogle said. "People really are enjoying it. We plan on opening up several more stores here in the bay area, and we're looking forward to this being as successful here as it is around the rest of the country."