"Where do you want to eat?"

"Where do you want to eat?" generally followed by a responding "I don't know" is an exchange that is a little too familiar for a lot of today's diners. With an abundance of restaurants to choose from, deciding on one common restaurant to satisfy the desire for a good meal can seem daunting. Now enter the motivation behind this blog. The city of Great Falls has a multitude of restaurants to choose from, offering a wide variety of options depending on the dining experience you seek. A good number of these restaurants are "chains", corporate giants offering the same menus in a variety of locations throughout the country. Nothing personal against these chain restaurants, but especially in today's economy, it is incredibly important to support local businesses. When the public invests in locally-owned buisnesses, the money is recycled back into the local community. Therefore, this blog will only feature the locally-owned restaurants of Great Falls. Each week, one local restaurant will be featured and reviewed, with the intent that the next time "where do you want to eat?" is proposed, a locally-owned business will be supported.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

3D International

3D International brought the first Mongolian Grill to Great Falls in 1996. 
A buffet of meats, fresh vegetables, seafood and noodles accompanied by a plethora of sauces and seasonings, the Mongolian Grill is an all-you-can-eat but not-take-home dining out experience.
Upon entry to 3D International, you are greeted by a friendly host who leads you back into the dining area, illuminated by the chandeliers and wall sconces which cast subdued lighting throughout the richly colored interior.
With little to no wait time, the cocktail waitress took the drink orders, and shortly thereafter, returned with the drinks.
The appetizer menu choices were limited, had an Asian flare, and complimented the Mongolian Grill Buffet as a dinner option nicely.
To start the meal, the Asian Appetizer Platter was recommended by the waitress.
Consisting of all fried foods, the platter contained egg rolls, potstickers and shrimp purses served with an array of Asian dipping sauces.
The most appetizing item on the platter was the egg rolls, as the potstickers and shrimp purses were overcooked and hard.
The bite-sized eggrolls were crispy on the outside and stuffed full of flavorful veggies and meat.
Once the appetizer was finished, the Mongolian Grill and buffet was chosen as the main course.
Here you will find a variety of meats and seafood consisting of frozen beef, pork, chicken, white fish and shrimp.
The veggies were plentiful, fresh, and crisp.
There was no wait line as people moved quickly through the buffet, piling their choices in their bowls.
Once your bowl is filled, the man behind the bar cooks the contents on a large, black circular grill.
Grilling multiple bowls at once, you can stand and watch him grill your meal before your eyes – abbra-caddabra your meal is done, hope you got the right one!
Because the Mongolian Grill is an all-you-can eat buffet, the restaurant does not allow you to take home your leftovers, so be sure to bring your appetite.
All of the desserts at 3D International are homemade, onsite.
For help in selecting a dessert, the waitress suggested the Turtle Cheesecake.
The cheesecake was brought to the table at room temperature which unfortunately detracts from the taste of cheesecake. 
The texture was that of a cheesecake which had been sitting out for some time.  It had an opaque look to it and a dry, stiff texture versus a crisp, white look and creamy texture of a freshly made cheesecake.
The topping was thick fudge syrup which was dry to the touch and overpowering in taste compared to the cheesecake itself. 
Overall, dessert was less than satisfactory and not a choice I would recommend.
The dining experience as a whole was not a disappointment, however.
The entree is as healthy as you make it, and the buffet is constantly replenished, never running short of food.
The wait staff is friendly and the restaurant is very clean, and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
My recommendation would be to bypass the appetizer and skip the dessert, as neither options were rave worthy – save your appetite for the Mongolian Grill.

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