Tuesday, May 1, 2012
The two appointments are, in a lot of ways, related. SSI benefits are designed to help provide money to meet the needs of food, shelter, and clothing for the aged, blind, and disabled. As a disable citizen who will most likely not have significant income, my son should quality for benefits. In order to be eligible, my son has to have assets below a certain threshold. So, we needed to do some estate planning so that should something happen to my wife and I, any assets we had would be held in a special needs trust rather than pass directly to him.
After we took care of all of our other business for the day, my wife and I decided to check out a new eatery here in Bowie, MD; the Bang Bang Mongolian Grill. The experience was different from any other kind of restaurant that I have ever eaten at. I still have not fully decided whether or not I like the whole concept or not, though I will say that I did thoroughly enjoy my meal last night.
When you enter the restaurant, you come to the register and tell them what size bowl you want for your meal. Then, you take your bowl and go through a cafeteria style line to build your meal. The first station you come to is the proteins. You can load your bowl with a wide variety of proteins among with are beef, chicken, andouille sausage, shrimp, scallops, and even calamari. I am sure I left several out. I opted for beef and shrimp.
The next stop in the line is a large selections of vegetables that you can add to your bowl. I selected cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, broccoli, and onions. I also saw green beans, corn, and several others. Next in line was your selection of sauces. They had about a dozen different powdered spices and liquid sauces. Above that station were a few recipes of different sauces you could create. I picked a selection of ingredients to create a hoisin BBQ sauce.
The last stop on the tour was the grill where the cooks will cook your bowl in front of you. The last decision that you have to make is the type of starch you want to use in your meal. You can choose between a number of different starches. They have white rice, brown rice, fried rice, spaghetti noodles, and pad thai rice noodles. I went with the rice noodles.
My meal last night was excellent. I like that you can truly customize your bowl with the ingredients that you want in your meal. The building of the sauces and spices makes me a little nervous. I am not a chef, so I am not sure which combinations would work well together. I would hate to pick items that I would end up not liking. Consequently, I would probably tend to choose from the suggested sauce recipes detailed on the board above the sauces.
The other thing that I did not like about the experience was maneuvering through the queue with my bowl. In addition to the bowl, they gave me my cup to get my drink at the soda fountain at the end of the line. Then, I needed to also manage to carry individual plastic cups for my spice and sauce selections. It probably would have been easier if they had provided trays for carrying everything, but alas, they did not.
The bottom line though is that my meal ended up being very delicious. In spite of the complaints and/or reservations about the experience, I will most likely end up dating there again. I will definitely pack more ingredients into my bowl, especially the proteins, and who knows, maybe I will even get a little bit more adventurous in my sauce and spice combinations.