BOLINGBROOK, IL – For more than 30 years, bd’s Mongolian Grill has allowed customers to customize their own Asian-inspired stir-fry creations in a setting where chefs work at large stainless steel workstations in full view of all.
While that remains the case at the restaurant, which now has just two locations in Illinois – including one in Bolingbrook – bd’s has introduced fresh new dining options in which dishes are spiced up, offering a different twist on the experience. cuisine of its customers.
Bd’s Bolingbrook, located at 619 E. Boughton Rd. since 2007, recently rolled out the new menu items and also underwent an aesthetic rebrand that provides an updated dining experience for what has become a reliable casual dining favorite.
The restaurant’s other location in Illinois is at 221 Washington St. in Naperville.
The menu changes keep those who want to continue creating their own stir-fries happy, but also cater to those looking for a more upscale option. The comic book chefs have created more contemporary style salads and bowls with homemade sauces aimed at appealing to a new group of customers who may be new to the brand.
“People these days are a little more savvy when it comes to ingredients and what they look for in a meal,” said Lori Cominsky, bd’s vice president of operations and training. “So bd’s is definitely a family experience where people come to party together and we want to keep that part of us, but we also wanted to offer something for people who aren’t necessarily looking to build their own stir fry or multiple bowls of food. “
She added, “We kind of wanted to be more for more people.”
New menu items offer classic Asian flavor profiles, including new items that feature multiple cooking styles, including Korean, Japanese, and Thai-inspired dishes. There’s a Chicken Bangkok dish, an innovative drunken noodle dish from Shanghai that’s been a hit with new offerings.
Several items from the make-your-own stir-fry station’s Fresh Market line have been added to provide a different look than in the past. Some of the sauces have also been removed to provide more updated options for those wishing to try the Asian fusion style menu.
But like other businesses, bd’s Mongolian Grill has also faced some hurdles as the changes come as restaurants continue to deal with restrictions and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It certainly has its challenges,” Cominsky said. “Supply chain issues from ingredients to equipment (have) kept us on our toes and make us a bit more flexible in timing things and how fast we want to go versus how fast we we can actually go.”
Cominsky said the restaurant needed to make changes to the menu to accommodate restrictions imposed by the pandemic. She said dealing with the restrictions associated with COVID-19 has made restaurant teams much more flexible, which has made the transition to rebranding the restaurant more interesting than if done in normal times.
But she said the response to the changes had been overwhelmingly positive so far, giving restaurant chain managers confidence that switching to a higher menu was the right decision.
“I think we just wanted to do a little more so people could use us however they wanted,” Cominsky said. “The overall bd’s experience is almost an American institution and people are very passionate about building their own stir fry. We don’t want to alienate those people, but we want to be a little more inclusive.”