Cheap Eats: Gobi Mongolian Grill
Why go? Mongolian BBQ is delicious, customizable, and just plain fun. Build-your-own stir-fry, watch chefs toss it with large wooden sticks as they move in sync around a circular grill, gobble it up, and go back for more.
What’s the vibe like? Pass a waving golden cat statue and the cashier (pay when you leave) to join the buffet line. This is all-you-can-eat, but take heed: Signage says, “Excessive waste may result in an additional charge.”
What to order? There’s just one item on the menu: Mongolian BBQ. Grab a bowl (or two), and pick your favorites: raw beef, chicken, pork, or lamb; faux crab, shrimp, or tofu; thick noodles; freshly chopped veggies; and flavorful accents such as pineapple and cilantro. Then, create your own garlicky or spicy sauce.
Added bonus: Add sides such as fried wontons, steamed rice, or chicken soup, and save room for soft-serve ice cream (all the more reason to err on spicy).
How much? Weekday all-you-can-eat lunch is $10.98. Dinner, weekends, and holidays bump the price to $12.98. To-go (one bowl) is $9.98 or $10.98.
4811 Hopyard Rd., Ste. G-1, Pleasanton, (925) 201-1941. Lunch and dinner daily.