When you choose the all-you-can-eat Create Your Own Stir-Fry ($7.99 lunch, $10.99 dinner) at Ye's Mongolian Grill in Schererville, Ind., you can design your own meal, and go back for seconds, thirds and more, if you have room.
Choose from the huge spread of meats, poultry, fish, seafood, veggies, noodles, and dizzying array of sauces (peanut, sweet-sour, teriyaki and many more). Take your selections to the counter surrounding the 8-foot-diameter gas flat-top grill that reaches temperatures of 600 degrees and let the grill master work his magic with 3-foot metal "swords."
This style of cooking is known as Mongolian barbecue and originated in the 1970s. Despite its name, the cuisine is not Mongolian, and is only very loosely related to barbecue. Still, some say the cuisine was inspired by Mongol warriors who would sear meats and vegetables, sliced with their razor-sharp swords, on their overturned shields over a blazing fire.
The beef is fork-tender and I highly recommend the roti (an unleavened griddle bread from India). I'm not sure what the latter is doing at an Asian restaurant, but I'm not complaining because it's delicious.
There are two soups to choose from (usually egg drop and hot and sour), egg rolls and crab rangoon, but I'd save my appetite for the main course. Dessert is nothing to write home about but that was scarcely noticed on such a full stomach.
If you'd rather order off the menu, all the usual suspects are represented, like wonton soup, potstickers, lo mein dishes, fried rice, and seldom-seen items like Singapore Street Noodle (chicken, beef, shrimp, vegetable, rice noodle in a spicy curry sauce). Prices are reasonable. The highest-priced item is $10.95 because it contains shrimp.
Lunch specials (not all you can eat), served 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, are $5.95 and include egg roll and white or brown rice. The combo platters are $7.95 and include egg roll and chicken fried rice.
Amenities include a $3.95 kid's meal (teriyaki chicken, sweet-and-sour chicken, noodles with teriyaki sauce) served with French fries or rice, and fresh fruit. Fresh-fruit smoothies are available for $3.75 and there is a large free-parking lot. Dine in, carry out and catering options.
I'm definitely going back.
Ye's Mongolian Grill
210 W. U.S. 30, Schererville, IN 46375
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, noon-9 p.m. Sundays, closed Mondays